Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Two months passed. The FOI Commissioner is still preparing for further action.

On 12 April 2013 the officer of FOI Commissioner advised that:

PMC has indicated that it anticipates consulting with relevant agencies about possible release of the documents or parts of documents. We hope to receive more information about this step within the next week.’

On 16 May 2013 the officer of FOI Commissioner advised that:

‘ I attempted to follow up with PMC this week, but have had no reply. We think that the best step now would be to issue a formal review notification and seek formal submissions from PMC. We will also ask PMC if it would like to consider making a revised decision under s 55G of the FOI Act. This is an option, but not one that an agency is obliged to do. I aim to issue the relevant review notices by the end of this week.’

Seemingly some officers in the PMC Department agreed the FOI Commissioner’s suggestion to release the documents in concerns but the decision maker(s) decided to do nothing before the 2013 Federal election in September.

Obviously the FOI Commissioner has been frustrated by the uncooperative department. This shows the Government or the Parliament has not conferred the FOI Commissioner enough power to force relevant agencies to at least respond to his inquiries on time.