After 11 years contemplating more than 100 recommendations on how to fix the freedom of information laws, the Federal Government has decided … it is time for another inquiry, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, has announced another review of the laws despite ignoring more than 100 recommendations from the last major review into the same laws.
Mr Ruddock said he will ask the Australian Law Reform Commission to examine Commonwealth and state laws to see whether they provide an “effective framework for access to information and how best to “harmonise” those laws.
He said the move was partly in response to the Right to Know campaign begun this year by media campaigning for changes to freedom of information and other laws to increase the level of access to government information.
Mr Ruddock’s announcement was criticised by a freedom of information expert at the University of Tasmania, Rick Snell, who said access to government information was deteriorating daily.
“We have had 11 years of inaction and now, on the eve of an election campaign, the Government announces an inquiry,” Professor Snell said. “I’m sure the commission will do a good job but – even if the Government follows it up – we will not get any results till the end of 2009 or 2010.”