Senate debates

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Bills

Freedom of Information Amendment (Requests and Reasons) Bill 2015; Second Reading

9:57 am

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

Contrary to the will of the parliament—that is right, Senator Collins.

It is interesting what the opinion piece of Mr Parnell makes of the whole issue of Australia joining the Open Government Partnership:

The former Labor government also committed Australia to join the Open Government Partnership, a global transparency and citizen engagement initiative. Under the Coalition, however, nothing has happened, with responsibility for the OGP shifting between ministers and becoming a “captain’s pick” for Abbott.

Mr Parnell concludes his opinion piece by saying:

While there are rumours Turnbull will soon have Australia re-embrace the OGP, cultural issues remain. Several requests last week for the Prime Minister’s office to clarify his position on the OGP failed to elicit any response, let alone a positive one.

I am hoping that this is something that the new Turnbull administration will consider.

To be a truly consultative and open government, as the Prime Minister said—and I take him at his word about his desire to do so—embrace the OGP; embrace reform to the FOI laws, such as the bill that Senator Ludwig has put up, which I think will lead to greater transparency and greater efficiency in FOI; and ensure there is appropriate funding for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. I support this bill.

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