Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Freedom of Information; Order for the Production of Documents
That there be laid on the table, by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, no later than noon on Thursday, 27 June 2013, the report of the review into the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and the government response to the review.
Question agreed to.
by leave—In relation to the motion that the Senate has just dealt with, the government has opposed the motion on the basis that the documents in question do not exist. In October 2012, the then Attorney-General released the terms of reference for the review. The legislation requires that a written report of the review be prepared and be laid before the parliament within 15 sitting days after the minister receives the report. I am advised that the report has not yet been completed, though I am advised by the Attorney-General that Dr Hawke is at an advanced stage of work on the report. As I understand it, the Attorney-General's office has advised Senator Rhiannon's office of this fact—that the Attorney-General is yet to receive the report in question, let alone have an opportunity to prepare a response. Therefore the government is not in a position to table either the report or the government response at this time.