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Freedom of Information and Privacy in Australia Information Access 2.0, 2nd edition
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Freedom of Information and Privacy in Australia Information Access 2.0, 2nd edition

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Overview
To be published Oct 2015 (LexisNexis) PRE-ORDER NOW!
ISBN: 9780409339116. Hard Cover.
Description

Paterson, M

Freedom of Information and Privacy in Australia: Information Access 2.0, 2nd edition provides a comprehensive analysis of the three main statutory regimes which regulate access to public sector information in Australia and offers critical perspectives on their operation, having regard to underlying objectives and the broader context in which they operate. It highlights the law reform issues.

There have been many important changes in Australian government access laws over the past decade, including law reforms which have substantially affect three of the main laws discussed in this book. The Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act has been substantially amended incorporate many important features of second generation FOI laws including:

     •     A new presumption of openness as reflected in a new objects clause and provisions which spell out criteria to be taken into account and not taken into account in making decisions involving public interest tests.

     •     The creation of a new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner with responsibility for monitoring the Act and providing review of FOI access decisions.

     •     New requirements for agencies to proactively publish specific information and to maintain FOI disclosure logs

     •     A requirement for Commonwealth agencies to implement contractual measures to ensure access to documents held by contracted service providers The Commonwealth Privacy Act has been amended in three important respects:

     •     It now includes a set of new, harmonised, privacy principles which regulate both government agencies and private sector organisations via a set of Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which have replaced the existing Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) National Privacy Principles (NPPs).

     •     It provides the Privacy Commissioner with enhanced powers, including powers to accept enforceable undertakings, seek civil penalties in the case of serious or repeated breaches of privacy and conduct assessments of the privacy performance of both government agencies and private sector organisations.

     •     It makes changes to credit reporting requirements including allowing the reporting of information about an individual’s current credit commitments and their repayment history information.

The NSW FOI Act has been repealed and replaced by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. This contains similar second generation features to those outlined above in relation to the Commonwealth amendments.

The Victorian FOI Act has been amended to create a new FOI Commissioner who reports directly to Parliament through a joint parliamentary committee, the Accountability and Oversight Committee. The Commissioner responsibility for responsibility for monitoring the Act and providing review of some FOI access decisions.

Both transparency and privacy have become very topical in the light of the Wikileaks and Snowden saga and debates that this have generated.

This text provides a clear exposition of the different legal regimes that govern access to, and amendment of, government information, including freedom of information laws, information privacy laws, health records laws and public records laws.

 

Features

     •     Coverage of the important changes in Australian government access laws over the past decade, including law reforms which have substantially affect three of the main laws discussed in this book.
     •     Comprehensive analysis of the three main statutory regimes

Associate Professor Moira Paterson is the Associate Dean Education in the Monash Law Faculty and the FOI Editor of the Australian Administrative Law Service. She researches and published in privacy and freedom of information and has been a chief investigator on several privacy-related projects, including ARC-funded projects on legal and recordkeeping issues relating to electronic health records and criminal records and access to employment. Moira was a member of the former Privacy Advisory Committee to the Australian Information Commissioner and has been a member of Advisory Committees to the ALRC and the VLRC. Moira has been admitted as Barrister and Solicitor (VIC) and has been a member of the Firearms Appeals Tribunal since 2007.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

     Chapter 1:     Overview, Interrelationships and Contexts
     Chapter 2:     Overview of the Legislation
     Chapter 3:     Publication Requirements
     Chapter 4:     Access and Amendment under Freedom of Information Laws 
     Chapter 5:     Access and Amendment under Information Privacy and Public Records Laws 
     Chapter 6:     Exemption Provisions: Introductory Issues
     Chapter 7:     Exemptions which Protect Third Party Interests 
     Chapter 8:     Access Exemption Provisions Protecting the Internal Processes and the Business Affairs of Agencies
     Chapter 9:     Access Exemption Provisions Protecting Governmental and Public Interests
   Chapter 10:     Review of Freedom of Information Decisions
   Chapter 11:     Review under Information Privacy and Public Records Laws
   Chapter 12:     Overview and Future Directions
   Appendix I.     Summary of Privacy Principles 
   Appendix II.     Summaries of Other States’ and Territories’ Legislation 
   Appendix III.     Useful Resources

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