Through a glass, darkly: evaluation in Australian health and welfare services
Select Committee on Parliament’s Appropriations and Staffing
But criticism of the bill’s scope led the government to refer it and a related Archives Bill to the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee in late 1978. In a detailed inquiry, the committee examined the access and review procedures set out in the bills and considered the long-term implications of FOI on government responsibility and public service anonymity.
The committee’s November 1979 report concluded that FOI legislation would increase government transparency and make it more ‘adaptable, flexible and effective’. Some of the committee’s 106 unanimous recommendations were accepted by the government and incorporated into a revised FOI bill introduced two years later. After extensive amendment in the Senate to incorporate many of the rejected recommendations, the bill finally passed into law in March 1982.
A 1988 report by the Select Committee on Legislation Procedures found that:
‘The Freedom of Information Act which emerged from that process was quite different from the legislation originally proposed, and is acknowledged to have been vastly improved by committee scrutiny.’
Senator Alan Missen, 1983, Australian Information Service
Senator Christopher Puplick, ca1988
Find out more
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Guide to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, November 2011