A significant step towards addressing a gap in Tasmania’s Right to Information laws has been taken with the passing of the Right to Information Amendment (Applications for Review) Bill 2019 in the House of Assembly today.
The Bill ensures applicants and external parties can apply to the Ombudsman for review of certain decisions in relation to applications for assessed disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009.
A recent decision of the Supreme Court in Tasmania has clarified that a decision made by a Minister or a Minister’s delegate under the Act in respect of whether or not to release information in possession of the Minister is not currently reviewable by the Ombudsman.
These changes will further the objectives of the Right To Information Act by allowing both applicants and external parties to request the Ombudsman to review decisions on whether or not information should be provided under the Act, regardless of whether the application for that information is made to a Minister or a public authority.
The Hodgman Majority Liberal Government remains committed to improving the openness, accountability and transparency of the operations of government in Tasmania, and has acted to address this matter in addition to adopting a number of other measures since coming to government.
Elise Archer, Attorney-General