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Freedom of Information Amendment (Abolition of Conclusive Certificates) Bill 2006
Schedule 1—Amendments

Part 1—Amendments of the Freedom of Information Act 1982

1  Subsection 3(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(1)  The object of this Act is to extend as far as possible the right of the Australian community to access to information that is in the possession of the Government of the Commonwealth, and is therefore a national resource, by:

(a)  creating a general right of access to information in documentary form in the possession of Ministers, departments and public authorities; and

(b)  enabling the community to participate in the policy, accountability and decision-making processes of government by opening the activities of Government to scrutiny and discussion, and thereby increasing Government accountability; and

(c)  creating a right to bring about the amendment of records containing personal information that is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

2  Part IV—Exempt documents

Before section 32, insert:

        (31A)  Object of this Part

            (1)  The object of this Part is to provide that the general right of access to information in documentary form in the possession of Ministers, departments, and public authorities, is limited only by exceptions and exemptions necessary for the protection of essential public interests and the private and business affairs of persons in respect of whom information is collected and held by departments and public authorities.

            (2)  For the purposes of this Part, the prevention of embarrassment to a Minister or to the Government, or to a Minister and the Government, shall not, of itself, amount to an essential public interest.

3  Subsections 33(2), (3), (4)

Repeal the subsections.

4  Subsections 33A(2), (2A), (3), (4), (4A)

Repeal the subsections.

5  Subsections 34(2), (3), (4), (5)

Repeal the subsections.

6  Subsections 35(2), (3), (4), (5)

Repeal the subsections.

7  Subsections 36(3), (4)

Repeal the subsections.

8  Section 36A

Repeal the section.

9  Paragraph 53(a)

Repeal the paragraph.

10  Subsection 58(3)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(3) Where there is a claim of exemption in respect of a document under section 33 or 34, the powers of the Tribunal, constituted in accordance with section 58B, may review the decision and determine such question in relation to that claim as is provided for in subsection (4).

11  Subsection 58(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(4) Where application is or has been made to the Tribunal for the review of a decision refusing to grant access to a document in accordance with a request, being a document that is claimed to be an exempt document under section 33 or 34, the Tribunal shall review the decision refusing to grant access and determine the question whether the exemption is necessary for the protection of an essential public interest.

12  Subsection 58(5)

Repeal the subsection.

13  Subsection 58(5A)

Repeal the subsection.

14  Section 58A

Repeal the section.

15  Section 58B

After section 58A, omit “58B Constitution of Tribunal for purposes of proceedings under subsection 58(4), (5) or (5A)”. Insert:

58B Constitution of Tribunal for purposes of proceedings under subsection 58(4)

16  Subsection 58B(1)

Omit “(5) or (5A),”.

17  Paragraph 58C(2)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

(a)   may hold in private the hearing of any part of the proceeding during which evidence or information is given, or a document is produced, to the tribunal by:

(i)   an agency or an officer of an agency;

(ii)  a Minister or a member of the staff of a Minister; or

(iii) a member, an officer, or a member of the staff, of a body referred to in subsection 7(1) or the person referred to in that subsection; and

18  Subsection 58C(2A)

Repeal the subsection.

19  Section 58E

Repeal the section.

20  Subsections 64(3), (4)

Repeal the subsections.

21  Subsection 64(4A)

Omit “(1), (2) or (4),” substitute:

“(1) or (2),”.

22  Section 65

Repeal the section.

 

Part 2—Application

23       Application



The amendments made by this Act do not affect proceedings in a court or a tribunal that commenced before the commencement of this Act.

 

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