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Abolition of Conclusive Certificates.

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Media Release

33/2008 26 November 2008

Today I have introduced a Bill to remove the power to issue conclusive certificates in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Archives Act 1983.

This is a very important step towards achieving greater accountability in government decision making. It strengthens the right to obtain documents under the FOI Act and the Archives Act, and is yet another measure in the Government’s wider transparency and accountability reforms.

The Freedom of Information (Removal of Conclusive Certificates and Other Measures) Bill 2008 implements the Government’s election commitment to abolish conclusive certificates.

The repeal of the certificates power will mean that all exemption decisions under the FOI Act and the Archives Act will be subject to full external merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

I believe public confidence in government decision making is increased if those decisions are open to being fully tested by an independent review process.

This Bill marks the first step in the Government’s plan to undertake the most significant overhaul of the FOI Act since its inception in 1982.

As early as practicable in 2009 the Government will release exposure draft legislation for public comment addressing broader reform measures aimed at promoting a pro-disclosure culture.

Last Updated: 26 November, 2008

Abolition of Conclusive Certificates

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Media Advisor - Colin Campbell - 0407 787 181

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