The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) is a statutory body for the purposes of the:
Initially established under the repealed Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld), it continues under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act) and Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act).
Under the RTI Act and IP Act the Information Commissioner is a statutory office holder appointed by the Governor-in-Council, and is not subject to ministerial direction in the exercise of the functions under the RTI Act and IP Act. The independent authority of the Information Commissioner allows the community to have confidence that the role of the Information Commissioner will be carried out independently, fairly, and impartially.
The Information Commissioner is supported by two other statutory office holders appointed by the Governor-in-Council: the Right to Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner.
The Information Commissioner is accountable to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee (LACSC) and meets with the committee during the course of the year to discuss issues, such as, OIC’s activities, work output, budget, annual report, and any other significant issue. The LACSC may also require a report on a particular aspect of OIC’s performance, but it cannot investigate particular conduct or reconsider or review decisions in relation to specific investigations or reviews. However, an independent strategic review of OIC is conducted every five years.
While the Information Commissioner is not subject to ministerial direction, under Section 133 of the RTI Act, OIC’s budget must be approved by the Attorney-General.
Executive management team
The RTI Act provides for an Information Commissioner who is an officer of the parliament, a Right to Information Commissioner and OIC staff. The Privacy Commissioner is established under the IP Act.
Our current statutory office holders include:
Rachael Rangihaeata was appointed Information Commissioner on 20 September 2013. The Information Commissioner is an officer of the Queensland Parliament, appointed by the Governor-in-Council under the Right to Information Act 2009 and is responsible to the Queensland Parliament through the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. The Information Commissioner in the performance of the statutory functions is independent of executive government.
Rachael brings extensive experience and expertise to the position having held senior leadership positions across all functions of the Office of the Information Commissioner since 2005, including Acting Information Commissioner. Rachael led the OIC Implementation team responsible for establishing new OIC functions and providing extensive information and training resources for public sector agencies when the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009 were introduced.
Rachael has also worked in various roles within the Queensland State and Commonwealth public service, primarily in strategic and legislative policy.
Prior to her appointment Rachael held the position of First Assistant Information Commissioner since 2006, and led the Assistance and Monitoring functions of the Office from 2010 to 2013.
Rachael holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor of Science (AES) and Graduate Certificate of Public Sector Leadership (PSM Program).
Rachael is appointed to 30 June 2020.
Right to Information Commissioner
Clare Smith has been appointed to the position of Right to Information Commissioner (RTI Commissioner) in the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) since October 2010.
Clare brings to the role extensive experience in the Queensland Public Service having been employed in government agencies and in statutory integrity bodies for approximately 30 years. She has practiced in the field of Freedom of Information (FOI) and the Right to Information and Information Privacy (RTI legislation) for over 20 years. She has headed a number of legal areas in a number of government agencies including the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Department of Local Government, Sport and Recreation, and the Department of Tourism, Racing and Fair Trading, and has worked in the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Crime and Misconduct Commission. Shortly, before her appointment to OIC, Clare was Assistant Crown Solicitor, Crown Law, Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
Clare holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Government from the University of Queensland and was admitted to practice as a legal practitioner in 1986.
As RTI Commissioner she actively promotes and champions the principles and practices of right to information and information privacy in the community and the government sector. In her role as RTI Commissioner, Clare leads the staff in OIC responsible for conducting independent merit reviews of access decisions under the RTI Act and Information Privacy Act, including making decisions.
Jenny Mead has been appointed to the position of RTI Commissioner in the Office of the Information Commissioner since October 2010.
Prior to this appointment, Jenny has been employed in the Queensland public sector for approximately 30 years in a variety of roles, including legal, freedom of information and privacy. She has practiced in the freedom of information, right to information and privacy areas for approximately 20 years. She has headed a number of legal areas including the Department of Local Government, Sport and Recreation, the Department of Tourism, Racing and Fair Trading, Department of Tourism, Small Business and Industry. Jenny also has extensive experience in policy and legislation work.
Before her appointment to OIC, Jenny was Director, Legal Services, Department of Infrastructure and Planning. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma Management (Public Sector) and was admitted to practice as a legal practitioner in 1984.
As RTI Commissioner she actively promotes and champions the principles and practices of right to information and information privacy in the community and the government sector. In her role as RTI Commissioner, Jenny leads the staff in OIC responsible for conducting independent merit reviews of access decisions under the RTI Act and Information Privacy Act, including making decisions.
Clare Smith and Jenny Mead were both appointed as Right to Information Commissioner on 4 October 2010. Clare and Jenny share the workload of the position, each on a part-time basis.
Jenny and Clare are appointed to 30 June 2020.
Philip Green was appointed to the position of Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Information Commissioner in December 2015.
Philip has worked in many different Queensland Government roles and in private practice throughout his career. Prior to his appointment as Privacy Commissioner, he was Executive Director, Small Business - Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games and has held this role since 2008. He was responsible for leading Innovation Policy and Innovation Partnerships and Services and Office of Small Business Teams in the delivery of high level policy development, program management, service delivery and advice.
Philip has also held high level policy roles with the Department of Transport and Department of Premier and Cabinet. He has worked as in house solicitor and investigations manager for the Residential Tenancies Authority and in private practice with Allen Allen and Hemsley (formerly Feez Ruthning).
Philip holds degrees in law and arts (with economic minor) and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia in February 1992. Further to this he completed a Masters degree in law, majoring in technology law and focusing on policy development surrounding intellectual property, privacy and commercialisation, information technology and regulation of the internet and media. Mr Green has also volunteered as a solicitor at Caxton Legal Centre.
As the Privacy Commissioner Philip actively promotes and champions privacy rights and responsibilities in Queensland. In his role as Privacy Commissioner, Philip leads the staff in OIC responsible for mediating privacy complaints which have not been resolved with the Queensland Government agency involved; conducting reviews and audits of privacy compliance; giving compliance notices for serious, flagrant or recurring breaches of the privacy principles; and waiving or modifying an agency’s privacy obligations for a particular purpose or project.
Philip is appointed as Privacy Commissioner to 10 December 2018.