OIC has responsibility for investigating and reviewing decisions of agencies and Ministers on access to and amendment of information under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act) and Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act). This role includes identifying whether agencies and Ministers have taken all reasonable steps to locate relevant documents, as well as deciding applications for extensions of time to process access applications and applications from non-profit organisations for financial hardship status. It also involves determining whether particular entities are covered by the legislation.
OIC attempts to resolve external review applications informally wherever possible. However, if informal resolution cannot be achieved, a decision is made that either affirms, varies or sets aside the agency/Minister’s decision. Decisions of the Information Commissioner can be appealed to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or judicially reviewed by the Queensland Supreme Court.
The IP Act recognises the importance of protecting the personal information of individuals. It creates a right for individuals to access and amend their own personal information and provides rules for how agencies may and must handle personal information.
OIC has the responsibility for:
- the management and mediation of privacy complaints against Queensland government agencies
- responsibility for the accuracy of privacy audits
- education and training on privacy compliance
- submissions to enquiries and reviews on privacy-related matters
- presentations to government and the community
- functions under the IP Act related to compliance notices, waivers and modifications of privacy principles in the public interest.
Audit and Evaluation
OIC monitors and reports on agency compliance with the RTI Act and the IP Act by conducting audits, reviews and surveys of government departments, local governments, statutory authorities, government owned corporations and universities, in order to measure the extent to which the agencies have achieved the right to information and information privacy reforms. Under the RTI Act, OIC reports on review outcomes to the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Affairs and Safety Committee (LASC), and under the IP Act, reports can be sent to the Speaker for tabling in the Legislative Assembly.
Information and assistance
OIC has responsibility for providing an enquiries service which receives approximately 4000 enquiries annually. Enquiries come from members of the public, statutory authorities, local government, and government departments. They range in complexity from 'How do I make an application/privacy complaint?' and 'am I on the right track with my consideration of a particular exemption/public interest factors?' through to unique and complex scenarios which have not yet been tested under the legislation. OIC also publishes a range of guidelines for government and the community to assist in meeting their obligations under the legislation.
The Information and Assistance team also prepares guidelines and other tools and resources to support agency practice in right to information and privacy.
Training and stakeholder relations
OIC also promotes the principles and practices of right to information and information privacy in the community and within government.
OIC is responsible for delivering a range of training activities designed for government agencies, government owned corporations, non-government organisations, universities, Ministers and the community. Training opportunities are advertised in the training calendar or subscribe to ‘What’s New’ and receive email notifications as soon as training is offered.
OIC also undertakes a variety of communication and promotional activities throughout the year. You can keep in contact with OIC by: