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Initially established under the repealed Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld), it continues under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act) and Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act).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 Safety Committee (LASC) 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.
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:
Appointed as Information Commissioner on 20 September 2013, Rachael champions proactive disclosure of, and appropriate privacy safeguards for, information held by Queensland government agencies including local government, Queensland Government departments, public hospitals and health services and universities, and public authorities.
The Information Commissioner promotes awareness of information rights and responsibilities within the community and Queensland government agencies.
Rachael and her leadership team engage with agency leaders to promote cultures that support good RTI and IP practices, including proactive disclosure, administrative access, pro-disclosure bias in formal access application decision-making and privacy by design.
Before her appointment as Information Commissioner, Rachael held senior leadership positions across all functions of the Office of
the Information Commissioner since 2005. Rachael has over 20 years public sector experience, having also worked in various roles within the Queensland State and Commonwealth public service, primarily in strategic and legislative policy.
Rachael holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Bachelor of Science (AES) and Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership (PSM).
Rachael’s current term of appointment is to 20 September 2023.
Louisa Lynch was appointed as the Right to Information Commissioner (RTI Commissioner) at the OIC on 6 July 2018. Louisa had been Acting RTI Commissioner between 21 August 2017 and 5 July 2018.
Prior to her appointment in August 2017, Louisa was Assistant Information Commissioner at OIC for over six years. She brings more than 15 years of significant public sector experience and knowledge of the local government sector to the role of RTI Commissioner. Prior to joining OIC, Louisa was a senior lawyer in the Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience. She has also worked in legal professional roles in a number of government agencies including Queensland Transport, the Department of Local Government, Planning Sport and Recreation and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning.
Louisa holds a Bachelor of Laws and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1990.
As RTI Commissioner, Louisa 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, Louisa leads the external review team to conduct independent merit reviews of access decisions under the Right to Information Act and Information Privacy Act, including making decisions under the delegated authority of the Information Commissioner. Louisa is also part of OIC’s Executive Management Team.
Louisa is appointed as RTI Commissioner until 5 July 2023.
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 2021.