Australian government considers extending FoI to private companies

The Australian Federal Government is re-opening the question of whether the Freedom of Information Act should apply to the private sector.

On March 24, the Government commenced a review of privacy laws in Australia and reform of FOI. Previously, the private sector had no obligation under the regime to be accountable to the community.

In 1996, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) came to the decision that the Act should not stretch to private entities. It agreed private sector bodies should be under no obligation to disclose their documents to the public. However, the Government has yet again queried the ALRC on increased transparency within privately-owned businesses.

Freedom of information to extend to private sector? (Australasian Bus and Coach, 26 March 2009)