Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

26 November 2019

Elise Archer, Attorney-General

Funding to clear RTI backlog

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to improving the openness and transparency of Government and has implented a number of measures since coming to government.

We have provided the Office of the Ombudsman with additional funding of $245,000 per year in 2019-20 budget.

This funding has been welcomed by the Ombudsman Mr Richard Connock and has been used to recruit additional staff to deal directly with RTI matters.

The Ombudsman stated in his Annual Report 2018/2019 (tabled today in State Parliament) -

This (additional) level of resourcing will enable the office to clear the backlog of cases it currently struggles to deal with, and to establish practices and procedures for the more efficient handling of applications for external review in the future.”

Additionally, we have expanded the routine release of information publicly beyond that of previous governments, and both houses of Parliament earlier this year passed the Right to Information Amendment (Applications for Review) Bill 2019, which addresses a gap in the current rights of applicants and external parties to apply to the Ombudsman for a review of certain decisions in relation to applications for assessed disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009.

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