Pilgrim appointed acting Australian Information Commissioner

Professor John McMillan moving on to acting NSW Ombudsman role

Timothy Pilgrim.

Timothy Pilgrim.

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim will be taking on the role of acting Australian Information Commissioner following the formal resignation of Professor John McMillan on 31 July.

In June it was announced that McMillan would be appointed acting New South Wales Ombudsman for two years.

In the new role, McMillan will take over responsibility for Operation Prospect, a two year investigation into bugging by the NSW Police, State Crime Commission and Police Integrity Commission. The bugging is alleged to have taken place during 1998 and 2002.

Pilgrim will carry out the functions and exercise the Information Commissioner's powers under the Privacy Act 1988, Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010.

The federal government sought to scrap the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner in last year's budget and replace it with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

At the time, the government said that the OAIC's Freedom of Information review powers would be handed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal while FOI complaints would be handled by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

The OAIC's current role in publishing FOI guidelines and compiling FOI statistics were to be rolled into the Attorney-General's Department.

However, the government is yet to pass the required legislation to ditch the OAIC.

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