Govt to leave FOI commissioner role vacant


The federal government has confirmed it does not intend to appoint a Freedom of Information commissioner.

Attorney-General George Brandis said the position had been vacant for "quite sometime" and the coalition proposes to leave it that way.

"The reason is that there's already ... a comprehensive architecture for freedom of information applications and review of such freedom of information decision-making," he told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday.

Timothy Pilgrim, recently reappointed to the roles of Australian Information Commissioner and Australian Privacy Commissioner, said he had all the powers of a FOI commissioner in his current role.

"This is not an uncommon model in other jurisdictions around the world," Mr Pilgrim said.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner received 510 FOI applications for review in the 2015/16 financial year, up from 373.

It also received 2128 privacy complaints, 97 per cent of which were resolved within 12 months.