Page 3647 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 23 August 2011

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MR COE: Chief Minister, I submitted FOI requests to both the former Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and also the Minister for Housing and Community Services. One accepted the FOI and one did not. Why would there be inconsistency and does that not show that the ACT government is not actually transparent or adhering to your standards of open government?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I do not accept that from Mr Coe at all. As you would know, ministers do not involve themselves in FOI decisions or determinations, as is very appropriate. I am not sure about the specifics of the FOI you go to, Mr Coe, about the reasons why information might have been released under one directorate and not another. I am sure you have got avenues open to review for yourself if you feel that that decision was not right and I am sure you are pursuing those.

I would, however, say that in the move to one public service the government is looking at ways to standardise and improve on the way it deals with areas, particularly in complaints and handling feedback, separate to FOI, but I think if there is an opportunity to make sure that all of our FOI officers across government are adequately trained and supported in their decision making then that is something that will be developed through the one public service approach as well.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Dr Bourke?

DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, are there any further and new initiatives that the government is investing in to expand the concept of open government to broaden the community’s access to information?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. As I said, the initial steps in the open government agenda are just that. They are just initial steps. We are going to continue to look at and take advice from, indeed, other members of the Assembly or members of the community about how we can continue to build and develop an open government agenda. As I have read in the past three months or so, there is a lot of work done under Government 2.0 and a lot of experts out there about what we should be doing and what we should not be doing. So we will continue to learn, listen and respond.

We are looking at how we use the Canberra Connect website to cross-link with the Open Government website as a point of contact for the community. I think the Open Government website will be a real key in terms of setting the agenda for what comes after the Open Government website is up and running. But I would urge people to go and have a look at it. It should be up on line today, through the Time to Talk website. You can have a look at the design mock-ups, some of the sites and how it looks and what sort of content will be out there. We will take all that feedback seriously before we finalise it and have it go live. We are hoping that it will go live at the end of September. I do urge people to have a look at it and provide me with that information.

Because everyone has been so generous in wishing me a very happy 100th day in the job today—no interjections; silence, the perfect silence there—and because I do know how those opposite like to track my every movement, now not only do I have

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