Officials say that the FOI Act is under further review in order to make the process of applying and responding much easier for both parties.
According to the Office of Australian Information Commission, one third of inquiries were turned down in 2011, and with the significant fall in requests this year, the government is looking at a predicament.
The government has 17 different reasons they can use to reject an FOI, and almost everyone of them was used last year. It was reported that nearly half (3850 out of 8027) were turned down due to threats on personal privacy invasion, another 995 were rejected due to law enforcement issues, and four were stopped because of a threat to national security.
An Attorney General Roxon spokesman said that the numbers reported are bogus and that the government is not worried about their spending compared to the alleged reduce in FOI inquiries. The spokesperson has said that as the requests for information have become more complex, the number of employees it takes to respond to the request increases and it takes longer. This means more money has to be put into the system to not only protect information, but also to help people get the information they want. Therefore, the government is not worried about the drop in inquiries because they say the new nature of the requests have made up for any reduction.
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