Setting strategic direction, implementing effective policies and processes, and monitoring progress are key elements of our corporate governance framework.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) was established in November 2010 as an independent statutory agency under the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (AIC Act). We are responsible for privacy functions conferred by the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and other laws.
We have freedom of information (FOI) functions, including the oversight of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and review of decisions made by agencies and ministers under that Act.
We are accountable as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). Our annual reporting responsibilities are under s 46 of the PGPA Act and s30 of the AIC Act. We also have a range of reporting and other responsibilities under legislation generally applicable to Australian Government authorities.
Portfolio structure and responsible minister
The OAIC is a statutory authority within the Attorney-General’s portfolio. The minister responsible is the Hon Christian Porter MP.
During this reporting period, our Executive team, comprising the Commissioner, Deputy and Assistant Commissioners, met weekly and oversaw all aspects of our business covering corporate management and performance, finance, human resources, governance, risk management, external engagement and business planning.
Our risk management framework helped staff to assess risks, make informed decisions and confidently engage with risk.
Our Executive team regularly considered and reviewed the risks the agency faced and the reports on risk received from the Audit Committee.
Our fraud control plan, fraud control policy and guidelines were made available to all staff through internal communications channels.
Our Audit Committee assisted the Commissioner to discharge her responsibilities on the OAIC’s finances and performance, risk oversight and management, and system of internal control. The Audit Committee oversaw the work of our internal auditors, ensured the annual work program was adhered to and ensured appropriate coverage of our strategic and operational risks.
The Audit Committee was chaired by a member of our Executive team and had two independent members. The independent members are employees of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Agency and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) attend meetings of the Audit Committee as observers.
We have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AHRC that covers the provision of corporate services. This includes financial, administrative, information and communications technology and human resources services. We also sublease our premises in Sydney from the AHRC under this arrangement.
See Appendix C for more information on the MOU with the AHRC. Appendix C: Memoranda of understanding