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Section 6E - Terms and conditions of appointment of Information Commissioner

Guidelines

Terms and conditions of the Information Commissioner’s appointment

1.1

Section 6E outlines the terms and conditions of the Information Commissioner’s appointment. This includes the length of a term, the terms and conditions of the appointment, leaves of absence, the restriction on engaging in other paid employment, and the application of the Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) (Public Administration Act).

Length of one term and reappointment

1.2

An eligible person may serve as the Information Commissioner for a maximum of two terms (10 years maximum).1 The Information Commissioner’s instrument of appointment must outline how long they will serve for in that term (noting one term is a maximum of five years).2

1.3

The Governor in Council may reappoint a person as the Information Commissioner if that person has not served more than two terms.3

Prohibition on other employment while serving as Information Commissioner

1.4

The Information Commissioner must not directly or indirectly engage in paid employment outside of the duties of the Information Commissioner.7 For example, the Information Commissioner cannot also work for a private business or do any other kind of paid work while that person is serving as the Information Commissioner.

1.5

Restricting secondary employment supports and enhances the Information Commissioner’s independence by avoiding conflicts of interest between the Information Commissioner’s statutory role and any other paid work.

The Public Administration Act

1.6

The Public Administration Act, apart from section 16, does not apply to the Information Commissioner regarding the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC). 9

1.7

The purpose of the Public Administration Act is to provide a framework for good governance in the Victorian public sector and for public administration generally in Victoria.10

1.8

The purpose of section 6E(6) is to enhance the Information Commissioner’s independence from the Government by clarifying that the Public Administration Act only applies to the Information Commissioner in relation to employing OVIC staff.

1.9

Section 16(1)(i) of the Public Administration Act provides that the Information Commissioner, in relation to OVIC, has the functions of a public service body Head in relation to OVIC employees.

1.10

As a public service body Head, the Information Commissioner has all the rights, powers, authorities, and duties of an employer regarding OVIC and OVIC staff.11 In exercising these rights, authorities or duties, the Information Commissioner must do so in accordance with:

  • the public sector values;
  • any binding code of conduct;
  • the public sector employment principles;
  • standards issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission; and
  • any other relevant provisions of the PA Act or the regulations.12
1.11

The Information Commissioner is not subject to direction in relation to the exercise of their employer powers noted above regarding any individual; the Information Commissioner must act independently.13

More information

  1. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6C(3) and section 6E(1).
  2. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(1).
  3. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(3).
  4. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6C(3) and section 6E(1).
  5. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(1).
  6. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(3).
  7. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(5).
  8. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(5).
  9. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(6).
  10. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic), section 1(a).
  11. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic), section 20(1).
  12. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) section 20(3); For more information on the Victorian Public Sector Commission including the Victorian Public Sector Values and Principles, visit the Victorian Public Sector Commission’s website.
  13. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) section 15.
  14. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 6E(6).
  15. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic), section 1(a).
  16. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic), section 20(1).
  17. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) section 20(3); For more information on the Victorian Public Sector Commission including the Victorian Public Sector Values and Principles, visit the Victorian Public Sector Commission’s website.
  18. Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) section 15.

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Last updated 8 May 2023

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