"(Mr Brennan) believes the Information Commission's appeals function "over its first 19 months has fallen well short of the standard required" under the new laws. "Whatever the causes of the delays of that kind, their existence is incompatible with the object of the FOI Act"...."The fact that delays of this magnitude or greater appear to be entrenched and structural raises the real risk that a court will not be satisfied the Information Commissioner review, or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal review which can only be accessed following the completion of an Information Commissioner review, provides a convenient or satisfactory remedy."
Lack of speedy resolution has also been a cause of grumbling in NSW, with some suggestions that 9-12 months is not uncommon. These statistics don't refer to time taken.
- that the Commissioner’s guidelines function and policy advisory role are incompatible with the merits review function,
- that the Commissioner's general principle to conclude a matter without a hearing "is quite extraordinary conduct of an independent merits review entity", and
- that we may soon see some applicants seek to bypass the OAIC by going to the courts for orders "in the nature of mandamus, or otherwise by way of judicial review to directly review decisions of respondent agencies."