Australian OAIC to close, commissioner let go, due to budget cuts

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will shut down next year, nearly five years after its creation, as a result of government budget cuts.

The agency's responsibilities will be assumed by multiple separate departments, which include the Privacy Commissioner, Attorney-General's Department, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Commonwealth Ombudsman, according to an OAIC statement.

The OAIC was created to deal with privacy issues such as those posed by a data breach at telecommunications firm Telstra, freedom of information functions and the government's information policies, and its closure will help return millions to the federal budget.

The agency runs on about $9.3 million annually.

John McMillian, the Australian information commissioner, told iTnews that he only found out about his agency's closure about a week ago and is disappointed with the decision.

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