Pilgrim reappointed as Privacy Commissioner

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Pilgrim reappointed as Privacy Commissioner

Hired under one-year term.

The federal government has reappointed Timothy Pilgrim as Australia's Privacy Commissioner for a further year after his previous tenure lapsed in the middle of last month.

He will recommence in the role from October 19 this year.

Just prior to when his previous five-year term as Privacy Commissioner came to an end on July 19, the federal government said Pilgrim would serve as Information Commissioner for three months while it considered what to do with the role.

The Information Commissioner role became vacant at the end of July when John McMillan departed to become NSW's new state ombudsman.

Pilgrim was therefore tasked with overseeing the functions of all three statutory roles in the OAIC - FOI Commissioner James Popple had also left the agency last December.

Attorney-General George Brandis did not detail the government's plans for the Information or FOI commissioner roles today.

He said he looked forward to Pilgrim's continued contribution to the privacy role.

"As Privacy Commissioner, Mr Pilgrim has developed good working relationship with the businesses community, consumer groups and Australian Government agencies in building awareness of privacy rights and obligations," Brandis said in a statement.

"An example was his extensive consultation with industry and consumer groups before the 2014 amendments to the Privacy Act commenced, and his continued focus afterwards on working with businesses to implement the changes to the Act."

Last year Brandis announced plans to shut down the OAIC as part of his party's 'smaller government' agenda and in an effort to save $10.2 million over four years.

But it failed to get the legislation required to shutter the agency passed through the Senate before the end of 2014 sitting, meaning the organisation has continued to limp along.

The government was therefore forced to provide $1.7 million to the agency over the next year to keep the office going until it could formalise the OAIC's closure by getting the legislation passed.

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