Timothy Pilgrim reappointed as Australian Privacy Commissioner

August 21, 2015 |

The Attorney General, George Brandis, today announced the reappointment of Timothy Pilgrim as Australian Privacy Commissioner.  The appointment is for 12 months from 19 October 2015.  The timing is curious on one level.  It is quite short.  On another level it is quite understandable.  The term of the current Parliament expires on or around October 2016.  Extending an appointment into the life of another Parliament can be controversial.  That is not to say it is illegal or untoward.  In fact it is a longstanding practice of both major political parties to announce a flurry of appointments before Parliament is prorogued, especially where the likelihood of reelection is slim.

The length of an appointment, or this one, is not the key issue.  It is what is done during it.

The media release provides:

Today, the government announces the reappointment of Timothy Pilgrim PSM as the Australian Privacy Commissioner.
The appointment will be for a period of twelve months commencing on 19 October 2015.
Mr Pilgrim was appointed acting Australian Information Commissioner for a three month period in July 2015 while the Government considers options for the future of the Information Commissioner position.
Before his current acting position, Mr Pilgrim served as Privacy Commissioner from July 2010 to July 2015, and was Deputy Privacy Commissioner from 1998 to 2010. During that time, he was involved in several major amendments to the Privacy Act 1988, including the extension of the Act to private sector organisations in 2001 and widespread amendments to the Act in 2014.
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. 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.
Mr Pilgrim has also worked at the international level to ensure that Australia is equipped to deal with global privacy challenges particularly through cross border cooperation on privacy matters.
In the January 2015 Australia day Honour’s List, Mr Pilgrim was awarded a Public Service Medal for ‘outstanding public service in the development and implementation of major reforms to the Privacy Act.’
I look forward to Mr Pilgrim’s continued contribution in this role. 

One Response to “Timothy Pilgrim reappointed as Australian Privacy Commissioner”

  1. Timothy Pilgrim reappointed as Australian Privacy Commissioner | Australian Law Blogs

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