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PM, deputy PM ignore Freedom of Information laws

Case for Federal ICAC
Conflicts of Interest | Deceptive Conduct | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

PM, deputy PM ignore Freedom of Information laws

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has no power to investigate a complaint about the way a government minister handles FoI responsibilities, with the only accountability measure to ‘name and shame’.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office complied with legally imposed deadlines in just 7.5% of the Freedom of Information requests it received last year, the Guardian has reported. The office of the Infrastructure Minister, Michael McCormack, met the deadline in just 17% of cases.

Experts told the Guardian that the data showed an attitude of indifference to the FoI system among the nation’s most powerful.

Peter Timmins, a lawyer and FoI specialist, said:

“The Morrison government’s record on and enthusiasm for open, transparent and accountable government is at the low end of the scale.”

Australia’s freedom of information laws compel departments and agencies to respond to requests for documents within a statutory timeframe of 30 days, subject to extensions.

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What's a rort?

Conflicts of Interest

Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliament’s code of ethics, the list goes on.

Deceptive Conduct

Claiming that greenhouse gas emissions have gone down when the facts clearly show otherwise; breaking the law on responding to FoI requests; reneging on promised legislation; claiming credit for legislation that doesn’t exist; accepting donations that breach rules. You get the drift of what behaviour this category captures.

Election Rorts

In the months before the last election, the Government spent hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers’ money on grants for sports, community safety, rural development programs and more. Many of these grants were disproportionally awarded to marginal seats, with limited oversight and even less accountability.

Dubious Travel Claims

Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. All above board, maybe, but does it really pass the pub test? Or does it just reinforce the fact that politicians take the public for mugs?

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