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Friday, June 13, 2008

MPs travel in the dark

In a recent post about the opaque setting in which members of parliament use public money, I said that at least we had regular reporting on Federal MPs travel.

Yet Kim Wheatley in The Advertiser reports that in identifying almost 40 overseas trips by soon to retire senator, Grant Chapman, including a "lap of honour" this year, with "complete records difficult to obtain, parliamentary insiders believe there are likely to be more."

Things on this front may be worse than I thought.

The Australian Law Reform Commission in the 1995 "Open Government" report recommended that the parliamentary departments should be brought under the Freedom of Information Act-one of 100+ recommendations not acted upon to date.

The Solomon report in its discussion of the need for the widest possible coverage of public sector bodies in Queensland (pages 77-105) makes no mention of extending the proposed right to information act to parliament itself.

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