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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

There are leaks......and leaks.

The Australian Financial Review at the weekend reported on some of the current thinking in one government agency about dealing with Freedom of Information applications, based on "leaked notes about a briefing "provided to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests. The note quoted by Sophie Morris in "Freedom to beat those scoops"(no link available) says the Minister will be given"written informal advice" on requests being processed by the Department, and on whether"pre-release via the web is possible". A memo in March said the Minister would be told five days before the applicant of what is to be released, but there was no need to wait for a response from his office.

Pro-active disclosure on the web of as much information as possible about what is going on in a government agency is a good thing, but looking to dud an applicant by pre-release of specific requested information isn't.

Wouldn't it be a good idea if the Government gave us all an indication of its thinking on this and related issues, without the need for a leak, authorised or otherwise? In the light of the absence of any major embarrassment, I take it the Police have not been called to investigate this one

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