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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big FOI issue no big deal for Costello

From today's Australian:

"The former Treasurer seems to have discounted some inconvenient history in his memoirs too.
Publisher Melbourne University Press promises that the book provides "a frank and fearless look inside the engine room of the Howard government", but the memoirs make no mention of Mr Costello's efforts to prevent The Australian from obtaining key government documents on income tax and the first-home buyers scheme in a Freedom of Information battle that was fought all the way to the High Court. Mr Costello supported a Treasury decision to deny The Australian access to the material by issuing a conclusive certificate to prevent its release.
The move galvanised media, academic and political opinion on Freedom of Information, forcing demands for reforms. Special Minister of State John Faulkner announced earlier this year that conclusive certificates would be abolished, describing the move as "a step towards restoring trust and integrity in the handling of government information".

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