''The red and blue books are fundamental to successful transition to government, and that's another important plank of convention in the way in which our government runs,'' he said. ''That material is based on frank and fearless … advice by the public service, and if they thought that could become public knowledge, they would not conduct that sort of assessment again.''
Justices Callinan and Hayne in the High Court in McKinnon's case breathed some oxygen into the argument, saying it was something that couldn't be ruled out. But in a subsequent McKinnon case, Deputy President Forgie rejected the argument advanced by the Prime Minister's Department saying there was no evidence to support it. In the course of her decision she noted  - APS =Australian Public Service:
The APS Value set out in s 10(1)(f) of the Public Service Act is concerned with the responsiveness of the APS to provide frank honest, comprehensive, accurate and timely advice and in implementing the government’s policies and programmes. It is a Value that complements the Value set out in s 10(1)(a) to be an apolitical service. It is intended to “... ensure that governments have a comprehensive view of issues and access to a full range of options on which to make decisions.”