But what about transparency standards and the right of access to information held by private sector organisations, where there are equally important bodies who hold information of great potential impact on the community as a whole? Should those corporations whose functions, size, or potential or actual effect on the well being of the rest of us, be subject to something along the lines of the disclosure regime imposed on government related entities?
Almost two years ago the Rudd Government stated publicly these questions should be asked, and answered by the Australian Law Reform Commission.
But they were never put to the Commission then or since.
An attempt to find out what this was all about, using the FOI act, suggests the idea owed much to the initiative of then Special Minister of State John Faulkner, and that it languished within government for the next year during which time Faulkner moved to Defence. According to documents released to Open and Shut the Attorney General's Department in April last year recommended other references take priority, given the long and unexplained delay in finalising the reference as announced by Senator Faulkner a year earlier.
There's plenty to suggest this remains an important issue. But with Senator Faulkner no longer in the cabinet or ministry, unless someone within the system picks it up and argues the case for further inquiry, it seems to be a dead duck.