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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Accountability for public monies

Short posts, on holidays.

I'm with the Federal Minister for the Arts, George Brandis: "....expenditure of public monies ought to be in the public domain".

His comment as reported in the Courier Mail, followed a decision by the Australia Council to refuse access under the Freedom of Information Act, about the 552 grant projects funded by the Council which have been completed late or not at all.

The Australia Council decided that disclosure would be unreasonable in that it would "embarrass artists or organisations by releasing names", and "unfavourable publicity might harm an applicant's ability to secure more sponsorships".

It makes about as much sense as the Queensland Government's decision a couple of years ago Io change the law so that grants to businesses shouldn't be released for 7 years, and the NSW Government decision to exempt from contract disclosure requirements contracts for industry support entered into by the Department of State and Regional Development.

As Senator Brandis said....

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