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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Open Australia, great to see you're back

After six months terrific to have the fantastic hansard service back to assist in keeping up with federal parliament. In the interim, having to rely on parliament's own newish and expensive website without similar search capabilities was painful and inadequate, so hats off to the volunteers at Open Australia, particularly John Wells and Henare Degan for righting things once again.

One little gem uncovered in a "freedom of information" search was a question on notice in March from the shadow minister Senator David Johnston to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence that included:
"For the period 1 July to 31 December 2011... How many conclusive certificates were issued in relation to FOI requests."
I'm sure the public servants and the minister were tempted, but they dead-panned, simply answering in May:
"Conclusive certificates no longer exist. They were abolished under the Freedom of Information (Removal of Conclusive Certificates and Other Measures) Act 2009."
Passed by the Senate on 13 August 2009 to be precise.

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