Oz govt officials too reluctant to release vital information to public: ReportNovember 14th, 2007 - 8:30 am ICT by admin
The report on how information is kept hidden from the public found that the governments and judges were denying access to “vital information” through secrecy legislation, “flimsy” suppression orders and million dollar fees for individual Freedom of Information requests, news.com.au reported.
The audit found that Australians were kept from knowing about Carl Williams’s murder conviction for two years, and were unable to learn about a Federal Government WorkChoices poll and information on Mohamed Haneef’s case.
According to the report, the secretive nature of public servants and magistrates who have– granted more than 1000 suppression orders that still apply today; asked for “exorbitant” amounts of money for Freedom of Information requests - including 1.25 million dollars for a report into MP’s travelling expenses; and implemented 335 different government legislations that have “secrecy” provisions to stop journalists from publishing important information.
One 1993 request for information on Jupiter’s Casino to the Queensland Government received no response until 2005, said the report carried out by Irene Moss, a former NSW Ombudsman and former chair of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
The Australia’s Right to Know Coalition, comprising major media companies, said the audit highlighted a “serious slide into censorship and secrecy” by politicians and judges.
“It confirms that Australians are not allowed to know enough about how governments at all levels of our society function and how their courts dispense justice,” the website quoted a statement, as saying.
“Without this information, Australians are hampered in their ability to make properly informed judgements about government policy, legislation or the effectiveness of courts,” it added.
The report said that democracy itself was being eroded by Australian decision-makers.
“Many of the mechanisms that are so vital to a well-functioning democracy are beginning to wear thin,” Moss said in the report, adding, “Their functioning in many areas is flawed and not well maintained.” (ANI)
- Secrecy continues to shroud Sonia's illness - Aug 08, 2011
- Governments monitoring email, China sucked out CBI's mails: Assange - Dec 03, 2011
- Left regime suppressed democratic rights, says Narayanan - Jun 13, 2011
- 'Coalition politics eroding PM's, chief ministers' authority' - Jun 19, 2012
- Bill to provide legal teeth to grievance redressal (Lead) - Aug 22, 2011
- Will federal auditor's report on nuclear watchdog open a Pandora's box? (Comment) - Aug 31, 2012
- Australian minister denies secret uranium talks with India - Oct 14, 2011
- Patil likely to press Switzerland on black money issue - Sep 29, 2011
- Twenty-two arrested for vote-rigging in Hong Kong - Dec 06, 2011
- With 86 pending bills, citizens cry foul over uruly MPs in parliament - Sep 14, 2011
- Wikileaks was warned Oz intelligence provided on Assange to US could lead to 'dirty tricks' - Mar 16, 2011
- Russian law on NGOs intimidates rights activists : US - Jul 25, 2012
- Kashmir's ruling coalition panel fails to agree on urban bodies poll - Apr 09, 2012
- 'Can't reveal names yet of Indians with black money abroad' (Roundup) - Jan 25, 2011
- Rajya Sabha members furious at not getting CAG reports - Aug 05, 2011
Tags: australians, coalition, exorbitant amounts, freedom of information, government legislations, governments, govt officials, icac, independent commission against corruption, individual freedom, information requests, murder conviction, nsw ombudsman, queensland government, s casino, secrecy, secretive nature, suppression, vital information, workchoices