Croweaters generally think that the Adelaide Sunday Mail leaves The Advertiser behind – like with this cute case study of how FOI works (or doesn’t) from last weekend:

MPs’ cars have been caught by speed and red light cameras – but all the details remain a state secret.

The number of fines issued to politicians leasing government cars has been suppressed under the Freedom of Information Act…

On Friday, a Freedom of Information officer said he knew the total number of traffic fines issued to all MPs, but releasing the number could “mislead” the public.

“I’m not prepared to release the number because it could be misleading because we can’t say if the (infringement) notices are real or imaginary,” Mr Andrew Dadswell, FOI officer at the Department of Administrative and Information Services, said.

Asked to explain what he meant by “imaginary”, he said an MP may have contested the fine in court and had it withdrawn without the department’s knowledge.

The Sunday Mail says the information is disclosed in other states. Federal pollies get privately plated vehicles, too. Is that information made public?

Crikey called the Department of Finance and Administration this morning to ask what their FOI policy was. They’re getting back to us. Here’s hoping getting it won’t take a freedom of information request.

Peter Fray

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