Yesterday we referred to a story in the Adelaide Sunday Mail on how the number of fines issued to state politicians leasing government cars has been suppressed under the Freedom of Information Act. “While such information has been disclosed in other states, taxpayers in South Australia will not be given the same entitlement,” the Mail reported.
That’s the states, but what about the feds? We contacted the Department of Finance & Administration with a purely hypothetical question, wondering if they would release information on speeding fines and red light camera tickets clocked up by MHRs and Senators if a freedom of information request was lodged.
And their answer? It seems we need an FOI to find out:
I have discussed your queriy (sic) with the Ministerial & Parliamentary Services Group of Finance and we are of the view that at this stage, we cannot pre-empt whether those documents would be released under FOI. You will need to submit a formal FOI request and your request will be assessed on its merits and in accordance with the FOI Act.
Nothing like open government!