Attorney-General Christian Porter AAT scandal
Attorney-General Christian Porter (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Australia’s key measure in making sure the public know who is lobbying whom is broken, and a scathing report lays the blame squarely at one body: the Attorney-General’s Department.

The Lobbyists Register -- maintained by the department after being moved from Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2018 -- is supposed to record details of every lobbyist who peruses the hallways of Parliament House so that the public is informed of any political interference that may be going on behind closed doors.

But a report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has found that, even after promising to fix it up, the government has failed to ensure the register is doing its one basic job: keeping track of lobbyists and who they represent.