‘Conclusive certificates’ abolished
Tuesday July 22nd 2008, 8:11 pm

Ministers’ powers to stop document release abolished

By Online parliamentary correspondent Emma Rodgers

Federal Ministers and department heads will no longer have the power to refuse access to Federal Government documents they believe not to be in the public interest, in new freedom of information (FOI) reforms announced by Senator John Faulkner today.

The ability to block documents was done under “conclusive certificates” which have now been abolished.

The certificates stop the release of government documents if a minister believed the disclosure is not in the public interest, meaning the document cannot be released under the FOI system even if the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has ruled it should be.

Instead, the decision on whether to stop access to documents will be made by the AAT.

Democracy doesn’t work without transparency.

Bravo, Senator Faulkner & Labor- well done.


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