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Wednesday, 21 April 1999
Page: 4085

Senator Faulkner asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 24 November 1998:

Will the Prime Minister release the report prepared by the former Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services, which the Prime Minister stated he expected to "have on his desk" on 29 September 1997; if so, when; if not, why not.

Senator Hill (Environment and Heritage) —The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

A preliminary report was provided to the Prime Minister on 28 September 1997 by the former Department of Administrative Services.

Further information was included in the final report which was provided by the Department of Finance and Administration (DoFA) to the then Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon Nick Minchin, in November 1997. Following his consideration of the matter, Senator Minchin briefed the Prime Minister on the final report and the advice provided to him by DoFA.

It is a matter of public record that the Special Minister of State referred the matter to the Attorney-General who forwarded it to the Minister for Justice who referred it to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for independent assessment and advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions. It is also a matter of public record that following the AFP review, the relevant law enforcement authorities concluded the matter on the basis that further action by them was not warranted.

The final report was not provided to the Prime Minister as he was fully briefed on that report by Senator Minchin prior to the matter being referred to the relevant law authorities, as outlined above.

The report provided to the Prime Minister in September 1997 was a preliminary report only, not a complete and final document, and the Prime Minister does not propose to release it.