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Labor seeks Commonwealth Ombudsman investigation into Scott Morrison's department



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SENATOR THE HON JOSEPH LUDWIG SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

MEDIA RELEASE

LABOR SEEKS COMMONWEALTH OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATION INTO SCOTT MORRISON’S DEPARTMENT

Labor has sought for Scott Morrison’s Department to be investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman over alleged mishandling of documents for public release.

Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig said he had written to the Commonwealth Ombudsman after the Immigration Department refused to release documents under Freedom of Information laws claiming a non-existent form of privilege.

“Enough is enough,” Senator Ludwig said.

“This government is wedded to secrecy, to breaking promises and lying to the Australian people.

“They are now trying to use false claims of parliamentary privilege to hide documents and information. This is a return to the dark old days of the Howard Government using executive privilege or ‘conclusive certificates’ to refuse access to information.

“Labor abolished conclusive certificates and reformed Australia’s Freedom of Information laws in Government to open up government to be more accountable and transparent,” Senator Ludwig said.

“Tony Abbott just wants to tear that all away.”

Senator Ludwig had previously sought for the Australian Information Commissioner to investigate the matter but they were unable due to the cuts inflicted by the Abbott-Hockey budget.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman retains the power to have oversight of Government administration of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and is able to investigate and prepare a report of its findings.

Senator Ludwig’s letter to the Ombudsman is available here.

THURSDAY, 19 JUNE 2014