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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 4854

Senator LUDLAM (11:39 AM) —Thank you, Minister. I think it will come down to a specific reading of the definition as such, because often the line between the two is particularly blurry as, for example, in the cases of ASIO and the AFP. Also, in an administrative sense, there is the sort of work that Senator Johnston did over a reasonable period of time in unearthing the facts behind the SAS pay scandal. It was an extraordinary amount of work and eventually led to the situation being rectified. Those people were lucky that they had senators in this place who were willing to go out and unearth that information, but, if that were not the case, freedom of information requests may well have been made of the department. Minister, could you clarify for us whether FOI requests of that nature, which are purely administrative and do not relate to national security, would be caught by the amendment that you are moving today.