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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2093

(Question No. 612)

Senator Martin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs , upon notice, on 16 December 1983:

How many Australian diplomatic passports are currently held by persons in each of the 21 categories listed in the answer to Question on Notice No. 288 (see Hansard, 4 October 1983, page 1070).

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

My Department does not maintain an index of the position held by each holder of a diplomatic passport. This information would be of very limited value and would not justify the staffing resources that would be involved in maintaining such an index. As the information cannot be extracted from the present computer records I would not be prepared to authorise the use of the extensive resources that would be required to extract it manually.

However, the computer based passport issue and control system (PICS) is being redeveloped in preparation for transfer, at the end of 1985, to a computer controlled by my Department. During redevelopment consideration will be given to including a facility which would make it possible to extract this information.