The Rann Government has been trying to manipulate supposedly independent Freedom of Information Officers in their handling of a potentially embarrassing series of FoI applications.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today the Rann Government has been claiming it is saving $30 million per year from its Future ICT process, which was the Government’s new IT contracts to replace the former EDS whole-of-Government contract.
Last month the Liberal Party lodged FoI applications seeking copies of documents which it believes will show that the Rann Government’s claims are untrue.
“In fact, public sector leaks have indicated that at best there are virtually no savings, but the more likely position is that there have been significant cost increases due to the new contracts,” Mr Lucas said.
“The Liberal Party has now been informed that the Rann Government is so worried about the truth getting out that Treasury Officers called a meeting of all supposedly independent FoI Officers for 2:00 pm last Wednesday to discuss the FoI applications. Supposedly the meeting was called to allow Treasury Officers to ‘provide some background context to much of the material likely to be captured, which may assist agencies in making their determination’!”
Mr Lucas said it is clear the Rann Government is desperate to prevent documents being released which will be a major embarrassment to Mr Foley because they show the claimed $30 million savings do not exist. A number of documents exist which show that some agencies have strongly disputed the claimed savings and have told Treasury that their costs actually increased.
“The mythical $30 million annual savings figure first appeared in February 2006 when the Treasurer included it in the Labor Party’s costing documents prior to the state election.
“Ever since then, Treasury have been desperately trying to construct a set of numbers to support the Treasurer’s claim.”
Mr Foley must now answer these simple questions:
• Did Treasury Officers organise to meet up to 16 supposedly independent FoI Officers last Wednesday to give advice on how they should consider the FoI applications from the Hon Rob Lucas?
• Does Mr Foley deny that a number of these documents strongly dispute claims that agencies are making savings from the Future ICT contracts?