The Labor Government’s handling of the Freedom of Information process on ‘Cartridgegate’ shows it is just as secretive and unaccountable under Jay Weatherill as Mike Rann.
“Nine weeks after first lodging an FOI request for documents on ‘Cartridgegate’ the Weatherill Government has finally responded by refusing access to all 423 documents relevant to the application,” Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
One of the reasons given by the Weatherill Government for the refusal is they believe it is not in the public interest to release any documents.
“This is an outrageous example of secretive government and a damning indictment of Premier Weatherill, who promised he would be different and more transparent and accountable than Mr Rann.
“The first FOI application was lodged on 21 September 2011, seeking invoices for printer cartridge purchases going back to 2006.
“Treasury officers then met with me suggesting I withdraw my original applications because they could do an e-procurement search through Shared Services for the last two years and documents could be available within three to four weeks.
“A number of public sector sources have advised me their departments had told Treasury they were happy for their documents to be released.
“However, Treasury, on behalf of the Weatherill Government, has overruled those departments and directed that no documents be released.
“There is no doubt that the Liberal Party has been seriously misled by Treasury officers in relation to the handling of this FOI request. We will now be instigating urgent appeals ultimately seeking the intervention of the Ombudsman to release these documents.
“This is yet another reason why a truly independent inquiry by the Auditor-General is essential and further evidence the Weatherill Government can’t be trusted to be open and accountable on this scandal.”