четверг, 1 марта 2012 г.

VIC: Kennett reject secrecy accusations

AAP General News (Australia)
VIC: Kennett reject secrecy accusations

MELBOURNE, Aug 26 AAP - Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett today hit back at accusations of a
trend towards government secrecy, levelled at his government by former state auditor-general
Ches Baragwanath and NSW auditor-general Tony Harris.

Mr Kennett said the auditors' criticisms, including comments last night in a speech by Mr
Baragwanath, were wrong, although they were entitled to their own opinions.

"This idea that this is a secret state is not correct. Ches Baragwanath is not correct," he
told Melbourne radio 3AW.

Mr Baragwanath said the state's freedom of information legislation should be retitled the
"restriction of information act" because the government had placed its interests ahead of
public interest.

But Mr Kennett said only six per cent of requests for access to documents under FoI were
denied in full and 19 per cent in part, and a further nine per cent were drafted incorrectly.

He defended recent changes to FoI restricting access to public servants' personal details,
introduced after nurses' names were released to a convicted triple murderer earlier this year.

"If you have pay a price in order to protect an honest citizen, then there are checks and
balances in the system," Mr Kennett said.

The Premier said Mr Baragwanath, who repeatedly voiced concerns about the impact of reforms
of his office during his tenure, had always pushed the same agenda.

He said Mr Baragwanath had had full access to the government's books during the last seven
years and had never identified any corruption.

Mr Baragwanath said today his comments were aimed at all Westminster governments, not just
the Kennett government.

AAP kmh/jlw/was/br


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