Prime Minister and Cabinet “Strongly Reject” Allegations by Senior “Politicized” Official Rex Patrick | Canberra weather

federal politics, federal politics, rex patrick, prime minister and cabinet, national cabinet, faith

Independent Senator Rex Patrick and the Prime Minister’s Department are embroiled in a war of words after the senator called a senior official “incompetent” and “politicized” in the upper house using parliamentary privilege. The South Australian senator accused Prime Minister and Deputy Cabinet Secretary Angie McKenzie on Tuesday afternoon of carrying out federal government auctions after blocking access to secret National Cabinet documents. Senator Patrick called Ms McKenzie “incompetent” and acting “in an obnoxious manner” after a number of her access to information requests to the central department for the minutes of national cabinet meetings, the agendas and decisions were pushed back, citing exemptions from cabinet confidentiality. . But the central department responded to Senator Patrick’s claims, calling them “unwarranted” and “false.” “The department will take whatever steps are necessary to set the record straight,” a PM&C spokesperson told The Canberra Times on Wednesday afternoon. “The officer against whom this attack was committed operates with the highest levels of integrity and probity.” Unjustified personal attacks, like this one, against APS officers directly undermine public confidence in democratic institutions in Australia and have an impact on staff well-being. The new dispute arose months after a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled that the national cabinet was not considered a cabinet committee and therefore could not use general exemptions to prevent the access of the public. Senator Patrick is increasingly frustrated by the department’s refusal to release documents despite the Federal Court judge’s ruling. He decided to use his parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to appoint the senior official who made the decision. “The senator said Tuesday afternoon.” She was ordered to take a decision against the law because it suits the prime minister. Minister, because the Prime Minister does not want anyone to know what is going on in the national cabinet. I’ve never seen this before, and I think it violates the rule of law. He added that this was part of the delaying tactics to delay the release of any documents before the federal election, which is expected to take place before the end of May. Next year. He said it was a “shame” that Ms McKenzie appeared to be in the plan. But the PM&C spokesperson said Ms McKenzie was not obligated to follow the court’s previous ruling, adding that it was not binding. “The administrative appeals tribunal is a review body on the merits and does not make binding decisions in the same way as a court,” the spokesperson said. Their decision. “As in all cases, though an applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of a decision, they have the right to seek review of decisions under the FOI law. “READ MORE: Senator Patrick said he would not generally appoint an official in Parliament, but that he deemed it necessary because she was incompetent. “I respect public servants, but not when they are politicized like that,” he said. “Fifty requests have been filed with PM&C for access National Cabinet documents since the decision was rendered by Justice White. “And that’s probably 50 decisions made wrongly by PM&C that go to the Information Commissioner and clog the whole system. And that just might suit those on the other side of the room who like secrecy.” Nearly two months after the AAT decision, the government proposed new legislation allowing national cabinet deliberations to remain secret. A government-majority Senate committee said the laws should be passed, along with the president of the government. Coalition, Senator Claire Chandler, adding that it was not unreasonable for heads of government to want to discuss and make important decisions with the “protection of confidentiality”. Secrecy, “diminishing the public’s knowledge of important matters and setting a dangerous precedent for future governments. Sufficient protections in freedom of information laws were already in place to protect Commonwealth state relations and deliberative processes, according to the dissenting Labor report. Senator Patrick said it was important for transparency that government documents are exempt from public life w in a very small number of circumstances. “The news is that everything a government does is paid for by the public and is supposed to be in the public interest, and the public has a right to see it, except in very limited circumstances,” he said. he declared. “It’s just abuse.” Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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