Morrison and Albanese

There’s no argument! Both sides of Australian politics demand that the Rule of Law prevail.

In the name of the Rule of Law, why the QRO secrecy!!

RIT – Hard going for TTR

In the last edition of the Monthly Report, TTR reported that TTR has been trying to get copies of the Agendas, agenda papers and Minutes of the Taxation Consultative Committee of the QRO for weeks now.” That application (ARU 0001254) under the Right to Information Act got knocked back!

TTR action now taken

So, TTR has:

External Review: applied to the Office of the Information Commissioner to review that decision (ARU 0001254) (External Review);
Fresh application for access (ARU0001275): Decision letter dated 28 April 2022 – Access is requested to, including but not limited to, each and every document(s), note(s) (note(s)/diary notes), conference note(s), letter(s) (whether internal or external to the OSR), email(s) (whether internal or external to the OSR), memoranda on the file(s), advice(s), direction(s) between your Office and the Office of State Revenue or Queensland Treasury (including each and every public officer in the Office of State Revenue or Queensland Treasury who is shown to have had input to the decision. Also please provide drafts of any of the documents mentioned above.
[Note: ARU0001254. Decision letter dated 28 April 2022. By that letter, [name and position deleted] Right to Information and Privacy Queensland Treasury, gave notice of a decision that access would not be given to the following documents applied for and referred to in an application received by Queensland Treasury on 17 February 2022 under section 23 of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act): Agendas and Minutes of the Taxation Consultative Committee (TCC) of the Office of State Revenue (OSR) for the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.]
A decision is awaited on that application.
Fresh application (ARU 0001272): under the Right to Information Act for access to the Terms of Reference of the Taxation Consultative Committee”… during the time Elizabeth Goli was the Commissioner of State Revenue and Mark Jackson has been the Commissioner. Timeframe: 1 Jan 2015 – 1 May 2022.”

This application was approved. Two sets of Terms of Reference were received. Browsing through the latest ones, a couple of points spring out:

“The Chair is responsible for … ensuring the committee operates in an accountable manner in adding value for revenue administration and taxpayers”.
“Responsibilities of members include … working with the TCC Chair to identify top priorities for the TCC work program.”
“The Secretariat is responsible for… publishing endorsed minutes on the OSR website”;
“The Chair is responsible for communicating decisions to members and other key stakeholders in OSR and recognised professional associations.”
“TCC members may communicate the outcomes of TCC meetings as recorded in the approved Minutes with the members of their associations via their usual communication channels”.
Democracy demands access

So much trouble to get access to documents which democracy demands be open! Allegations about confidentiality is nonsense. The Committee itself is not claiming confidentiality. If there is any sensitivity about names of Committee members and their views on particular issues, then a bit of redacting will do the trick.