FOI documents reveal the Rudd government flouted its own advertising guidelines to spend millions on the controversial ‘By boat, no visa’ campaign.
I was so outraged by the Labor party’s advertising on its new ‘no-settlement’ policy, and the refusal to run it through processes they had themselves set up, that I FOIed all documents from the Department of Immigration about the process. The long process of getting those documents is available for all to see on the fantastic “Right to Know” website, a third party side which makes FOI processes easy and transparent. After receiving the documents early this year only got around to writing it all up when the issue flared up again.
It seems plain to me there is need for reform in this area. Confidence in public communications is a public good eroded by its abuse. While no process will be rort-proof, the political stakes can be raised higher still to change the calculus of these sorts of cynical calculations.