[ad] The service leader for Cloud is now in Australia. Secure, reliable cloud and managed hosting all backed by 24x7x365 Fanatical Support. Create your free account now.
Buy an Seagate Business Storage NAS for your chance to win a holiday
[ad] Purchase a selected Seagate Business Storage NAS to receive a $20 cash-back AND go into the draw to win a $1,000 Flight Centre voucher so you can holiday in the destination of your choice. T&Cs apply.
Great articles on other sites
- Adelaide Uni on hiring blitz for tech transformation
- Human Services to cut 56 IT jobs
- Turnbull to release NBN review next week
- Canberra blitzes states with NBN take-up rates
- War on whistleblowers from Abbott, Turnbull as ICJ case arrives
- Stockland tech revamp at centre of growth plans
- Clare warns of Gonski-like backflips on the NBN
- Victoria seeks early buy-in to avoid past disasters
- Vtalk bucks the China trend with plan for Aussie build
- Booksellers bristle at Amazon's arrival
How mobile and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy
[ad] How will the adoption of mobile devices and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy? Are you reaching your organisation's customers through these touch points? Click here to download a whitepaper by Fifth Quadrant examining consumer and business attitudes to these new contact channels.
50 things top IT pros need to know
[ad] This 18 page TechRepublic whitepaper explores 10 things you should know to become an epic IT manager, 40 other essential tips to advance your IT career and practical guidance for starting an IT consulting business. Click here to access the whitepaper.
Featured, News, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:09 - 54 Comments
Turnbull’s Blue Book: Help us crowdfund the new Minister’s briefing
Want to read the massive, 545 page departmental briefing document which Malcolm Turnbull received when he was sworn in as Communications Minister several weeks ago? We do too, but we’ll need your help; so we’ve launched a $2,000 Pozible campaign to crowdfund access to it under Freedom of Information laws.
It’s a well-known fact that when new Ministers are sworn in to lead government portfolios, they receive extensive briefings on those portfolios from their departmental bureaucrats. Known as ‘Red Books’ for a returning Government or ‘Blue Books’ for a new Government, the briefing documents contain a wealth of information about the new Minister’s portfolio, commitments, decisions and so on.
Former public servant and now journalist Bernard Keane describes the briefing documents well in this extensive article for Crikey, noting that they will contain information on meeting the Government’s election commitments, urgent decisions that need to be made ASAP, thematic briefings about key issues in the portfolio and so on.
In Turnbull’s case, the Blue Book ministerial briefing is particularly important, because the post of Communications Minister will be a critical one for the Australian Government over the next several years. This is because the Coalition has promised to radically reshape Labor’s National Broadband Network, despite the fact that Labor’s NBN policy has always enjoyed overwhelming popular support amongst the general population.
In addition, there are a number of other key issues in the Communications portfolio which Turnbull will need to deal with, ranging from Internet censorship and filtering, digital rights, media law and so on. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve been reading Delimiter or similar technology media outlets for any length of time.
Because of the pivotal nature of the role, on 25 September Delimiter sought access to the ‘Blue book’ of briefing documents which was provided by the Department of Communications to Turnbull when he was sworn in as Minister. This document, which is 545 pages long (according to the department), consists of everything which the department believes Turnbull will need to know.
Many Freedom of Information requests are returned without fees. However, in this case, because of the complexity and length of the request, the Department of Communications has judged that some 97.55 hours of “decision-making” time, plus some 8 hours of “search and retrieval time” will be needed to judge what portions of the 545 page document can be released publicly.
Unfortunately the Department’s projected Freedom of Information costs are far outside Delimiter’s normal budget for FoI requests; we’re able to fund, and have funded requests in the past, in the low hundreds of dollars, but a request in the thousands would blow a hole in our budget.
Because of this, we’re appealing for your assistance on this one. If you want to know everything that Turnbull does, if you want to see the 545 page Ministerial briefing he was provided with when he came to power, then we encourage you to chip in through the Pozible campaign we launched today for the issue.
As you can see through the campaign page, all we need to source the document is $2070. If we are able to crowdfund this amount, we’ll immediately notify the Department of Communications and pay their fee. All of the money will purely be used for this purpose. After this point, it will likely take the Department several months to work through the FoI process.
Once we get Turnbull’s ‘Blue Book’ document (likely with quite a few redactions) back, we’ll publish the whole document freely publicly on Delimiter. We’ll also conduct extensive analysis on the document and publish that analysis freely on Delimiter. This is an important public interest issue, so we’ll do our best.
Note: The Department of Communications has warned that a preliminary review of the documents identified as part of our Freedom of Information search indicates that, “given the nature of the documents”, a significant proportion of the documents would be exempt from Freedom of Information laws.
However, the release of incoming ministerial briefs under FoI laws is far from unprecedented. After the 2010 Federal Election, for example, the Treasury voluntarily released a significant proportion of the ‘Red book’ incoming government brief provided to the incoming Labor Government.
What do you think? Click here to support this initiative and donate at least the price of a cup of coffee to this effort. We think the public should be able to read what Turnbull’s reading. After all, it was the Australian public who voted him in in the first place ;)
Last week, in a press conference, Turnbull said he would bring a new era of transparency and openness to the National Broadband Network. Shortly after the election, the Liberal MP said the NBN debate was not over, but he was determined to ensure that from that point on, the NBN debate would be “at least fully informed”.
Well, let’s put those claims to the test. In order for the debate to be fully informed, the public needs to know everything Turnbull does. Let’s see just how seriously the new Minister takes that promise ;)
Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull
Leave a Comment
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, News - Dec 6, 2013 12:50 - 0 Comments
More In Enterprise IT
- Payroll disaster: Queensland sues IBM
- End of an era: Oracle Australia’s ‘safe hands’ leaves
- Qld launches whole of government IaaS panel
- Defence finally allows staff iPhones, iPads
- NSW Govt refreshes ICT Advisory Panel
News, Telecommunications - Dec 6, 2013 11:54 - 144 Comments
More In Telecommunications
- NBN Co internal FTTN analysis: Turnbull refuses to retract inaccurate claim
- Defying the Senate: Turnbull to release NBN Review by end of 2013
- Senate to force Turnbull to publish NBN Review
- Get on with FTTN job, Quigley tells NBN Co
- Senate circus shows politics has no place in NBN
More In Industry
- Xbox One goes off with a bang … but will the PS4 launch eclipse it?
- It’s not just Freelancer: Aussie tech IPOs are back in general
- Freelancer’s IPO: A billion reasons to care
- Australian retailers online: Late to the party and much to do
- DesignCrowd picks up another $3m
Digital Rights, News - Dec 5, 2013 14:08 - 25 Comments
More In Digital Rights
- Global privacy group files formal ASD complaint
- Labor open to surveillance discussion
- Snowden an “American traitor”, says Australia’s Attorney-General
- ASD goes rogue with Aussie metadata
- It’s live: Delimiter publishes AGD FoI mirror