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Gallagher asleep at the wheel on finance bungle

Liberal Party of Australia

Gallagher asleep at the wheel on finance bungle

An independent review into the leak of sensitive data from the Department of Finance has found that Minister Gallagher’s department “appears to have twice breached the same confidentiality provisions that it now asks suppliers to abide by.”

The review, commissioned after two leaks of confidential and commercially sensitive supplier information under Labor within a three month period, found that “the two breaches taken together are also likely to meet the threshold for a significant non-compliance with the Finance law in relation to the general duties of officials under the PGPA Act.”

In relation to the second breach, in which information was sent to 239 suppliers, the Report states that 15 suppliers are yet to execute the Department’s Confidentiality Undertaking Deed Polls. The Report refers to Deed Polls as “a critical part of the containment strategy to ensure that the information contained in the Supplier Matrix was not further disclosed”.

Senator Hume called on Minister Gallagher to explain why a second breach could have occurred so soon after the first, and why her department did not consider whether a broader procedural or policy review was necessary after the first breach.

“Not only should this not have happened in the first place, but there remain 15 businesses that received the commercially sensitive information who have not returned the required paperwork to ensure the information leaked is protected.

“It has been more than a month since the second of two incredibly serious leaks of confidential and commercially sensitive information, and some recipients of this information have yet to provide the appropriate assurances to the Government. What is Katy Gallagher doing about this?

“Labor has been so focused on enforcing standards of behaviour on suppliers of services, but have now fallen short of their own standards twice. Yet again, it’s ‘do as I say’ not ‘do as I do’ from this Labor government,” she said.

“Minister Gallagher should focus on giving government suppliers certainty that confidential information leaked on her watch will not damage them commercially,” Senator Hume concluded.

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