The Trio Capital fraud and its victims: a study in freedom of information legislation failure
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Openness and accountability are important qualities to which democratic governments must aspire. A well functioning freedom of information (FOI) system encourages public participation in the political process and builds trust via transparency (Lidberg, 2014). When Australia's FOI legislation was introduced into the Federal Parliament in 1981, the responsible minister said: 'A document is not exempt merely because it relates to the internal working of a department; to justify refusal, disclosure must cause some detriment to a specified public interest' and 'there is a statutory duty on agencies to assist applicants to make requests in a form which will enable them to be dealt with' (Hansard, 1981). In 2013, the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) released a report comparing FOI legislation in 89 countries. Australia's rating was average (CLD, 2013).
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