An investigation has cleared one of Australia’s leading federal government agencies of threatening and intimidating a volunteer-run transparency website that hosted freedom of information documents about its former boss.
The Guardian revealed earlier this year that the Australian Public Service Commission’s chief legal counsel had written to the not-for-profit Right to Know website last October, demanding it remove “defamatory material”.
Right to Know hosts FOI documents and associated correspondence in an effort to improve government transparency.
The warning concerned FOI correspondence about the former APSC commissioner John Lloyd and his well-known dealings with the rightwing Institute for Public Affairs, of which he is a former director.
The applicant, an anonymous user named Fliccy, had become frustrated by the agency’s repeated delays and refusals to release documents. They named individual public servants, accused them of failing to comply with FOI law and alleged