On 20 June 2001, the Senate made an order requiring Ministers to twice a year table letters of advice that all Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agencies, now non-corporate Commonwealth entities, they administer had placed lists of its contracts on the internet. Letters would refer to contracts (and contract listings) from the respective preceding calendar or financial year. Contract listings would include contracts valued at or above $100,000 (GST inclusive), along with details relating to each of those contracts. This Senate Order is called the Senate Order on Entity Contracts and is also known as the Murray Motion.
The secrecy provisions of the ATSI Act prohibit IBA staff from disclosing information concerning the affairs of a person, unless it falls within one of the exemptions set out in the ATSI Act. We consider that the details of entity contracts is the kind of information covered by the secrecy provisions.
We understand that the Senate Order contemplates that the existence and details of contracts can be excluded from listing if disclosure would be contrary to statutory secrecy provisions and that in these instances only the number of contracts needs to be disclosed.
Accordingly, we advise that IBA had: