Submissions » Transparency Mon, 03 May 2010 06:11:51 +0000 en hourly 1 Andrae Muys Fri, 11 Sep 2009 02:29:06 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Andrae Muys Submission PDF (97k)
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    PayPal Australia Fri, 11 Sep 2009 01:02:31 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • PayPal Australia Submission DOC (63k)
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    Pro Bono Australia Submission Fri, 11 Sep 2009 01:00:24 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Pro Bono Australia Submission DOC (33k)
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    Matthew Landauer (OpenAustralia Foundation) Wed, 09 Sep 2009 02:07:41 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Matthew Landauer (OpenAustralia Foundation) Submission RTF (50k)
  • lobbying.rb (3k)
  • Submission Text:

    Please find attached my submission to the taskforce which is in plaintext format and is a Ruby program for scraping the web pages of the Federal Lobbyists Register available at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and output the data in a much more useful format where it can easily be loaded into any spreadsheet program for analysis.

    The lobbyists register as presented on the PMC website has a single webpage for every lobbyist. It is therefore straightforward to find out who a particular lobbyist has as clients. However, it is very difficult to find out for a given client who the lobbyist is.

    Why is it that this second type of query, which one might argue is the more useful and interesting one for the general public, is the one that is very difficult to do? Is this transparency?

    Originally, I was intending to attach the resulting data to this submission, but that’s not possible for three reasons

    The website crashed, probably as a result of the very small load that this application put on the server. This should not occur.

    1. I informed the website administrator via their contact form that the website is down, but as it’s the weekend there is nobody available to fix it.
    2. The copyright statement on the website does not allow for republishing without permission. So, I am not allowed to send government data to a government taskforce even though everyone can clearly see the original data.

    The attached Ruby program is also publicly available on the web at

    All the best,


    OpenAustralia Foundation

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    Richard Goodwin Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:11:33 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Richard Goodwin Submission RTF (15k)
  • Submission Text:

    The justice system could benefit greatly from government web 2.0. For instance, much public debate is triggered around the penalties imposed by courts. Most of us have little idea what goes on in a criminal trial and few of us can put ourselves in the shoes of a jury member, magistrate or judge by attending court in a given case. Respect for the justice system can be fragile at times. We have seen this in Western Australia over a series of wrongful convictions and controversial sentencing. We have a progressive chief justice in this state, keen to advance transparency. Using webcast technology to open up trials (or at least sentencing remarks and decisions) should be a national priority. After all, it is the natural extension of conducting court proceedings in public (as is mostly the case).

    Richard Goodwin

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