Philip Dorling reports:
The Community and Public Sector Union has called for two independent inquiries into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s system of secret personnel files.
DFAT staff have expressed concern that the department has quietly re-established a system of secret personnel files similar to a highly controversial system, known as the ”X-files”, that was abolished 20 years ago. The confidential personnel files have been used by DFAT management in determining promotions, postings and placements within the department. According to correspondence seen by The Canberra Times, several DFAT officers recently inadvertently discovered that the department’s management had allowed the creation, maintenance and long-term retention of confidential personnel files, including files under their own name.
On requesting access to their files, DFAT managers informed officers that it could take up to two weeks before they could be permitted to see their file. When asked why there would be a delay, staff were told that ”some papers might need to be removed” before management would allow an employee to see their file.
Read more in The Canberra Times.