Not For Publication

Declining transparency in the federal budget
by Rod Campbell

Budgets are a key part of Australia’s democratic system, with budget papers giving the public a valuable opportunity to see how much money is spent and on what. Some items in federal budgets are not made public, however, and are marked ‘not for publication’ or ‘nfp’.

Often, items claimed as nfp are still being negotiated, considered commercially sensitive, or relate to national security. While there may be circumstances where nonpublication of budget information is justified, in the interests of transparency these instances should be kept to a minimum. Instead, they have become more common in recent years.

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