Guidance 01/2015

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PBO Guidance 01/2015

Misrepresentation of PBO responses

When the PBO receives a request from a parliamentarian, the request may include a direction to treat the request, the response to the request or any other information relating to the request as confidential.

Whether or not the PBO’s confidential response is made public is entirely a matter for the parliamentarian who made the request.

If a parliamentarian chooses to publicly release elements of a PBO confidential response but does not release the PBO’s response in its entirety, the PBO will generally not comment on the details of the response that have not been disclosed because they remain confidential to the parliamentarian concerned.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer may make a public statement to clarify a matter relating to a confidential response if he is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to make such a statement.

In determining whether it is necessary to make a clarifying statement, the Parliamentary Budget Officer will consider whether there has been a material misrepresentation of the PBO’s response by a parliamentarian or any other person.

A misrepresentation may occur due to a misstatement of the substance of the PBO’s response, an incorrect attribution of the response to a parliamentarian for whom the response was not prepared, or the incorrect attribution of the response to a policy other than the policy specifically addressed in the response.


Phil Bowen PSM FCPA
Parliamentary Budget Officer



Release date: 29 May 2015
Contact officer: Colin Brown, First Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer - (02) 6277 9530