Media statement: Update on unauthorised release of classified Commonwealth documents

Media statement: Update on unauthorised release of classified Commonwealth documents

PM&C
Friday, 02 February 2018

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Documents obtained by the ABC, which were the subject of the ABC’s Cabinet Files reporting, were returned to the Commonwealth on Thursday 1 February.

The documents were secured with the cooperation of the ABC. This was achieved without the disclosure of the ABC’s source and by way of acknowledgment of the Commonwealth’s national security interests.

On Wednesday 31 January, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet instigated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disposal of two Commonwealth Government filing cabinets that allegedly contained classified documents.

The AFP-led investigation to ascertain the origin of these documents and how the unauthorised disclosure occurred continues.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is continuing to work with the AFP and ASIO to support the investigation.

The handling of classified Commonwealth documents is of utmost importance to Australian Government departments and agencies.

The Department is unable to comment further as the investigation is ongoing.