At 12 noon on Wednesday 31 January, the ABC published a webpage called "The Cabinet Files". The webpage referenced a series of classified Commonwealth documents provided to the ABC by a third party, reportedly following the purchase of locked filing cabinets at a second-hand furniture shop in Canberra.
The Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) has referred this matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for investigation into how these documents left the Commonwealth's possession. The Secretary has confirmed that it is reasonably evident that the documents came from within PM&C.
As part of the response to this incident, the Secretary has commissioned Mr Ric Smith AO PSM to undertake an independent review of PM&C's security procedures, practices and culture, including the implications for the Australian Public Service more broadly.
In order for it to effectively discharge its responsibilities, it is critical that the Australian Public Service appropriately safe guards all official information, to ensure its confidentiality, integrity, and availability.