Archives fears top secret documents to be released

National ArchivesAs per fears expressed by the National Archives of Australia in Canberra some top secret documents have a chance of being released inadvertently to the public under the pretext of alterations to freedom of information (FOI) laws.

Under these alterations several documents which also include some from the cabinet will be released publicly after duration of 20 years in place of the present 30 years. Ross Gibbs, the director-general of Archives said that the relaxation of the rules of FOI is going to be good news for the public.

However, according to him, this will in turn raise the work pressure on the staff as a result of which some classified documents could leak out through cracks.

He said, "What we're talking about is national security essentially, and personal sensitivity ... 20 years can be mid career or operationally for a national security issue, it can be still a live operation. The risk is increased enormously; we have to be that much more careful."

He added that the pressure is in addition to the one which will require them to meet the Federal Government's efficiency dividend.