NBN Co more secretive than the Kremlin under Turnbull

Before the election Malcolm Turnbull described NBN Co as “more secretive than the Kremlin.”

Since the election Malcolm Turnbull must have moved NBN Co from the Kremlin into Area 51 because today it was revealed that secrecy has become the norm under the Abbott Government.

Under the former Government, NBN Co’s Corporate Plans were subject to independent external oversight by reputable firms like Greenhill Caliburn, KPMG or Ernest & Young.

In hearings of the Senate Select Committee on the NBN today it was revealed that external oversight of the Corporate Plan had been scrapped under Malcolm Turnbull.

Drew Clarke, the Secretary of the Department of Communications, admitted that the independent review process has been killed off and that the Corporate Plan would now be reviewed by the Department of Finance and the Department of Communications.

He said:

“The review of the current Corporate Plan, 2014-17 Corporate Plan has been done in a different methodology…the different methodology has involved the two departments leading the process.”

In February this year Malcolm Turnbull said:

“The bottom line is that as far as the NBN project is concerned, the government’s commitment is to be completely transparent.”

It is clear now that these were nothing more than weasel words.

Just last week NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow confirmed that the NBN Co Corporate Plan has been sitting on Malcolm Turnbull’s desk for more than four months.

If Malcolm Turnbull wants to keep his promise to be ‘completely transparent’, he should reverse the decision to scrap external oversight of the Corporate Plan and release the Corporate Plan that is sitting on his desk.