In keeping with improved accountability within the Department of Defence, from 20 January 2012, Hot Issue Briefs submitted to the Minister for Defence by the Department of Defence will be publicly released.
On 20 January 2011, the Minister for Defence released 116 Hot Issue Briefs from the period 14 September 2010 to the present, as listed in the table below. Summary information about the briefs is provided below.
Together with the 138 Hot Issue Briefs released under Freedom of Information provisions on 9 January 2012, this places on the public record 245 of the 248 of Hot Issue Briefs submitted to Minister for Defence Stephen Smith. There are selected briefs not being released at this time as they would prejudice ongoing matters. They will be released once those matters are finalised.
In the future, Hot Issue Briefs to the Minister for Defence will be released below in Portable Document Format, usually within one week after submission to the Minister.
The Australian Department of Defence initiates a potentially remarkable transparency initiative, releasing “Hot Issue Briefs”, documents providing "initial and early advice to Ministers and Defence senior leaders on sensitive or complex matters or incidents that may require their immediate attention.“
Here are some examples (all links are PDFs) that involve imagery/technology (unsurprisingly involving voyeurism):
– soldier takes and shares pictures of what he feels is sub-standard accommodation
– rumours of a video of a sex act between a soldier and a local woman circulating in the Solomon Islands
– alleged secret transmission via Skype of consensual sexual intercourse between two officer cadets to four other cadets
– camera-phone discovered in showers (considered especially sensitive in light of the Skype incident earlier that year)