You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Confidence claim in Vic phone leak probe

AAP logoAAP 13/01/2017 Luke Costin and Julian Drape

A senior Victorian minister has refused to say whether public servants and the premier himself should have to submit their phones for a forensic audit reportedly ordered by Premier Daniel Andrews.

Jenny Mikakos on Friday told reporters she was happy to offer up her phone for inspection but, when asked whether public servants and indeed the premier should follow suit, the minister said she couldn't comment due to "cabinet confidentiality".

That's the same response the the state's privacy commissioner received from the Department of Premier and Cabinet when he requested information about the unusual audit.

Premier Daniel Andrews reportedly told a cabinet meeting last month auditors KPMG would look at his ministers' mobile devices to find out who leaked details about police numbers to the media.

Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner David Watts on Thursday revealed when he requested information regarding the audit the premier's office refused citing "cabinet confidentiality".

Similar requests to KMPG's chair and chief executive went unanswered, Mr Watts said in a statement.

The audit was apparently launched after details of the government's $1.67 billion boost to policing were leaked to 3AW.

News Corp Australia has reported Mr Andrews told his ministers they - and bureaucrats involved in the cabinet process - would be forced to hand over their phones.

Ms Mikakos on Friday insisted she never backgrounded reporters on what was going on within cabinet.

"I'm very happy to hand over my phone personally because I've got nothing to hide in this matter," she said in Melbourne.

But the minister refused to be drawn on whether public servants and Mr Andrews should have to hand over their phones, too.

Ms Mikakos says she's previously assisted the privacy commissioner with inquiries concerning her department and was "always happy to co-operate and assist the privacy commissioner with any inquiries" he might have.

The privacy commissioner's investigation continues.

Mr Watts this week urged Victorian MPs, public servants and the public with relevant information to contact his office or lodge privacy complaints.

The commissioner has separately been at odds with the government over its plans to change privacy laws in Victoria.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon