Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal breached the Treasury’s Budget 2022 lock-up embargo. The Wall Street Journal, who had agreed to comply with the lock-up protocols as a condition of attendance at the restricted briefing, proactively informed a Treasury official just after 1pm that they had breached the strictly imposed 2pm embargo on information release.
The Treasury takes the management of Budget-sensitive information very seriously. It implements a range of protocols to ensure that all restricted briefing lock-up events such as today’s are managed with the highest standards of security, and that expected protocols are adhered to by all attendees.
“We are extremely disappointed with this serious breach of lock-up protocol. The embargoed information made available to the 200-odd people who attended the event was both restricted and sensitive.
“We are working with the Wall Street Journal to clarify and understand the action that led to the embargo being breached. Once we are confident that we have established the facts, we will advise the Wall Street Journal of the consequences of their actions,” says Struan Little, Deputy Secretary - Budget and Public Services.
The Treasury has also launched an internal investigation into this incident, which will be overseen by its Budget Governance Group. The Group’s terms of reference for this will include reviewing the existing protocols to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose for future lock-up events.