by Rex Wockner
Some 300 ministerial staffers in need of security clearances in the government of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd have been told to fill out a 25-page form detailing their sexual partners, extramarital affairs, homosexual experiences, personal finances and drug use.
The questions allegedly are designed to ferret out individuals who might be vulnerable to blackmail.
Government officials also plan to interview friends of the staffers to attempt to confirm the accuracy of the self-reported information.
Special Minister of State John Faulkner told The Sunday Telegraph: “I’m ensuring the government makes the obtaining of these security clearances a high priority, given the nature of the work and the sensitivity and classification of material that is handled. … The higher level of clearance is more intrusive.”
Ministers’ chiefs of staff and media advisers are among those who have been told they need clearance.