The private phone numbers of some of Australia’s top politicians were left exposed online for months after an oversight by a government department.
The Department of Parliamentary Services failed to delete the phone numbers of a number of politicians and their senior staff from copies of their phone bills before publishing them online as part of the public record, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Instead of being deleted, the phone numbers were simply changed to white, meaning if the font colour was changed back to black the number would be revealed.
The only big names left off the list were prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison, Attorney-General George Brandis and a few others.
This means voters around the country could have called anyone from former PM Kevin Rudd, to Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, Julia Gillard and Richard Di Natale to name a few.
The government says the mistake was by TELCO Management, a private company.
“In the most recent report provided by the contractor, it became possible to view the official mobile phone number of parliamentarians and their staff even though they appeared redacted from the published files,” a spokesperson told Fairfax.
“The DPS removed the documents from the APH website shortly after it was alerted to the issue and is working with the contractor to investigate the cause.”