Australian politicians private phone numbers published in online error

Hundreds of federal politicians, former prime ministers and top political staffers have had their private phone numbers reportedly published online in error by a government department.

The Department of Parliamentary Services failed to delete the phone numbers of several past and present MPs and some of their senior staff before publishing their recent phone bills on the Parliament House website, according to Fairfax.

The release of the phone numbers could seriously threaten the privacy and security of the MPs and their staff, with the breach concerning the top levels of the Turnbull government and down throughout the Parliament.

In previous years the phone numbers were deleted from the PDF reports before they were uploaded to the government website, however this time the numbers' font colour was changed to white.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten's number was reportedly published. Source: AAP
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's number was also said to be published. Source: AAP

That meant the numbers could still be seen if they were copied and pasted into another document.

The only numbers reportedly not published on the site were some of the most senior members of government including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison, Attorney-General George Brandis and few others, Fairfax reports.

However, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and members of his office reportedly had their numbers published.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne's details were reportedly put online. Source: AAP
As were Greens leader Richard Di Natale among other minor party leaders, according to reports. Source: AAP

As did some members of cabinet including the Deputy Prime Minster Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, Christian Porter and Mitch Fifield, according to Fairfax.

Former prime ministers Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating were also claimed to have had their details published in the documents.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale and some other minor party leaders were also reportedly caught up in the breach, as were retired Liberal MPs Andrew Robb and Jamie Briggs.

The department blamed the blunder on 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."

Paul Keating's number was also reportedly shared on the website. Source: AAP

The department said it would work to ensure the privacy of those concerned and change numbers where required.

The phone numbers have since been taken down.

Newsbreak – March 21