Tim Lyons from the ACTU. Photo: Supplied
Public service agencies and departments have been bluntly asked if they have made payments to the trade unions targeted by the Abbott government's Royal Commission into the union movement.
A questionnaire sent to all agencies by the attorney-general's department is also demanding details of talks between the APS and unions, as well as disclosure of the job status of trade union officials in the bureaucracy since 2007.
The attorney-general's department is demanding details of dealings between the APS and the five unions targeted by the Royal Commission: the AWU, the CFMEU, the HSU, the TWU and the CEPU.
The document states that the attorney-general's department wants the information so that it can respond quickly to any allegations of union-linked corruption in the public service.
"So far the commission has had limited attention on the Commonwealth, but this could change at any time should an allegation be made about the conduct of a minister, employee, agency or other matter in relation to trade union, trade union official, member or separate entity such as a slush fund," the document states.
"In the event that a credible allegation were made against the Commonwealth, it is important that the Commonwealth is able to respond quickly."
Union officials were quick to condemn the move with the ACTU's Tim Lyons saying his organisation suspected an attempt to extend the Royal Commission into the public service.
"We want to know what if any political involvement or direction there was in the production of this document," Mr Lyons said.
"This document goes very much beyond anything in the Royal Commission's terms of reference and there's no evidence the Royal Commission has been at all interested in the Commonwealth public sector.
"It looks to me like this is an attempt to have sort of a shadow Royal Commission within the public service which would be deeply inappropriate."