13 January 2009

Freedom From Information: Bull Arm

From The Telegram, the latest exploits of the supposedly most open accountable and transparent administration in the history of mankind: 

A fire that caused $323,000 damage to an offshore fabrication site operated by the provincial government’s energy corporation. Revealed through exemptions to the public tender act filed six months after the fire.

Jeers: to keeping things quiet. Here's something you might not have known: the Bull Arm fabrication site had an electrical fire that needed repairs costing more than $323,000 - and it didn't happen yesterday, either. The fire was in July. We'd be none the wiser save for a line in the public tender exemptions filed in the House of Assembly just before Christmas. Funny how everything from exemptions to the public tendering act to appointing judges to turfing out members of Memorial University's board of regents seems to happen either late on a Friday afternoon or else during the Christmas doldrums.

-srbp-

3 comments:

WJM said...

From The Telegram, the latest exploits of the supposedly most open accountable and transparent administration in the history of mankind

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Danny Williams-Government is the Most Open Accountable And Transparent Administration In The History Of The Galaxy.

And don't you forget it.

One Woman said...

How does the average citizen protest this government's freedom from information?

WJM said...

How does the average citizen protest this government's freedom from information?

1) Start thinking of information you'd like to have.

2) Write it on a list, along with which provincial government or agency you think is most likely to have that information. Find the phone numbers for the Access to Information co-ordinators for each department or agency, available on this page.

3) Follow the instructions on this page, to wit:

Before you make a request using the legislation, you may wish to try other, informal means to obtain the records you are seeking. Contact the public body (Access and Privacy Coordinators) which you believe has the records. Often, you can get the information you want in this informal way, without using the legislation. This route will often be faster for you and less expensive for public bodies to administer.

4) You will be told, "No, you have to file an Access to Information request".

5) Get into an argument with whoever tells you this, telling them, "But there's this page on the government website that says you can ask for stuff and sometimes they'll just give it to you!"

6) Mention the Canadian Newspaper Association study, and tell them it's their fault that Danny Williams-Government is sliding so badly in the rankings.

7) Move on to the next department or agency. Drive them bat.