Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Lets make the BC government a real "Open Government:" Let the Purging Begin

Love the Orwellian spin on the ‘Open Government Premier.’
I can't be the only one who thinks this "oral culture" of the BC Liberals sounds a bit dirty and truthfully, it is. It makes sense that in the dying days, as the BC Liberal empire crumbles, and falls into further disrepute, attempts to hide things will be legion. This bunch are sloppy, and not necessarily the sharpest knives in the drawer, so there are ways to get information. Look at the leak of the "multi-cultural outreach strategy." 

One of the things these types of amoral governments don't count on are the public servants who are sick and tired of seeing their workplace corrupted by the likes of these clowns and the incompetent yes people they place into high-paid jobs. Most public sector workers just want to do their jobs well, help the public, collect their salaries and pensions and not deal with political b.s.
  • To make this election period even more fun, I want to encourage BC government servants/slaves to start purging. E-mail me @ bcliberals_suck@yahoo.ca 
  • Or brown envelope info to your favourite journalist.
  • Post on anonymous forums such as pastebin, or the many other anon sites & track back to journalists, or me via anon e-mail accounts (google send anonymous e-mail).
  • Tweet under #Elxn40 & #BCOpenGovt
Keep in mind you want to protect the privacy of citizens whose data was collected by the BC govt.  

The goal of this exercise is to start purging the secrets of the last decade and do some spring cleaning before the next government comes to office. 

BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, March 4th, 2013
In a new investigation report prompted by a complaint from the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham confirms widespread and growing instances of senior government officials failing to keep records of important decisions.

FIPA’s complaint outlined a dramatic increase in the number of general FOI requests returned with “no responsive records” over the past ten years, and particularly over the last three. Denham’s report, released earlier today, not only confirms those numbers but also suggests that in some areas the problem is even worse than first thought.

Most damning among the report’s findings is that the Office of the Premier has seen a dramatic spike in non-responsive FOI requests over the past year. In the 2011/12 fiscal year, fully 45% of all FOI requests received by the Premier’s Office were returned with no responsive records. Denham even calls the Premier’s apparent allergy to disclosure “the single biggest cause” of increases in overall non-responsive rates between 2010 and 2012.

“It’s astounding,” said FIPA Executive Director Vincent Gogolek. “The Office of the Premier sets the tone for government, and now we have proof that almost half of all the requests they receive for information come back with absolutely nothing. It’s unacceptable.”

As FIPA’s calculations from last year suggested, media requesters were hit the hardest by this decline in performance. In the 2010/11 fiscal year, Denham’s investigators found 37% of media requests filed with the Office of the Premier came back unresponsive. By the end of the 2011/12 fiscal, that number had jumped to 49%.

Denham points to a growing “oral culture” as one cause of the problem. Her report shows that most communication in the Premier’s Office happens verbally or is classified as “transient,” meaning it is either never written down or quickly deleted. This is apparently what happened with the investigation of former chief of staff Ken Boessenkool.

Denham’s report recommends the creation of a legislative “duty to document” to ensure records are in fact created. However, despite the troubling evidence turned up by her investigators, the Commissioner declined to find that the government had failed to carry out its ‘duty to assist’ information requesters.

“We support the Commissioner’s call for law reform that would require government to produce written records,” said Gogolek, “but we don’t understand how she can say the government is meeting its legal duty to assist requesters in some of the incidents her investigators have uncovered. That part of the report is certainly a disappointment to us.”
Christy Clark calls for more open government in B.C.
"The reality is that voters feel a disconnect with their government," said the former deputy premier and education minister.

"These proposals are designed to reconnect people with government."

Other proposals put forward by Ms.Clark include working with all MLAs to see more private members' bills debated and passed as well as a caucus accountability committee with the party leader as member, and cabinet accountability sessions in the regions of B.C. at regional policy conferences or other special events.

No comments: