"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What purple files?

“Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.”

That was Danny Williams quoting Abraham Lincoln. Favourably.

And this was Danny Williams in his own 2003 election platform:
The Transparency and Accountability Act will greatly enhance openness and accountability in government, but a comprehensive and effective Freedom of Information Act is the best safeguard against the tendency of governments to descend into official secrecy and elitism.
A Progressive Conservative government will:

• Proclaim new Freedom of Information legislation which will include amendments that will clearly identify information that should be in the public domain, including cabinet documents, and will require full and prompt disclosure of the information to the public.

• Release to the public every government-commissioned report within 30 days of receiving it, indicate the action government will take on a report's recommendations within 60 days, and ensure prompt public access to all government reports in hard copy and on the Internet.

Yet, there are “no responsive records” when a reporter sees “purple files”, is told “purple files” exist, obtains documents which refer to the existence of “purple files”, and then requests said “purple files”.

And, as Rob Antle reports in today’s Telegram:
the Department of Transportation and Works would only provide the audit team with a printout of highway contract work, not a computer file. Government officials contended the information "does not exist in electronic form within this department" — even though the record released was a computer printout that included a "print date." The law allows public access to paper and electronic files.
Only nine more months till Right to Know Week.

And oh — has anyone yet thought of requesting a copy of that “30-day” policy yet? Anyone?

The very necessary corollary of the Lincoln aphorism that Mr. Accountability was once so fond of quoting, is that if you do not let the country know the truth, then the country is not safe.



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