Transparent government

The Rudd government is overhauling Freedom of Information Laws;

The Federal Government will no longer be able to keep information secret just because it fears being embarrassed or losing public confidence.

The proposed revamp delivers on Labor’s election promise to overhaul the notoriously slow and restrictive system that has often kept important documents out of the public eye.

Officials will no longer be able to withhold information by claiming it could be misunderstood or cause confusion and unnecessary debate. And Cabinet documents, mothballed for decades, will become available sooner to enable better scrutiny of past governments.

This is commendable. In order to test the new laws it would be a good idea if somebody submits an FOI application requesting a copy of Steve Conroys blacklist. 😉

8 thoughts on “Transparent government

  1. What a gin show. I’d much rather a recall election mechanism to get rid of Governments that tax without legislation and breach constitutional rules about freedom of the media.

    “You are free to view the level of our bastardry”

  2. We’ve always had transparent government!
    Whenever I look at a politician, there’s nothing there!

  3. Thanks, Steve. You know what they say- if you only reach one other person, you should try something different!

  4. My company once had a contract with the commonwealth government that a bunch of greenie fanatics wanted to look at. The public servants came up with a multitude of blocking mechanisms including the one that ultimately succeeded, which was to charge a high cost per page. The fanatics, of course, had no money.

    I didn’t think it would make much difference if the contract was released so I asked the public servants why they did it. The answer, more or less, was ‘because we can’. It seems the public servants disliked the fanatics more than me and didn’t want to give them anything at all that might be used against them.

    The new FOI legislation will have to be well written to circumvent this kind of thinking. I guarantee a lot more stuff will be classified as secret or commercial in confidence, or is subject to informal methods of recording.

  5. This is exactly like Obama’s Executive Order to “End Guantanamo”…. 🙄

    Australias New Bureaucracy?

    The New FOI Legislation

  6. Some people think that ‘Of’ means ‘From’, because a phrase like, “An Australian Politician”, could mean a politician of Australia, or a politician from Australia, for example.
    So bureaucrats could think that Freedom OF Information really means freedom FROM Information! Another example of English language confusion. We have certainly achieved freedom FROM information today!

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