NRT on Curran’s illegal actions

Malcolm Harbrow, who writes at No Right Turn, is consistent in one thing: holding governments, no matter their colour, to account over transparency.

He slams Clare Curran and the recent revelations in the house about illegal subversion of the OIA: Quote:

How committed to transparency is Clare Curran, our “Minister for Open Government”? The Public Media Advisory Group, which she appointed under her other hat as Broadcasting Minister,?decided that it would not keep minutes of its meetings after hearing that it would be subject to the OIA.

[…]?

MAG members also signed a “confidentiality deed”, presumably in an attempt to contract themselves out of the OIA.

Of course, this is illegal. The MAG is a public agency, and as such is required to?create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice. Failing to do this?is a crime, though the penalty is a paltry?$5,000 fine. But is also tremendously stupid, in that if the meeting doesn’t keep minutes, it won’t know what it has done in the past. Finally, its legally ineffective: the OIA applies to?information, not just documents. If the information exists only in people’s heads, then they are required to write it down for requesters. As for what to do about it, the answer is simple: the law should be enforced, and the group should be sacked and prosecuted for violating it. It is not acceptable for a government agency to deliberately refuse to create records in an effort to thwart the OIA regime, and they need to be held to account. End quote.

Malcolm Harbrow has always been consistent on this and it is pleasing to see him blog about it. There is total silence at The Daily Blog and The Standard.

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