Thursday, November 26, 2015

Fiddling the OIA

Even the Police Association's Greg O'Connor recognises that the police and wider public sector are fiddling the OIA:

Police and other government departments are reluctant to hand over public information because of potential embarrassment to politicians, says Police Association president Greg O'Connor.

"Anyone who is dealing with the public sector at the moment - there tends to be an attitude of making people work very hard for their Official Information Act information," he said.


Mr O'Connor said the public service - including police - had adopted a defensive posture when it came to releasing information.

"Commissioners are answerable to ministers as any other CEO in the public sector. The stuff that is going to embarrass government is going to be hidden in official documents or statistics."

This is a problem that everybody seems to recognise, yet nothing is ever done about it. The Ombudsman, who should be hacking into the perpetrators with a flaming sword, seems helpless. And the consequences for confidence in our political system and the rule of law are significant. If the government and public servants can flout the law like this, why shouldn't we?