Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A good idea

Over on Kiwiblog, DPF has a good idea for open government:

That all papers and reports considered by Cabinet and/or a Cabinet Committee be automatically placed on the Internet within six months.
Many government departments already do this, and proactively release cabinet papers on significant issues the moment they have been signed off by Cabinet. But not all do, it certainly doesn't cover every issue, and you get the information at the end of the policy development process rather than during it. Requiring proactive release would give us far greater scrutiny of what the government is up to, and the possibility of objecting at a much earlier stage, rather than being presented with a fait accompli.

One potential downside is that proactive release could give Ministers an excuse to refuse requests under s18(d) on the basis that the information "will soon be publicly available". It will need heavy initial policing by the Ombudsmen to prevent this.

So, who wants to take an Official Information (Proactive Disclosure of Cabinet Papers) Bill?