Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Things Paula Bennett doesn't want you to know

Back in August, Paula Bennett announced a new community finance pilot scheme to drive loan-sharks out of business by offering low-interest government loans. I was curious about the scheme, and particularly curious about the decision to select the Salvation Army as the provider, given the government's other dubious decisions around them. So I submitted an OIA request seeking all advice and communications regarding the pilot, and information on the selection of the contractor and the process used.

Today, in what is becoming a common occurrence, my request was extended until mid-October - well after the election.

Its another typical example of this government treating the OIA process with contempt. But it also raises a question: what is the Minister trying to hide? What doesn't she want us to know before we vote? Was there a tender process at all, or was this another case where the Minister simply handed out public money with no process and no oversight?

Sadly, we won't know until she releases the information.