Search This Blog

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mr. Moore goes to the AAT

Sydney Morning Herald FOI Editor, Matthew Moore, now has a new weekly spot for his "What they won't tell you" column - it now appears each Thursday in the Stay in Touch section.

His column today "What price the public interest", is a continuation of the battle with the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations over a request for a 50% discount on public interest grounds on an estimated charge of $13,000 for access to documents about the development of the Government's Welfare to Work policy. The online version of the column includes a link to the letters received from the Department - have a read and weep!

Moore estimates the Federal Government is spending around $200.000 on high powered legal advice and representation in an attempt to save $6500. It comes down to a government agency fighting on all fronts, just because it can, and has the resources to do so.

FOI can become a technical, legal battleground and a far cry from its spirit and intent.

Matthew Moore versus the combined forces of the Government in the Sydney Office of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal next Monday should be worth watching. It will be a bit like that idealistic James Stewart character taking on a corrupt US Senate in the old movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

No comments:

Post a comment