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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Name and shame thinking doesn't alter attachment to old ways

California Association of Child Care

"Name and shame" rolls off the ministerial tongue easily these days in NSW- first in connection with a website to list penalty notices issued for serious non-compliance with food safety standards; this week, the Premier used these words in announcing a website to publish details of successful prosecutions for breach of regulations by pre-schools and child care centres.
Maybe it's some sort of hang over from the state's early days as a penal colony?

In both instances the Government stopped short of embracing transparency as a tool to be used to promote public policy and regulatory objectives.Publishing details of penalty notices is one thing, but compliance with food handling standards would improve generally if inspection reports were published, providing an incentive as well for those that do satisfactorily to do even better. The same goes for compliance with regulation of centres that look after kids. Successful prosecutions are in any event a matter of public record, so publication on a website might be of assistance to those interested but no big deal.When it commences the Premier expects ten centers will be listed as a result of 3300 inspected since 2004.

You don't have to search far on the web to find examples of highly transparent regulatory models. In the UK, Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education,Children's Services and Skills publishes inspection reports on all centres involved in safeguarding children- 162 childminders and 73 daycare providers just last week. Regulators do the same in many other places, including Alaska .

As for NSW moving from nothing to something is the best we can manage....,for the moment at least

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