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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alberta businesses take a shine to FOI

From the Edmonton Sun:
According to Privacy Commissioner Frank Work "Alberta businesses have the lion’s share of requests (for information through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) at 52% while the media is the smallest user at about 2%, (and) private individuals accounted for 30%.The remaining requests came from researchers and organizations such as political parties. Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk credits the province’s transparency for the low number of media requests."
Another reason (nudge, nudge to Australian authorities) may be helpful publication practices:
"The province posts online the following information: flight manifests for government aircraft, minister’s office expenses, all government payments made to third parties, environmental studies and inspection reports for all supportive living facilities."
Business in Australia, generally speaking, has been a voice rarely heard in debate on access to government information issues, and in contrast to the business community in Alberta, seems to regard FOI as some sort of enemy rather than a friend.

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