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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Transparency 101 briefing prompts more fundamental interest in best practice

That must have been quite a cabinet briefing on Sunday.We'll need to see the detail but, according to this report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Premier Rees is seriously interested in addressing NSW's "secret state "problem:
"In other developments, Mr Rees today flagged an overhaul of the State's freedom of information legislation, as part of efforts to improve both transparency and accountability of government......Asked if the accountability and transparency proposals involve updating the State's long criticised FOI legislation, Mr Rees said: "Yes we will". "My approach to this issue, or any others, frankly is: ... whatever the problem or the policy area might be, I want to know what jurisdiction, or like jurisdiction in the world does it best, and then the next question I ask is, 'Why don't we do that here?'."
The Premier needs to write to the Ombudsman to make it clear this is what he wants to see in the Ombudsman's report on the review of the legislation currently underway in that office, or to tell the Ombudsman to back off while an independent review takes a look at world's best practice and how to make it work here.

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