Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Parliament, transparency and accountability.

No jurisdiction in Australia has yet acted to bring parliament as an institution under the Freedom of Information umbrella. The latest best practice model, Queensland's draft Right to Information bill, specifically excludes the Legislative Assembly.

The Australian Law Reform Commission 1995 Open Government report recommended the Commonwealth houses of parliament be subject to FOI. So as we have been led to believe, we can expect to see something from the Government in 2009 about the recommendations in that long ignored report, maybe we will see a breakthrough soon.

To take things one step further, just imagine the jump into the 21st Century if things like the register of members interests was up on line!

In New Zealand the issue of transparency and parliament has cropped up again recently.The Dominion Post in this editorial about the problems of access to government information, says "the new Government should break with.. cynical tradition and agree to subject Parliament to the (Official Information) act, too, something even the prickly previous Speaker, Margaret Wilson, cautiously advocated last year."

Thanks to Rick Snell for the lead.

By the way, the register of interests of members of parliament in New Zealand is on-line and accessible here.

No comments:

Post a comment