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Monday, June 01, 2009

Secrecy and transparency in the news

Food inspections report- but no details of which councils inspect, or don't
The NSW Food Authority published a report on the first six months of inspections of food premises under the partnership agreement with local councils. However the report has omitted the names of councils that have undertaken inspections and related details from each council area -"Public left guessing about food check details"-Sydney Morning Herald.

Nursing home complaints on-line-but not details of compliance with standards
Complaints about nursing homes have tripled in a year. "A name-and-shame list will appear on a Department of Health and Ageing website from July 1. But Aged Care Crisis Team spokeswoman Lynda Saltarelli said the information would be more than a year old and would relate only to a small number of homes subject to complaints. "We would like to see a transparent system where a consumer can look at a nursing home and find out the type of ownership and structure; whether it has been the subject of failing standards as well as a complaint; the nature of the complaint; and what the provider did to address that complaint," Ms Saltarelli said. "Our nursing homes in turmoil"-Sun Herald

Pub safety rating scheme developed behind closed doors
The NSW Government "has been accused of deliberately avoiding public scrutiny of its proposed safety rating system for clubs and pubs in an effort to hide the influence the liquor industry is wielding over the development of the scheme." "Too much secrecy over pub ratings"- Sydney Morning Herald

Twelve month FOI battle for dated emergency preparedness reports
"These reports on Australia's capacity to cope with disasters should have been released to the public back when they were completed years ago. Instead the two departments the Attorney General's and Health and Ageing hid them. On the one hand, our government was telling us we all needed to be resilient in the face of disasters by preparing for the worst and not relying on public services to save us. On the other, they were hiding from us the kind of information needed to make sensible judgements about how much help we can expect if the worst happens." Tim Lester NineMSN

Too much transparency destructive say school principals
"High school principals are threatening to withhold results of the national literacy and numeracy tests from the Federal Government to prevent the creation of school league tables... National education ministers have voiced opposition against "simplistic" school league tables, but this has not prevented the creation of school rankings by newspapers in some states such as Tasmania and Queensland.""Stand-off looms over high school league tables"- Fairfax Media

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