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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weekly cabinet report and open gov website-maybe more-for ACT

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher received another run in the Canberra Times for her open government plans with this report based on a media release of 23 June that followed her earlier comment she was going to make an announcement.The media statement commences:
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, will make public access to information the default position of her Government as the first step in increasing openness of Government. Measures include release of a weekly summary of Cabinet issues and decisions and creation of an Open Government Website, which will be used to release government background reports and reviews; provide public access to material released through Freedom of Information; and access to submissions made during public consultation.The plans outlined in a Ministerial Statement to the Assembly today, are set to make the ACT Cabinet the most open in the nation and include a commitment to hold a Virtual Community Cabinet on Twitter next month.
The Ministerial Statement referred to, with those details some of us love, will show up when the Assembly Hansard for 23 June is published. My two attempts to get it from the Chief Minister's Media Adviser came to nothing-she first sent me the wrong document and hasn't been able to send the right one since I brought this to her attention last week. (Update: the debate on the matter is at the Hansard p 2422. The Chief Minister spoke, took a pasting from the opposition and The Greens over her record on open government, and tabled the Ministerial Statement. But as the document doesn't appear in Hansard or anywhere else I can see online, interested parties need to toddle into Civic during business hours to see if there is anything more in it. In speaking to the Assembly the Chief Minister didn't even mention the Committee report on FOI referred to in this post.)

If you are interested in what the politicians had to say about transparency and openness in the ACT before the Chief Minister made her ministerial statement you will find the three sides of the story-Government, Greens and the Liberal Party- at page 2130 of the Assembly Hansard 21 June in a debate on the importance of open government. But only if you are really interested-it ran for an hour.

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