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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pass the parcel Freedom of Information application

I'm not quite at the stage of regularly reading the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) of NSW newsletter "The Voice" but an anonymous reader of the blog has drawn my attention to this article "How the NSW Government Frustrates CPSA FOI Applications" in the August edition.

There are always at least two sides to every story, but the CPSA version of events surrounding an unsuccessful attempt to access documents makes interesting reading. They sought access to information about a community consultation that the government claimed indicated "overwhelming" support for a policy initiative in which they were interested. There was a long delay that went far beyond the statutory time limit (including past the March election), followed by eventual transfer of the application to another agency. Then after a complaint to the Ombudsman (who found nothing untoward in the delay) they finally received a response from the second agency that no documents were held about consultation with the public.

Not a good look for the two agencies involved, RailCorp and the Ministry of Transport.

Thanks to the sharp eyed reader for the lead.

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