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Monday, February 18, 2013

NSW never fails to shock or disappoint

Those of us in NSW are bearing but not grinning at revelations before the Independent Commission Against Corruption of get rich schemes involving former ministers. My one sentence about matters not mentioned to date made the Letters in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday:
"I guess anything that happened while Eddie Obeid himself was making decisions as minister for fisheries and minister for mineral resources from 1999 to 2003 is just ancient history, and we best move on?"
State Political Editor Sean Nicholls highlighted shortcomings and calls for change from Labor (new to such things) and The Greens about the pecuniary interest register and lobbying disclosures. The Premier is waiting for the ICAC report he says. Both issues have been the subject of recommendations going back years that weren't acted upon.

Among the "transparency" news in Fairfax Media today is this NSW Government Information (Public Access) Act gem:
The Greens MLC John Kaye asked about casual staff at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital and how many had been employed for longer than 12 weeks. The right to information manager at the Mid North Coast Local Health District, Chris Chick, replied it would cost $13,262 to retrieve the information. That included an estimated 51.5 hours at $36 an hour to check the database.


  1. Anonymous6:03 pm

    I don't think some Right to Information Officers quite understand the concept of 'right to information'.

  2. surely some simple search algorithm in the computer code could do this very quickly - even transfer to an excel spreadsheet and do some manipulations. Not understanding the concept of right to information is right!

  3. Wow. If it really was a 51.5 hour job that would mean either no investment in any sort of records management system or a poor implementation.

    I don't see why people making FOI / GIPA requests should wear the additional costs resulting from internal failures.

  4. Thanks Nathan, no argument there.