OFF TOPIC - Re: [LINK] Why so many of us think we're overtaxed

Greg Taylor gtaylor@efa.org.au
Tue, 25 Feb 2003 22:45:35 +1000


At 10:38 PM 25/02/03 +1100, Antony Barry wrote:

>On Tuesday, February 25, 2003, at 05:05 PM, Frank O'Connor wrote:
>
>>2. There is little or no accountability for the disposition of the 
>>revenue raised.
>
>I disagree.
>
>They are called the budget papers which get examined by Estimates 
>Committees of the Parliament. They are called Auditor-Generals reports. 
>They are called  annual reports of departments and statuary bodies which 
>are tabled in Parliament and may get debated should problems appear.

I disagree with your disagreement.

The figures published in budget papers and annual reports are often summary 
totals only.  As an example (which might even bring this subject back on 
topic), it is impossible to find out from budget papers or annual reports 
the cost to taxpayers of the government's Internet censorship regime 
administered by the ABA.  Attempts by EFA to find out through the FOI 
process what the ABA is actually censoring were equally unsuccessful.  Now 
the government has legislation on the agenda to prevent EFA from using the 
FOI Act again to scrutinize the ABA's activities in this area.  For more 
info, see:
     http://www.efa.org.au/FOI/clabill2002/

Accounting is not the same as accountability.

If the government was genuinely accountable, the FOI Act would not be 
routinely interpreted by departments as freedom FROM information.

Greg