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