[LINK] Key NBN bill passes the Senate
jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Sat Mar 26 09:53:09 EST 2011
At 09:04 AM 26/03/2011, Tom Worthington wrote:
>However, the review does not of itself change the FOI Act to cover NBN
>Co. It seems reasonable to me that the FOI act should apply to NBN Co.,
>given that it has a legislated monopoly and acts at the direction of the
>Minister for Broadband.
That's unfortunate. I saw in The Age this morning that NBN just has
to demonstrate they have lawfully complied with something they don't
have to comply with. Huh?
"The government also agreed to review after one year whether NBN Co
was complying with freedom-of-information laws, after a Greens amendment."
It doesn't exactly say that. It says the following and there is NO
change to the FOI requirements of NBN Co at all (see point 4 below):
100A Review of operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 so
far as that Act relates to documents of NBN Co
(1) Before the first anniversary of the commencement
of this section, the FOI Minister must cause to be conducted a review
of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 so far as
that Act relates to documents of NBN Co.
(2) The FOI Minister must cause to be prepared a
report of a review under subsection (1).
(3) The FOI Minister must cause copies of the report
to be tabled in each House of the Parliament.
(4) For the purposes of this section, the question of
whether a document is a document of NBN Co is to be determined in the
same manner as that question is determined under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 .
(5) In this section:
document has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 .
FOI Minister means the Minister administering the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 .
There are other groups that have been said to be outside FOI, such as
NEHTA. [Roger, correct me if I have this wrong.] This has been a
problem because of the level of reliance the country has on this
group for eHealth, and in particular for the last 10 years,
electronic health records.
It's like we have this second government operating, either through
assigned 'independent' qangos that just fall outside the compliance
rules or public-private-partnerships where commercial in confidence
comes into play.
In the first, it's ALL public money that is funding them, so they
should be covered by the same rules we expect of the government
agencies to whom they answer. It's like the govt department has this
checklist when dreaming up the structure to handle a program: do we
want to hide some of this and keep the public out? Yes = Set up
qango. No = set up department task force.
I can see how there might be adjustments for PPPs, but not with
regard to the moneys we spend on our share of those projects.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer
_ __________________ _
More information about the Link