Friday, February 26, 2010

From The 'Accountability in Government' Party

Remember 2006? Specifically, do you remember Stephen Harper prattling on about increasing government transparency and accountability? I thought you might.

Well, it seems that the HarperCon$ have decided that rather than actually being open and accountable to the public, they have decided to quit keeping records at all.

But the Conservatives may have found the ultimate solution to the problem. There's an easy way to prevent anyone from getting access to your records, a veteran bureaucrat explained this week – don't keep records. Team Harper is catching on, he said. There's far less documentation, far less record-keeping. It's the formula for deniability. Why not make it the way of the future?

The bureaucrat was at the Department of National Defence, where the Afghan detainee affair has brought controversy, some of it prompted by journalistic prying through access laws. “I get a call from the Privy Council Office,” he said. “They're setting up a conference call. The first thing that's said is ‘No note-taking, no recordings, nothing. We don't want to see anything in writing on this.' … That's the way they develop policies now and, for my money, it's scary.”

Think about this for a moment. The government - and in particular the governing party - is going out of its way to ensure that they can deny anything that was done behind closed doors. This is not the mark of a government that is operating either honestly or in the best interests of the people it is supposed to be governing.

As far as I am concerned, referring back to my thoughts earlier this week about reforming the powers of the government leadership, there should be no such thing as a meeting that doesn't have minutes fully recorded and publishable.

Accountability and transparency is an aspect of government that must exist throughout the entire organization from top to bottom. When the PMO and the governing party set themselves apart from this standard, it undermines the very concept of government accountability.


VĂ©ronique said...

Wouldn't most organizations lose their credentials if they didn't take proper notes during meetings? Not this government, I guess.

evilscientist said...

Remember, for Harper, his Conservatives and his supporters rules are indeed for other people.