BC FIPA has responded to the Federal Government consultation on the Open Government Partnership commitments with a highly critical examination of the government’s approach.
Lack of transparency is a serious issue in this country, and not just for this government. However, the Government of Canada labours under the most archaic Access to Information law, and has shown no inclination to improve the legislation. This is despite credible critiques from a series of Commissioners, experts, media and civil society groups.
The current OGP commitments are tinkering around the edges of a very serious problem. This government has in the past made credible proposals for reform which it has seen fit to ignore while in office. Until serious proposals for reform are included as commitments to the OGP, the government’s commitment to open government has to be questioned.
Read the full submission.
BC FIPA has made its submission on Open Government in response to this somewhat ad hoc consultation, which was announced by the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Tony Clement, on December 6, 2011.
Our submission is highly critical of the nature of the consultation and its focus only on open data and technology.
We did not think it was possible to create a consultation document on Open Government without making a single mention of Access to Information, but [the Treasury Board] did it … [I]t is beyond belief that a government would [do this]. The system is in crisis and the government must act immediately to make the necessary legislative and other changes.
Read the full submission (pdf).
BC FIPA also refers to its previous submission on this topic presented to the Access to Information, Ethics and Privacy Committee (ETHI) of the House of Commons early last year. In that submission, we explained how ‘open data’ cannot replace much needed reforms to the Access to Information system.
Read the ETHI submission (pdf).