Transparency without publicity

This year, the Campbell administration spent $587,791.06 on the premier's fourth annual innovation and excellence awards. But what government initiatives, you may wonder, did that money go toward celebrating? Well, among the finalists was the ministry of labour and citizens' services new policy to provide the public with "free access to contract and performance information" about major back-office and information technology outsourcing deals. According to the event program, that policy - which was implemented by the alternative service delivery secretariat - makes British Columbia "the first jurisdiction in Canada to proactively publish signed contracts and report regularly on the performance measures of ASD projects, positioning the Province as the most transparent jurisidiction in Canada and a worldwide transparency leader." Sounds grand! But, unfortunately, the government hasn't distributed any advisories directing media to the Website where that information can be found. The reason: well, according to labour and citizens' services: "As the ASD Transparency Policy is an internal policy, it was not the subject of an external public release."

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