The paper trail ends

In July, the Campbell administration didn't print hard copies of the detailed schedule of payments for British Columbia's consolidated revenue fund - the document listing how much money has been paid out to government service providers. And now its service plans - which were once distributed to reporters on budget day - have gone paperless, only available electronically. That may be good news for the environment. But it's bad news for muckrakers who want to thumb through those plans, looking for stories.

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I would hope they post those docs online if they want to rebuild trust.

I also think this is incredibly telling:

M. Polak: Obviously, we gets lots of reports, paper, everything else to read. I'm pleased, generally, with the kind of reporting we get. ...

One thing, though. I've personally had lots of experience working with committees, boards, etc., and having to make recommendations based on reviews and reports that we receive in and have to review, question and make a determination as to whether we make a recommendation on another organization. I'm not in the habit of doing that without going beyond reading the report.

If one only reads the report and doesn't do some questioning with respect to: "Oh, here's this item in the report that I'm not familiar with. Okay. Well, I'm going to make a phone call, or I'm going to find the appropriate statute or whatever, and I'm going to do what have you." I'm a little annoyed that the time frame in which we're being asked to do this has not afforded me the opportunity to do that. I guess what bothers me about it — and it probably isn't intentioned, but it certainly comes across that way — is that I feel like now I'm in a box because there's a time line that says that this goes to your planner, and the request for funding goes to Finance and Government Services. Therefore, here I am in this box at the meeting with: "I only got this 48 hours ago, but I have to approve it. If we don't, there's a problem."


Now, that's leadership obviously. It's also showing that reports matter to at least one Cabinet Minister (who just happens to have a pro bono publicist).

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