Hefty bill for information about government's FOI plan

The government estimates it has prepared approximately 1,000 pages of briefing notes regarding a controversial plan that could change how the province handles freedom of information requests. But the government won't release those records without a $535 fee payment. Under that plan, the records the government releases in response to freedom of information requests won't just be given to the applicant. Instead, they will be given to everyone - including journalists who could potentially get an easy story out of a competing reporter's hard work. This, according to a report by The Vancouver Sun's Chad Skelton. That's similar to a system already in place at British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. But, in a recent scrum with reporters, Citizens' Services Minister Mary McNeil suggested the government's plan to follow that model isn't set in stone, stating, "We're going to learn from BC Ferries, but we're not BC Ferries." The aforementioned cost and page estimates were provided in response to a freedom of information request filed by Public Eye. The following is a complete copy of that response.

5 Comments

It seems the Liberals have a lot to hide. It's a far cry from when the Liberals came to power and promised such open and accountable government that even cabinet meetings would be open to the public.

It seems FOI is seen as a cost to pass on instead of absorb by the free enterprise party. Understandable, but a wrong choice because public records should be public. Public records helped cease the PacifiCatastrophe, remove Basi & Virk from their positions of power and create many open data apps to help people get better government.

To contrast... in Washington State, there is a Coalition for Open Government that seems to have beat back an attempt to charge for more than five (5) hours of search time in HB 1300. Sadly, BC needs its own Coalition and to grow a pair. There is nothing the BCLibs would fear more than a united press gallery...

"L" is the first letter on the word "lie". The letter appears twice in the word Liberal.How appropriate!

It would appear that the title of the Ministry, "Citizens Services" is an oxymoron. What services? Only those services you are willing to pay for? Looks like those nice folks in the Kremlin(PAB)have found another way to avoid disclosing the truth.

I really think the tone of some of these comments if thrown at the gov't bench would most certainly not get the FOI reforms necessary. What is necessary is coalition building of media, watchdogs, community activists & businesspeople that "get it" open gov't ensures fair playing field. Thank you.

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