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Survey: Public access to information denied, blocked or restricted

By soome2000     Mar 12, 2007 in World
A four month Osprey survey of Ontario public institutions has found that there are numerous cases of public agencies denying, blocking and restricting access to public information.
Brian Beamish, assistant commissioner access, with Ontario's Office of Information and Privacy, said the findings of the Osprey survey come as no surprise to him and called on public institutions across the province to “embrace the spirit of openness” contained within Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act.
The Ontario government spends $80 billion of taxpayer's dollars annually.
"Both Conservative Leader John Tory and NDP Leader Howard Hampton accused the Liberals of using delays and denials and outright manipulation to frustrate information requests they make to the province. "
Have you ever wondered how money is dispersed when a new study, survey or report is announced? If you can't convince the organization to give you the information you want willing, you can request the information for $5.00 and a simple 2-step method.
"Government organizations that receive information requests under FIPPA or MFIPPA must respond within 30 calendar days of receipt of a request. However, under some circumstances, government organizations may need to extend this time frame."
A few examples from the survey:
-A retired separate school principal in Sault Ste. Marie is investigated by the police for alleged theft of money to feed a gambling habit. The school board refuses any comment saying it’s a personnel matter.
-Queens University refused to reveal what type of animals it uses in lab for fear of public backlash
-The Peterborough police commission refused to name a board member who was the subject of a complaint. It turned out it was a city councillor
-Brock University denied a request for a copy of a study on student cheating on campus. A professor provided some information but a reporter ended up getting a copy online
-The Kingston Whig Standard requested a copy of an audit of the local District Immigrant Services office after its president was forced to step down and the agency had all its federal funding pulled. An FOI was filed but the paper was asked to pay a $1,000 bill for the information it wanted
..and the list goes on and on.
So if you have the patience and you have enough five dollar bills you can get, at least a denial or refusal, for the information you desire.
More about Stonewall, Ontario, Secrecy, Access, Information