Monday, June 18, 2012


FEDERAL Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has vowed to restrict access to Freedom of Information laws and "correct an anomaly" that allows parliament to be subjected to requests for official documents.
The parliament -- or, more specifically, the three departments that run parliament in Canberra –as opposed to ‘we the people’ -- has long been considered off limits to federal FOI laws, which include an exemption protecting anything that might be considered contempt.
However, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which oversees FOI “laws” –When was the referendum that give community assent to FOI Laws? There never was, otherwise Roxon would have to call a referendum to CHANGE those laws. These so-called laws are in fact called statutes, or, as the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 defines them ‘Acts’, and are only applicable if you consent to them–, this month declared parliament had actually been subject to FOI for more than a decade.
When legislation establishing a Parliamentary Budget Office was reintroduced with a specific FOI exemption, the OAIC reconsidered the status of the three departments.
"For years, it had been assumed that the FOI Act did not apply to the parliamentary departments," FOI commissioner James Popple told The Australian yesterday. "That was probably the case up until 1999.
However, when the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 was enacted, those departments became subject to the FOI Act, even though this may not have been intended."
The departments of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and parliamentary services are understood to have challenged the OAIC interpretation and taken the issue up with Ms Roxon, who supported their view of the intent of the FOI Act.
Why do you think that it is the case that these three departments did not want to be subject to the FOI Act? What are they trying to hide? What do you know about these departments? Share your secrets in the thread below?
"It has been long-accepted practice that the parliamentary departments are exempt from FOI," a spokesman for Ms Roxon said yesterday.
It appears that we have three secretive parliamentary departments that accidentally became subject to an Act that they always should’ve been subjected to, and now Roxon is trying to make them secret again.
"The government is currently considering its options to correct this anomaly."
Dr Popple said that was "a matter for the government and the parliament". It remains to be seen whether the Coalition, Greens or independents would be willing to fight to retain the current scope of the FOI Act. In Britain, such scrutiny contributed to the 2009 parliamentary expenses furore and the downfall of numerous MPs. However, former British prime minister Tony Blair, in his memoir, expressed his regret over the introduction of FOI laws, describing it as "naive, foolish and irresponsible".
Australia's FOI laws –notice how the Rupert Murdoch owned corporate propaganda bog roll seemingly interchanges the words ‘law/s’ & ‘act/s' as if they were the same thing? That’s a programming technique because a law can only be changed @ referendum, an Act can be changed by a popular vote of seemingly elected criminals– were overhauled in 2009 and are due to be reviewed again. Ms Roxon is also considering a new charging regime that would potentially make FOIs more costly and time-consuming –THEY DO NOT LIKE US STANDING UP TO THEM. THEY ESPECIALLY HATE US HOLDING THEM TO ACCOUNT VIA THEIR OWN PROTOCOLS AND ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT for the community to hold them accountable, and if you are poor, forget it, you are not wanted in the Corporate Australian Cartel anyway– for applicants, who would also be unable to lodge complex requests.
They pumped up the fees to go to the High Court in order to prevent access to a court of law and it is quite likely that these changes have less to do with the secret departments and everything to do the suppression of the people and their rights.
The government is also examining the reach of FOI as far as the National Broadband Network is concerned, while the work of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is also being investigated by the OAIC.
To quote Bill Hicks:
“You are free to do what we tell you,
 You are free to do as you are told.”
or Thom Yorke:
calm fitter, healthier and more productive
a pig in a cage on antibiotics"

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