I find it completely frustrating, even though by now I should be used to it, but it is interesting that the government of both political persuasions and federal and state jurisdictions want everyone accountable and everything open to public scrutiny, except their activities.
After 45 years in the public service and 20 years working with FOI, I can tell you there is more than enough protection for any legitimate reasons to withhold certain documents or information from the public.
As long as government feels the need to hide its decisions behind legislation we, the general public, will never be able to hold them accountable.
It’s amusing to see in the latest NSW FOI legislation it specifically states at Section 15(c) and (d):
Principles that apply to public interest determination
A determination as to whether there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of government information is to be made in accordance with the following principles:
(c) The fact that disclosure of information might cause embarrassment to, or a loss of confidence in, the Government is irrelevant and must not be taken into account.
(d) The fact that disclosure of information might be misinterpreted or misunderstood by any person is irrelevant and must not be taken into account.
Yet government will turn cartwheels to avoid having to admit it made a mistake. However, it demands that, if a public servant makes a mistake, he or she must be held accountable.
It looks like there are different rules for those in position of power and influence, I thought this was a democratic country? And on the 4th of July too.