2 Jul 2008

Where the hell is 'Lawsuit'?

Where the hell is Ramesh 'Lawsuit' Maharaj when you need him? He seems to be wooing some hard-back maxi men with sweet lyrics. I don't know if they will be voting UNC come the next election though, given the area they hail from.

Where he is really needed, since he is all so fired up and eager to sue every man, woman and goat in the government, is to take a test case to the High Court or even to the Privy council, and let the courts rule on whether the government can really withhold information (on its spending) for frivolous and/or dubious reasons.

Culture Minister Marlene McDonald cited a clause from the Freedom of Information Act which exempts documents from being disclosed if it unreasonably reveals personal information of an individual.

So is it unreasonable to want to know who receives our tax dollars and how much?

Referring to section four of the Act, McDonald read the explanation of personal information which included information relating to education, medical, psychological, employment history and financial transactions.

By the same argument, that sentence negates anyone from disclosing information to the Integrity Commission. All they have to do is cite financial and personal information will be revealed, and then tell the IC where to shove it.

Where a request by a person other than a person referred to in subsection (2) is made to a public authority for access to a document containing personal information of any individual (including a deceased individual) and the public authority decides to grant access to the document, the public authority shall, if practicable, notify the individual who is the subject of that information (or in the case of a deceased individual, that individual’s next-of-kin) of the decision and of the right to apply to the High Court for judicial review of the decision and the time within which the application for review is required to be made.

Shame that the Law Association, and others, are not commenting on this, because the Act does seem to allow disclosure and in the instance where the individual involved objects, s/he has to obtain a ruling by the High Court to prevent the information from being disclosed.

More autocracy from PNM and Pa-trick, and less transparency.