Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Govt Office

Yesterday we wen't back to the government office to talk about forming a co-operative. This was the third or forth try and we'd been assured the person we needed talk to would be there. They weren't.

The officer we spoke to was rather embarrassed, though it wasn't his fault. Last time I was here I really wanted to take some photos but was told it wasn't allowed. Since we were waiting it seemed like a good opportunity to ask again. This time the officer was only to happy for some photos. He insisted I get one of me at his desk.

And another one in front of some paperwork. The bundles that you can see behind him are stacks of files wrapped in cloth. There we're stacks like that absolutely everywhere.

He explained that the government had introduced freedom of information legislation. If someone requests some information and it can't be found in the legislated time frame there is a fine to be paid by the government to the requester. The government makes the officer who was responsible for retrieving the information liable to pay the fine personally. That meant no one was prepared to throw any paperwork away, and they were drowning in it.

We did finally get to talk to someone who was able to answer our question. We can't register the organisation the way we'd hoped. Which means some plan re-work is required. Happily we have one day left, so that shouldn't be to hard. Should it?

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