The Mature Australia Party proposes that:
All Governments (State, Federal and local) take steps to ‘untangle’ current Freedom of Information (FOI) regulations and procedures to make PUBLIC information more accessible and open to the PUBLIC!
As FOI procedures now function, (at all levels) they have the effect of making ‘free and open access’ to public information (so called) as complicated and costly as possible, ostensibly to prevent material that authorities want to keep ‘in the dark‘ from being exposed to the light of day.
FOI procedures are unnecessarily and frustratingly complicated, mostly very slow, and subject (in many cases) to all sorts of ‘privacy’ considerations. Finally very costly to anyone who has the stamina (or the funds) to pursue requests to their conclusion and to get copies of the documentation they seek.
It is not unusual for such access to allegedly PUBLIC records to cost applicants hundreds even thousands of dollars. Most people simply cannot afford that.
Long-suffering members of the public, seeking access to public documents, firstly meet the costs of financing the publicly funded politicians and bureaucracy in charge of the FOI systems. Then the cost of whatever they produce and finally, again, access to public documents under the FOI protocols and procedures.
It is a ‘triple whammy’ financially, for members of the public in many cases!
These procedures must be reined in and thoroughly overhauled to make Freedom of Information a GENUINE policy OF Governments and FOR the people who elect them and fund them!
Costs of access to ANY public documents (held by publicly funded governments or agencies), should be minimal to guarantee maximum access by ALL members of the public seeking it.