Sorry, I was just watching The Road To Hong Kong…
Well, the long awaited PATI legislation is moving forward, with drafts available at http://www.gov.bm (here and here). I know that the PATI legislation has been in development continuously since former Premier Alex Scott initiated the project publicly. Admittedly it hasn’t always been on the front burner of political priorities, and the process of adapting the concept to a small island state was not as easy as one may at first think, but it looks like it is certainly moving forward again.
I still need to read over the draft documents, and compare them with the initial PATI documents. However some more intrepid folk have alread skimmed through them and raised a number of criticisms. Namely there seems to be some criticism of the PATI process being under the control of the Premier through the Cabinet Office, that the legislation will only be implemented two to three years from its commencement, and that it will not apply to information created after the date it is enacted.
I don’t have a problem with the first two bits myself. It makes sense to me that PATI, like the Sustainable Development project, should be part of the Cabinet Office and Central Policy Unit. Afterall, without creating a Ministry of Information (cue Orwellian themes…), where else would people expect it to be placed? Perhaps the Ombudsman’s office, but I think the Cabinet Office is the more natural home. As for the two to three year period, I think that is a fair estimation of how long it will take for the various government ministries and departments to be smoothly incorporated into PATI.
I don’t understand the reason for PATI only applying to information created following the enactment of PATI. It certainly leaves the government open to rumour-mongering and undermines the credibility of PATI. At best I can understand if records prior to that date are not easily accessible due to inconsistent bureaucratic filing processes, but they should still not be unavailable. Rather they should say that information dating from before the enactment of PATI may take slightly longer to process than more recent information. As stated above, I haven’t read over the new PATI documents yet, so perhaps they will satisfactorily answer my concern.
I reccommend readers take the time to carefully analyse the PATI documents and I look forward to whatever constructive criticism people are able to add.