Why is Parliament violating PAIA?

In May 2018 the Parliament administration solicited bids for a forensic investigation into accusations of misconduct at the Parliamentary Budget Office. The forensic investigation commenced in June 2018 and was completed by the end of July (within the very limited time-frame given by Parliament). The Director of the Parliamentary Budget Office, Mohammed Jahed, resigned shortly thereafter accompanied by strenuous denials that the resignation related to the investigation into misconduct.

After some less formal requests for the report, in March 2019 I initiated an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act. The Parliament administration first sought to extend the time period for reply and then stopped providing substantive replies – meaning it is now in violation of the PAIA Act. In my most recent letter to the Acting Secretary of Parliament (who is officially the Information Officer for Parliament) I lay out the details of the preceding correspondence and the legal implications.

The big question is: why is Parliament so desperate to hide the report it commissioned?

Author: peripheralecon

Public sector economist, extra-mural academic

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