Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fair Game and a script-writing opportunity

Watched the movie Fair Game last night; what made it really really scary is the fact that it was based on a true story. Seems like there will always be a huge price to pay for being honest in a 'democracy' - but at least the perjurers and the protocol-fiends were brought to book ... eventually.

Which is sort of interesting from the perspective of a Teacher Librarian of my acquaintance, who sought advice on their employer's expectation in the case where a manager's instruction was contrary to the Code of Conduct. Having taken the query to the organisation's CEO, and been passed back down the line to the very same person that "caused" the enquiry [the causal agent], most bizarrely the matter became a disciplinary one - for the person seeking clarification.

Gained through Freedom of Information procedures is the hand-written notation (pictured) to "deal with" the Teacher Librarian; significantly not one of addressing the conflict between an instruction and the Code of Conduct.

This extract, and indeed the whole document, are available under FOI procedures (now called GIPA in NSW), so this isn't a "wikileak" style disclosure. Just to be clear on this. I have removed or obscured all names other than my own.

"Ring [causal agent ] re Credaro - discuss issue of dealing with her" refers to the query re conflicting instructions. "Deal with complaint as complaint" refers to the causal agent's complaint regarding the query.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that although a thirty dollar application fee is mandated for GIPA/FOI queries, the government department now wants another five hundred ($500) to provide copies of other related documents, based on the vast volume of paperwork involved. Which is what that unit was set up to do in the first place. Figuring that one out is beyond me. Referred to the Ombudsman, who has in turn referred it to the Office of the Information Commissioner. Is it starting to sound a little "big brother"ish?

Sure, the vilification of a Teacher Librarian doesn't rate up there with the deliberate exposure of a covert CIA operative, but this continuing saga does present an opportunity for an aspiring script writer.

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