Thursday, September 25, 2014

Puffery, misrepresentation or outright lies?

Puffery is an exaggeration or overstatement expressed in broad, vague, and commendatory language. According to Law for Business (Barnes et al., 1991),
"The elements of misrepresentation are ordinarily given as: Misrepresentation of a material fact justifiably relied upon to the detriment (causing harm to) to the person relying."

As I noted a few days ago, Andrew Carnegie, a 19th century robber baron and 20th century philanthropist, once said,
"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."
Tuesday, Elizabeth Denham, British Columbia's Information and Privacy Commissioner gave us opportunity to compare what Premier Clark does, compared to what she said. Denham issued this special report:
A STEP BACKWARDS: REPORT CARD ON GOVERNMENT’S ACCESS TO INFORMATION RESPONSES
From the report:
  • A fundamental element of democracy is that citizens have a right to access government records. Exercising this right promotes openness, transparency and accountability of government activities. Eroding this right diminishes the ability of citizens to hold their government accountable.

    The Supreme Court of Canada stated that “access to information legislation embodies values that are fundamental to our democracy.” Many jurisdictions around the world have enacted legislation, as British Columbia did in 1993 with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). FIPPA creates a statutory right to request records from public bodies, including government ministries. An essential element of this process is the right of an individual under FIPPA to receive a response from public bodies within 30 business days of making a request.
  • Since the publication of our last timeliness report in 2011, the average on-time response across all Ministries has dropped from 93% to 74%, average processing times have increased from 22 business days to 44 business days, and the average number of business days overdue rose from 17 to 47.
  • In fiscal year 2012/13, the Office of the Premier’s no responsive records rate dropped slightly [from 45%] to 42%, but was still the highest of any government ministry. ...In the course of reviewing the reasons for this trend we discovered that, in some instances, individuals were deleting received and sent items in bulk from email accounts.
  • I do have concerns with the Office of the Premier’s records management practices...
  • My investigators’ review of files and subsequent discussions with the Office of the Premier only highlights my concern that government has made little meaningful progress regarding a duty to document.


Notice that ministries ranking among the worst are involved in highly contentious activities, including spending or proposals to spend money outside the common daily functions of government. Those involve natural gas development, gaming grants, energy and mines, justice, tourism, job creation, training and child and family development, a ministry where the Liberal government has had an uninterrupted record of failures.

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4 comments:

  1. Bottom of listChildren 25 out of 100 .is that part of the highest poverty rate in Canada.?
    Why only bc uses this software.?lobbying successful.?

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://raesidecartoon.com/ed2.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Re: your tweet about the claim of 80,000 jobs from EU-CETA agreement, TILMA (2006) between BC and Alberta was claimed to result in 78,000 jobs. TILMA is another so-called trade deal with ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement). Almost identical dubious claims are used to implement both the TILMA and CEA agreements, both of which have ISDS. Part of the German Govt is opposed to CETA because of ISDS.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It appears that all of the those listed in the bottom category comprise the cabinet.

    ReplyDelete

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