Access to Information by the Numbers (II)

More success! Last week, after waiting almost three years, I finally received a response to my Access to Information request from Foreign Affairs and International Trade. A bit beyond the 30 calendar days that the request is supposed to take? Um, yeah.

Funny story, though. I made this request at the very beginning of my PhD research. So I guess it’s only fitting that it should show up in my mailbox – wait for it – the day before I completed a first draft of my entire dissertation.

The symmetry is enough to bring a tear to one’s eye, or a palm to one’s face.

It gets better! In the time it took me, a lowly PhD student, to travel to two countries, interview scores of people, and put together a three-hundred-page (sorry, dissertation committee: I know that’s a lot of reading) dissertation, they couldn’t even complete the entire request:

“We wish to advise you that we are presently undergoing consultations with other government institutions. Once the consultation process has been concluded, we will advise you accordingly.”

Really, they should just repeal the Access to Information Act: it would save taxpayers a bit of coin, and it would be more honest than the system they’re running now.

Quick update: For some reason, while reading through DFAIT’s Access to Information response, this Simpsons moment sprang to mind. I have no idea why.

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One Response to Access to Information by the Numbers (II)

  1. A reader writes:I finished my dissertation a year and a half ago (500 pages!), and I'm still waiting for my request to come through!

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