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Mark Cormack gets snippy about the black texta

By johnboy - 9 June 2009 27

The ABC reports that the ACT Health chief executive Mark Cormack has spat the dummy over the Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson’s suggestion towards the end of May, that FOI requests might be receiving politically sensitive handling.

    Mr Cormack has pointed to a press release issued by Liberal MLA Jeremy Hanson last month, which says the Government blacked out the words “cellar door” and “vineyard” from documentation it gave the Opposition.

    “That is a matter that I must defend,” he said.

I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide what they believe.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Mark Cormack gets snippy about the black texta
the-leak 11:35 am 10 Jun 09

YapYapYap said :

PM, you might be on the right track; but probably not in this case.

Assuming the FOI request is Hanson’s, the FOI Act seems clear enough i.e. whatever someone has in mind for the adjoining site is not Hanson’s business. Section 43 says:

43 Documents relating to business affairs etc
(1) A document is an exempt document if its disclosure under this Act
would disclose—
(a) trade secrets; or
(b) any other information having a commercial value that would
be, or could reasonably be expected to be, destroyed or
diminished if the information were disclosed; or
(c) information (other than trade secrets or information to which
paragraph (b) applies) concerning a person in respect of his or
her business or professional affairs or concerning the business,
commercial or financial affairs of an organisation or
undertaking, being information—
(i) the disclosure of which would, or could reasonably be
expected to, unreasonably affect that person adversely in
respect of his or her lawful business or professional
affairs or that organisation or undertaking in respect of its
lawful business, commercial or financial affairs;…………..

YapYapYap – you’re an idiot (or ACT Health are idiots) because the blacked out stuff was exempt under section 41 – which actually reads:

Documents affecting personal privacy
(1) A document is an exempt document if its disclosure under this Act
would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information
about any person (including a deceased person).
(2) Subject to subsection (3), subsection (1) does not apply to a request
by a person for access to a document only because of the inclusion
in the document of matter relating to that person.
(3) Where—
(a) a request is made to an agency or Minister for access to a
document of the agency, or an official document of the
Minister, that contains information of a medical or psychiatric
nature concerning the person making the request; and
(b) it appears to the principal officer of the agency, or to the
Minister, as the case may be, that the disclosure of the
information to that person might be prejudicial to the physical
or mental health or wellbeing of that person;
the principal officer or Minister may direct that access to the
document, so far as it contains that information, that would
otherwise be given to that person is not to be given to that person
but is to be given instead to a doctor to be nominated by that person………..

This indeed smells like an embarrassing cover-up (or just plain incompetence)- or both!!! In any case, why the strong denials when the CT asked about it a few months ago???

housebound 10:31 am 10 Jun 09

Unless the rehab buildings are across the fence from the cellar door, there is no problem. But I can understand the owners of said vineyard being concerned – at least their objection might make sure the government thinks about where it builds things. Sensible plannign and development can easily deal with this.

The FOI access is the issue – and the misuse of the black texta. Anyone who has tried to access documents through FOI will know that some departments treat FOI documents like an opportunity to practice their kindergarten colouring in skills. It’s about time someone called them on this.

sepi 10:28 am 10 Jun 09

Is Mark Cormack the same Health CEO that signed off on the confidential ‘refurb’ of the Karalaika rehab house into a several storey building with a bus carpark etc?

Clown Killer 10:09 am 10 Jun 09

But what could the problem be? How could they be considered incompatible? And lets be clear about this, we’re not talking about two suburban blocks here. The health facility will be a building to accommodate around 30 staff and patients nestled privately on a 200-odd hectare block and the winery and cellar door some serveral kilometres away.

S4anta 9:56 am 10 Jun 09

Clown Killer said :

But that’s the whole bit I cant understand – why the hell is it a problem. How is a winery some kilometres away going to impact on the treatment of recovering alcoholics?

They are adjoining properties matey. That is where the stink lies, apart from a wee bit of community angst that there is to be rehab centre poked into their community.

Clown Killer 9:34 am 10 Jun 09

But that’s the whole bit I cant understand – why the hell is it a problem. How is a winery some kilometres away going to impact on the treatment of recovering alcoholics?

S4anta 9:29 am 10 Jun 09

Clown Killer said :

I’m still genuinely puzzled as to why there would be any sort of problem with having a medical facility next door to a vineyard / winery. If that is seriously the biggest issue then the project needs to be called in by the planning Minister and immediately approved so that the vexacious whingers can move onto some other meaningless bitch-fest.

Well considering the fact that the medical facility provides rehabilitation for alocoholics, I think having a winery within sight/smell wouldn’t be such a good idea, and may be a bit of hinderance to their recovery process. Mind you, there would a number of rather proficient amtuer sommeliers on tap when needed.

Clown Killer 9:24 am 10 Jun 09

I’m still genuinely puzzled as to why there would be any sort of problem with having a medical facility next door to a vineyard / winery. If that is seriously the biggest issue then the project needs to be called in by the planning Minister and immediately approved so that the vexacious whingers can move onto some other meaningless bitch-fest.

S4anta 9:20 am 10 Jun 09

Oops my bad, it seems to be other way round.

S4anta 9:19 am 10 Jun 09

PM said :

The article mentions privacy as the reason for blocking out the words. That excuse doesn’t seem to fit. Blocking out the name of a developer might fit, but not the purpose or design of a building. What a stupid excuse!

PM I would actually be more concerned about why the Government thinks it appropriate to stick an alcohol rehabilitation centre next to vineyard that produces grog groover…

The FoI issues that have popped up in relation to this are probably a drop in the ocean compared to finding to nufty that came up with this place of inappropriate colocation of Government resource and private business concern.

Steady Eddie 9:03 am 10 Jun 09

Reminds me of a German compilation album I bought back in the 1970s which contained “Smoke Get’s In Your Eyes”.

YapYapYap 11:55 pm 09 Jun 09

Syntax failure JB

Primal 11:43 pm 09 Jun 09

Can he black out that apostrophe in the headline while he’s at it?

YapYapYap 11:38 pm 09 Jun 09

PM, you might be on the right track; but probably not in this case.

Assuming the FOI request is Hanson’s, the FOI Act seems clear enough i.e. whatever someone has in mind for the adjoining site is not Hanson’s business. Section 43 says:

43 Documents relating to business affairs etc
(1) A document is an exempt document if its disclosure under this Act
would disclose—
(a) trade secrets; or
(b) any other information having a commercial value that would
be, or could reasonably be expected to be, destroyed or
diminished if the information were disclosed; or
(c) information (other than trade secrets or information to which
paragraph (b) applies) concerning a person in respect of his or
her business or professional affairs or concerning the business,
commercial or financial affairs of an organisation or
undertaking, being information—
(i) the disclosure of which would, or could reasonably be
expected to, unreasonably affect that person adversely in
respect of his or her lawful business or professional
affairs or that organisation or undertaking in respect of its
lawful business, commercial or financial affairs;…………..

PM 8:14 pm 09 Jun 09

The article mentions privacy as the reason for blocking out the words. That excuse doesn’t seem to fit. Blocking out the name of a developer might fit, but not the purpose or design of a building. What a stupid excuse!

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