Monday, March 04, 2013

This Day In Snookland (ctd)...You Keep On Using That Word...



I know I have been invoking Inigo Montoya from the 'The Princess Bride' a lot recently reciting this famous line....

But I actually think that this particular post is about the 'Reverse Inigo', in which the Snooklandians do not attribute the wrong meaning to a word, but instead they slap both a word and its meaning on 'things' incorrectly.

And in this case those things are Emails sent back and forth amongst members of the Premier's Office which were deemed 'transitory' and as a result, it would appear, they were destroyed.

Bob Mackin, this time in The Tyee, has the story, in which he chases down more from the Information Commissioner's report released earlier today, particularly as it pertains to the fate of presumed E-mails between former deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad and also former chief of staff Ken Boessenkool:

..."Ms. Haakstad believes that there would have been email communications between her and the former Chief of Staff during the relevant period, but these emails would have been transitory in nature and were deleted before the access request was received," (Info Commissioner) Denham wrote.

According to the Office of the Chief Information Officer, transitory records are items "of temporary usefulness" needed for a limited time to finish a routine action or prepare an ongoing record. Denham concluded the disposal of transitory records is beyond her jurisdiction and is instead within the scope of the Document Disposal Act.

"The general practice within the Office of the Premier is to communicate verbally in person. Email communications usually consist of requests to make telephone calls or meet in person," Denham wrote. "Generally, staff members in the Office of the Premier do not make substantive communication relating to business matters via email."...


Don't know about you, but, business-wise, I use my Email for a whole heckuva lot more than just requesting telephone calls or arranging meet-ups. In fact, regarding the latter, Email is just about the worst, which, of course, is why the 'doodle' was invented.

And as for Emails themselves, there is no reason to destroy them from a data storage point of view. Personally, I have thousands and thousands of them, going back years, sitting on this little box I'm pounding away on right now because they take up so little space and they are extremely useful for my own memory.

Regardless, slapping that term 'transitory' on an Email sure is a convienent dodge, eh?

Oh, and as the Dean mentioned earlier today, it would appear the Info Commish was not told by Ms. Haakstad that she, and others in the Premier's Office were using non-govt Email for governmentish-type business ...It seems to me that this might be the bigger story here (as opposed to the memo, etc)...After all, who knows what kind of communications were going on....For example, did members of the Premier's Office ever use such channels to exhange governmentish-type info with any, oh I dunno, surrgogattish-type groups?...
And for those out there that are surprised about all this 'government done without writing stuff down, for the record'...Have you not heard of the 'Dobell Doctrine' which goes way, way back to the early days of the Golden Era Preem's O.?
And one last thing....It's not like the convienent destruction of Emails by this bunch hasn't come up before, right?



Anonymous said...

Another handy word that keeps popping up in relation to Clark, I guess to show she is a leader, is the word "investigation", I guess because it sounds official and it implies the end all of any further doubt. But It can also mean further cover up and smoke and mirrors depending who does the investigating and its scope.

RossK said...

Excellent point Anon--

Especially when one investigation (eg. by Mr. Dyble) can be used to deflect from another (eg. Ms. Denham)...

And what's up with the 'parallel' investigation that Mr. Hogg started babbling about when he came out of the caucus mtg yesterday?


Mark said...

I agree with Anonymous. As a former actual, trained investigator, I find it extremely offensive when the government bandies about this word. First, you have to be impartial, you need to take lots of notes and /or video, you need to know what questions to ask, and you need an investigative strategy. Having a history with your subject should remove you from the process immediately. The reward, or threat, for doing a good job should not be dismissal or re-assignment.