To the Editor,
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” -Alice in Wonderland
“The records management system currently used by the city is authorized.” -Nanaimo City Bylaw 2012 No. 7150.
The city is entirely free to decide what it will share with its citizens and how it will be shared. The perfidy with which this policy can be applied became apparent recently when a simple request to have access to the digital data contained in a printed publically circulated document was refused. The case in point deals with a 14-page budget table which documents the $7,363,628 list of grants and exemptions to various Nanaimo groups and agencies.
We are long past the days of paper ledgers. The data is already in digital form. To turn it into a spreadsheet for further examination by council or by citizens is a trivial matter for the city’s multimillion-dollar computer system.
A clear policy on the management and release of information in digital as well as paper form is long overdue.