RPL Info Request In Limbo

This is interesting. Remember a while back when I reported on how the RPL Board refused to provide me with some documents about the central branch redevelopment I’d asked for through an Access to Information request?

Well, I submitted a Request for Review with the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner (in other words, I appealed to the province) right after that because I kind of disagree with the grounds on which my application was rejected.

And I received a letter from the provincial commissioner a couple days ago saying that, because of a lack of departmental resources and a big honking backlog, they aren’t going to be able to take any action on my request for 12 to 18 months!

Actually, here’s what they say exactly….

Please be advised that our office has a considerable case file backlog and is inadequately resourced. As a result, we anticipate that we will be unable to take any action on your file for approximately 12 to 18 months, other than to provide notice to the public body/trustee in question that we have opened the file. For your information, we have attached a copy of a News Release announcing cutbacks in service due to the lack of resources. If you have concerns about the level of resources for our office we encourage you to speak with your MLA.

A year and a half? My daughter will have finished grade one by then. My son will be talking and probably be potty trained. I’ll have seen the Avengers.

Why, we’ll have survived the Mayan Apocalypse!

What strange, futuristic marvels will be common place once the Information and Privacy Commissioner finally sits down with my Request For Review, I wonder?

The mind reels.

Along with the letter there was also a press release from Feb 22, 2010, explaining how the province keeps refusing to provide the information and privacy office with an additional investigator. And as a result, everything is going to be moving at a snail’s pace.

Have to say, I’ve never contacted a government agency before and had them encourage me to contact the actual government to complain about their lack of funding. And I’ll probably follow through on their suggestion because accessing information from public institutions in a timely manner seems a pretty important thing. For democracy and all.

As for my request for information from the library, considering how long this is going to take, I’m almost tempted to email the information commissioner to say, “Don’t bother,” except I wouldn’t be surprised if we still won’t have heard anything from the RPL board about the central branch in the summer of 2013.

Of course, books might be obsolete by then and we’ll be downloading media directly into our cerebral cortex thus making libraries unnecessary and my whole request moot. Who knows?

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

6 thoughts on “RPL Info Request In Limbo”

  1. Paul, please stop your relentless questing for information. That is clearly not what either the Information and Privacy Commissioner or the Regina Public Library have identified as services they provide…
    Regardless, take heart:

    In their 2012 Budget (on their website) the Regina Public Library:
    “Continued to meet with potential partners, stakeholders and community groups to get their vision of what the New Central Library could be. Report on various building options is in the final stages and will be ready for viewing and discussion in the near future.”

    And this from the City of Regina, January 28, 2012 (CR12-8) regarding the approval of funding to the Globe Theatre in support of their participation in the Regina Cultural Centre project:
    “The Regina Public Library and Globe Theatre will be providing extensive public communication in the near future as the project evolves.”

    You see? All is going to be revealed “in the near future”! Of course by then, the new Library/Information and Privacy Commission will be together, located off-world and staffed with replicants.

  2. Just to clarify, since we have a surfeit of Steves around here: Steve @1 is neither Whitworth (me) nor LaRose.

    As you were.

  3. Thanks Mr. Whitworth. I think that I may now have a nickname.

    Steve @1

  4. Thanks again Paul for your efforts to dig deep and share important info with us all. It is a confusing system/chain of command we are saddled with to find info, never mind get anything accomplished. You are a warrior for truth and you have my full support.
    I will be married to my fiancee in July 2013 so the brave new world we reside in then will, for me, no doubt be full of new wonders. We might even know who rightfully won the last federal election! It gives me chills. Fight bravely onward.

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