Thursday, September 05, 2013

When you're finished would you please do the same for the Prime Minister's Office and the Senate Internal Economy Committee ..... RCMP Corporal Greg Horton needs your help!

"Hello, Ms Cavoukian? I need your help - fast!"
Ontario Liberals to train staff in archiving documents

Ontario Liberals tout new program to teach political staff how to archive documents in wake of scandal over gas plant emails

Bob Ferguson, Provincial Politics
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian issued a report earlier this year slamming the Ontario government for destroying important records of the gas plant cancellations before the 2011 election. (Mathew Sherwood/Toronto Star file photo)

Under fire for illegally deleted emails in the $585-million scandal over cancelled power plants, Ontario’s minority Liberal government is touting a new training program teaching political staff how to archive documents.

The mandatory seminars follow two scathing reports from Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian — the first of which slammed the government for destroying important records of the cancellations before the 2011 election.

A follow-up report last month flatly stated bureaucrats in the Ministry of Government Services “misled” Cavoukian by saying some email accounts could not be retrieved but were subsequently found, fuelling opposition accusations the government was feebly trying to cover its tracks.

“Our government takes its record-keeping obligations seriously and we are committed to being open, accountable and transparent,” Government Services Minister John Milloy said in a statement Wednesday.

The training — helping political staff decide which documents should be saved and which can be discarded — was developed with help from Cavoukian’s office and the provincial integrity commissioner.

A working group of senior staff from Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office, the cabinet office and Ministry of Government Services will also “clarify and strengthen” Ontario’s record retention policies.

As well, chiefs of staff for the premier and cabinet ministers will be held accountable for compliance with the Archives and Recordkeeping Act, which requires important documents be saved as part of the public record on government operations.

The changes are needed to “enhance . . . public accountability,” Milloy added as the legislature prepares to being its fall sitting on Monday after a summer break.

Hearings by the legislature’s justice committee, which is investigating the plant closures, will resume Tuesday after taking a break this week.

Cavoukian’s first report took aim at Craig MacLennan, a former chief of staff to former energy ministers Brad Duguid and Chris Bentley, and former premier Dalton McGuinty’s last chief of staff, David Livingston, for not keeping emails related to the power plant cancellations.

Opposition parties accused the previous administration of using the “seat saver” plan to placate anti-power plant voters in the Oakville and Mississauga areas, preventing Liberal MPPs from going down to defeat in the 2011 election that reduced McGuinty to a minority. The costs associated with the cancellations have hit $585 million.

Also Wednesday, the government released an August letter from the Ontario Power Authority saying it will be unable to produce all 2012 and 2013 documents on the closures as ordered by opposition MPPs on the justice committee by a September 12 deadline, and warning the cost will be more than $1 million.


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