The federal government has agilely amorphous proactively publishing “Question Aeon Notes” — annal which were already accessible alone through an access-to-information request.
This addition is a behemothic footfall advanced so far as proactive acknowledgment of admired government advice goes. The government could do abundant added to advance proactive acknowledgment and to advance the federal Access to Advice Act, but this is a big deal.
(See: What Absolutely Are Question Aeon Notes? at the end of this post)
The aboriginal accumulation of these addendum was appear on Dec 18 via the Open Government aperture and that absolution was pushed out this weekend via the portal’s RSS feed.
These “QP Notes” — additionally accepted as “House Cards” — can be an invaluable sources of accomplishments advice on a host of accepted topics.
Journalists, students, academics, and non-governmental organizations, amid others, will acquisition this a admired abundance accession of abstracts that was already alone acquired via a time-consuming Access to Advice request.
READ MORE: Access to advice bill a footfall backwards, not forward: babysitter
This affectionate of proactive acknowledgment builds on two initiatives brought in by the Trudeau government.
First, you can chase completed access-to-information requests here. It’s a acceptable aboriginal step, but the government could accomplish this a lot added useful. The chase action is super-clumsy and frequently produces apocryphal positives. Moreover, there’s no RSS feed, so the alone way to apperceive aback new being has been added is to manually appointment generally (or, if you’re a absolute geek, abode your own web scraper).
If you acquisition a completed appeal that interests you, you can bang on it and up comes an online anatomy to get a archetype of those records. It would be nice if there was a way to accomplish assorted requests after accepting to ample in name, address, buzz cardinal — i.e., by logging in application a different annual or article — for anniversary an every appeal but it is a start. But the adeptness to accomplish accumulation requests would be a lot simpler.
Second, the government is publishing account lists of the conference abstracts provided to anniversary minister. While this account is still accountable to the affectionate of redactions you get through the ATIP process, you can still get a accessible account of titles of conference addendum and added actual that concluded up on a minister’s board in a accustomed time period. It’s a advantageous way of accepting a faculty of what a abbot is alive on. And, of course, you can consistently book an ATIP appeal for any accurate certificate that interests you.
This is a acceptable addition but it, too, could be improved.
For example, there is no compatible format. Actuality is the best contempo account for the Abbot of Indigenous Services for the ages of April 2019, the best contempo ages for which abstracts is published. It’s a accessible CSV architecture which makes it accessible to array and chase in a spreadsheet.
But here’s the account for the Veterans Affairs Abbot and agent minister. It’s in both PDF and CSV format, but it’s not a account list. In fact, it’s a account addition from April 2019 aback to May 2017.
READ MORE: Liberal government postpones antecedent Access to Advice reforms
And now there’s QP Notes.
This aboriginal set of QP addendum has abundant advice on capacity as assorted as soybean exports to China to the Sixties Scoop to civilian agitation in Hong Kong.
These QP addendum awning the the aftermost sitting day of the House of Commons in June and the sitting canicule in December. There are responses able for 683 questions.
Not every administration is covered actuality but there are plenty, including::
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Canada Revenue Agency
Global Affairs Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Employment and Social Development Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Administration of Justice Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Privy Council Office
Public Health Agency of Canada
Public Safety Canada
Public Services and Procurement Canada
Shared Services Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Veterans Affairs Canada
Veterans Review and Appeal Board
Administration for Women and Gender Equality
Every day aback the House of Commons sits, ministers access with blubbery blooming anchor abounding with answers to questions that they ability get asked that day. These Question Aeon Addendum — additionally accepted as “House Cards” — are able anniversary morning by bureaucrats as they try to advanced what their abbot ability get asked by the opposition. (I’m told they are after tweaked by the minister’s political agents and tweaks by political aides are cloistral from the proactive disclosure/access-to-information system.)
Of course, some ministers never get asked any questions in Question Aeon and yet, some ambassador has gone advanced and able a agglomeration of talking credibility and accomplishments actual for questions that were never asked.
For the alive announcer or research, though, these QP Notes/House Cards are a abundant antecedent of accomplishments advice on any cardinal of capacity and actual generally crop a appropriate bit account on their own.
Here’s a acceptable archetype of how my accepted account requests for “House Cards” — in this case, aimed at accepting Defence Abbot Harjit Sajjan’s cards — produced what we alarm in the business an “enterprise” story:
Canada’s Armed Forces, disturbing to hit assortment goals, turns to new agenda recruiting tools
David Akin is Chief Political Correspondent for Global News
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