Some key questions
The information reviewed here raises a number of troubling questions that we feel must be resolved openly and speedily.
Among these are:
- To what extent are the processes within the regulator’s office driven by a preoccupation with perception management and is this priority appropriate for a quasi-judicial body?
- To what extent is specific enforcement action on complaints pre-determined and what is the basis for this pre-determination?
- What is the precise role and mandate of the regulator’s press office and is it appropriate for press management to be conducted by an external party outside the culture of the regulator?
- Precisely how does the regulator determine the efficacy, appropriateness and outcome of measures such as Undertakings and Enforcement Notices?
- Who - if anyone - within the regulator’s office is responsible for monitoring the overall ethical conduct and procedure of a complaint?
- Should a regulator conduct investigations in the “public interest” in secret?
- How sustainable is it for a regulator to decide issues outside a clearly stated framework of reasoning?
- To what extent should a regulator consider its own media management as being more important than deliberating the virtue and relevance of the information itself?
- Is it appropriate for the regulator responsible for Freedom of Information to use contentious exemptions in the law to obfuscate its own processes?
- To what extent does the regulator rely on technical expertise in its deliberations and does it have appropriate technical resources at its disposal?