As a paper trail shows: The trusted practices – sometimes illegal bureaucrats and political workers use



Five years ago, as Ontario Provincial Police investigated the scan of the plants of the gas, the public servant gave him a " The former was to bring out a feast that would be famous.

"The only groups that did not keep records of crime groups," said Peter Wallace, secretary of his & her; Cabinet holding at Premier Dalton McGuinty's tenure, with his interviewee.

Wallace was describing her & # 39; His conversation with McGuinty's chief of staff, David Livingston. Wallace was damaged by submissions from senior political staff that important meetings and debates were not held orally but by leaving written descriptions.

The scandal of gas plants was set up with the incredible fact when the committee requested legislation to record records of the decision to suspend the contracts, political staff said that there was not enough for any recordings to submit. Police were included, taxes were demolished, and Livingston was finally given four months imprisonment for his job in typing a hard-to-face computer in the office; headquarters.

Despite this, the approach to leaving a paper path is not the recognized strategy among staff and bureaucrats. The glass of gas plants was very important because it meant that criminal costs have been given, but its A fundamental idea of ​​avoiding the creation of written records is deeply embedded in governments across Canada – and has been open time and time again. Not all cases are illegal, but the use is broken off; principle that governments need to be accountable to the people who elect them.

The case has emerged in the post-Admiral Mark Norman crime trial, because his defense team has been able to execute a battle to do so; Gathering papers across seven government departments and organizations.

Last week, the Chief Executive of Defense staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, in the evidence box, is preserved by Norman lawyers as his own conservation practices. Vance is a key evidence in the case, as he made the decision never before in January 2017 to restore Norman; At the time, Norman was the second Vance of the Canadian Forces.

Head of Defense Staff Jonathan Vance and Former Admiral Mark Norman.

Adrian Wyld / The Press Press

Vance met RCMP researchers four times when Norman was given responsibility in March 2018. He also gave information to chief officer of the Prime Minister's Office, he spoke to his / her; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself, and informed the Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan about the investigation and decided to suspend Norman. But Vance has no notes or recordings from any of those meetings, telling a lawyer Tormod, Marie Henein.

"So there is no document or one note of what's happening … There is no document, which, from your head, tells us what happened during those discussions?" Henein asked.

"I do not have records," replied Vance. After announcing journalists, he felt his appointment in the meetings was sufficiently enough that he did not need notes about himself. (The court has not yet heard evidence of what the other partners have taken their own notes.)

Over the years, there has been a few common themes of how government officials, bureaucrats and paper-line political staff hold – or when the route exists, try to stop it. Here are some of the best known customs.

Not write it down

Vance is despite her & her; First officer to say that negotiations were held entirely in speech, without leaving any written search. This is a good test with a long history within the government, and including the National Defense Department.

"I know from everyday knowledge that each senior National Security Manager is aware that they have everything they write, whether it is formal or informal in notebooks, accessible, "Col. Geoff Haswell, who was a director of public business work at the National Defense Headquarters, had witnessed Somalia's research in 1996. "Some of them know, so they use a policy without being & # 39; write down anything they do not want anyone to have. "

McGuinty, who was talking to her, said: police in 2014, the office communication was "largely speechless," and that's why there was not much record of how to make decisions when it was the capital of Ontario.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at that time, Ann Cavoukian, told the committee of legislation that staff should have oral conversations, but not at a total cost of keeping a record written.

"If you do not have records – I mean, it's too successful – then you can not have the kind of accountability that is considered in terms of records such as so that the public can access the information you need, "she said. "It is not easy to hold that we could have an oral culture to go to write down documents".

Code words and prefixes

The Canadian Forces' witness called Norman lawyer said he said his elevator, a firearm, said that the name of Norman was not used in files inside – a & # 39; means that any search for Norman records would come up empty. The witness, which is covered by a discontinuance, said that he was accessing access to information in 2017 that no results returned. When he asked for clarification, the witness gave the excise to the general and did not; tell him: "Do not worry, this is not our first rodeo. We made sure we never used a name. Return the return."

When Vance declared, he put back the idea that nothing was done; going on. He asked that he could be the case of a common jargon of weapons (such as "MN3" for Mark Norman 3-star, or "C34" for the 34th navy leader) making it difficult to find the name of Norman.

But despite that, Solicitor Norman asked to know if Sajjan had a political role to play; mentions Norman as "the naval officer" in messages, which suggests that Henein has a reason to do something; believe he had happened.

It is common for politicians to use code words for specific topics. "Vapor Project," for example, what McGuinty's staff were using in emails when they were; ruled controversy over the gas plants. Later on, when Trillium Power attacked the government of Ontario when an offshore wind project was removed, he said that the "code-designated landmarks" had been given a code name so that they could be taken back really real. "

Saoranach Ottawa pointed out in 1999 that officials at the National Defense Department and at the office were then Art Eggleton, Liberation's defense minister, monitoring of journalists' induction and special researchers. In documents, Defense officers reported these people as the "normal suspects" and not with their names; which allowed the DND to avoid the induction law in its inquiries.

Brief notes

One of the emerging DND methods was through the Somalia search that pitch notes (such as Post-it) were a & # 39; avoiding dissemination of information to the public. A chief executive of public affairs was certified that his headteacher was inclined to write any of her comments on a true document but instead made comments on a full yellow note that would be attached to her; the table. So the stick note could be removed as it was; needed and his / her headteacher's instructions would not be published. However, some DND staff started to tap or to; The yellow notes were written to the original record because they were in the # 39; See them as important for recording.

Whether it is necessary to move notes to depend on how government is doing; define "remote record". Remote records are usually those who do not have long-term significance, which means they can be removed after reaching a decision.

But most government rules make it clear that the sticker notes can not be removed automatically. "Records may be shown in accordance with the criteria to be passed, but employee posts and the use of the information may be officers," said the government of Alberta. "For example, Post-it note could write an agreement or suggestion that help with future financial or legal decisions seems to be due to format, but an official document must be maintained. "

Delete, destroy or alter

The 2015 study appeared with the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner. how long-term political workers would be doing to make sure their emails were not allowed. Staff nameed the "triple-delete" system: first, delete the email from your inbox, then it will understand it from the rubbish button, and you will overlay the " backup system. "E-mail will be completely troubled by the government system, unless it has been captured by a daily or monthly support," said the report.

The search was prompted by a chanter activator B.C. the departmental political staff deleted their email address; related to a lost and a & # 39; kill feminine women; one resignation of a member of staff was deducted and a $ 2,500 fine was deducted.

What happened happened to the Ontario gas plant scannal, as it revealed that political staff were given clear instructions to clean their emails regularly. In each section, new registration rules have been introduced after the following criteria.

In 2000, Federal Referee Commissioner John Reid saw that the DND broke the law when it was destroyed by documents that Ottawa Free Citizens requested the law under the entry rights. The research also concluded that the main dominance of the department was destroyed, but did not suffer either to report either Reid's newspaper or office. These bureaucrats had no effect to destroy the recordings.

Another DND strategy to stop registers from being released these names was renamed and then did not get the requested file. This invention was discovered during the Somalia search.

Use personal phones for government business

Some bureaucratic staff and political workers use their personal phones to make an emotional business with their; The idea that such equipment will not be under intelligence laws, and messages or texts must not be made if requested.

That device does not work when it comes to shoes, however. In the court hearing that was introduced this week, Norman lawyer showed that there were not many officers on their personal phones searching for registrars including a chief of staff Vance and Sajjan.

Some of the initiatives that Norman's defense team wants to "communicate" as it means; including all official or unofficial messages. Henein has made it clear that personal phones need to be part of the research.

The documents do not apply – even when they are doing

In January, Postmedia revealed that the army's highest legal officers went on to the Information Induction Act by saying that there was no report, which they requested by law, even though it was. At least three officers within the National Defense headquarters raised concerns that the law was broken. Vance's office was expressed on the illegal scheme built. But still, the army said that the report was not there.

The plan was finally found but the chief executives did not have any effect that the documents did not have. Instead, the DND blamed a clerk, saying that the person should be in a position; challenging the senior officers who said the report was not there.

• E-mail: bplatt@postmedia.com Twitter:

• E-mail: dpugliese@postmedia.com Twitter: Twitter.com/davidpugliese


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