Blogging last week, Mr Afra Raymond, the president of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry, highlighted a July 12 affidavit filed by the Ministry of Finance in response to his Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests of 2012 and 2013.His requests were for information connected to CL Financial. Requested documents included audited financial statements, presentations to Parliament, and a list of creditors.
There is much to dwell on in the official Government response. The tactics to thwart Mr Raymond's requests for transparency are themselves suggestive, as is Mr Raymond's question: "What is the big secret?"For those interested in the official correspondence and more details of the case, Mr Raymond's blog can be found here http://afraraymond.wordpress.com/
The legal drama playing out between the two parties is reminiscent of work the anthropologist Marilyn Strathern did in pre-1975 Papua New Guinea. There she asked a similar question: "What does visibility conceal?"By this she meant transparency is never accomplished. Yes, transparency implies clarity, visibility and openness. But transparency in government, organisations and amongst the powerful is more ritual than outcome. Not to mention that what might be seen and transparent for some, can often be off-limits and opaque for others.