Is bicycle infrastructure spending confidential?

Last week the Department of Transport sent me a map showing Principal Shared Path projects up to 2017. As far as I was concerned  this was a good news storey […]

Last week the Department of Transport sent me a map showing Principal Shared Path projects up to 2017. As far as I was concerned  this was a good news storey that deserved to be shared, and I put it on the website.

Here is the correspondence that ensued:

From a Director within the Department of Transport to all participants of the West Australian Bike Network plan Implementation Group (WABN IRG):

All,

I would like to remind all members of the WABN IRG that most of the information discussed at the IRG meetings is in confidence as per the confidentiality agreements signed earlier this year.  Information presented at the meetings cannot be uploaded to websites or distributed without approval from DoT.  This is critical as we are being very open with the information being presented and discussed and have a strong element of trust with all members.

 Thanks.

 

And my answer:

Looks like I am the “guilty” party for publishing the map of the PSP projects on the BTA website, and I have removed it.

 The map was produced because I suggested at the previous WABN IRG meeting that we should show the public the good work we were doing, preferably in visual form. So, when I got the map that’s what I did.

 The map is based on the budget information  and the priorities set out in a report by Cardno from January 2012. Both of these are in the public domain. DoT had nearly two years to discuss the priorities with the minister.

 Does the minister, after approving (and cutting back) funding for cycling, also has to be involved in the minute scheduling of projects?

 We should not run the WABN IRG like a secret society, where agencies get together before the main meeting to decide what the “punters” should be fed.

 I agree that there is some information that is so fluid that it would better not go public, but the overall implementation of the West Australian Bike Network Plan, which has been in draft form for 18 months, is of legitimate interest to all people who ride a bicycle for transport or recreation.

 Regards,

Heinrich Benz

Any thoughts? Send me a message at the BTA…

About Heinrich

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