Property Matters – The EFCL Query part 4

On Friday 2 September, the EFCL’s attorneys delivered to my office this letter dated 8 August 2011.

That letter was written by Larry N. Lalla who warned me in his opening paragraph that EFCL was concerned at the tenor of my articles on their Confidentiality Policy. (Parts 2 and 3 here.)

The letter ended by warning me that EFCL would meet any defamatory statements with legal action…seeing that he never said “…further defamatory statements…” or identified any such, this appears to be yet another waste of taxpayers’ money in an attempt to avoid answering my five original questions.

The intention here seems to be intimidation.

It is sad and ineffective, let me tell you why.

Sad, because, according to clause d. of EFCL’s Staff Confidentiality Policy Statement which was sent to me, employees are forbidden to reveal the terms of the policy or even its very existence.  Lalla’s letter states at 2. that EFCL’s Confidentiality Policy is “…consistent with what obtains in many companies…”.  Both of those cannot be true, since it is simply not the norm that a normal commercial company forbids its employees from even disclosing the existence of a policy.  Those provisions are not at all consistent with what obtains.

The sad part is that the only way to settle this is for EFCL to release its Confidentiality Policy, as I have been requesting.  They have been reluctant to do so, for whatever reason.

EFCL prefers to spend money to obfuscate and intimidate rather than just answer these simple questions, originally contained in my email of 1 July –

  1. Is there a new EFCL Confidentiality policy?
  2. When did that come into effect?
  3. Would you please provide a copy of that policy?
  4. Was that policy approved by the Board of Directors?
  5. Is the Ministry of Education aware of this new policy?

There seems to be an attempt to change the reality that all these State Enterprises are spending public money and therefore ought to be responsive to our reasonable requests.

Earlier today I made a request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and we will see what happens next.

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3 thoughts on “Property Matters – The EFCL Query part 4

  1. Keep at it Afra, do not back down one bit, that is exactly what they will like. We must know how OUR monies are being spent. I suspect all this is to protect the partisan contractors who will receive multi-million contracts.

  2. Afra
    where are we going with this one. Since when the spending of the public purse is a confidential matter, to the point where a lawyer’s letter is necessary? I, for one, have been following this and I have read nothing ‘defamatory’ thus far. One wonders if Mr. Lalla has been following and/or reading anything to do with this particular point. Question…what is your next step??? I do hope for the public’s sake this is not left here as I am really tired of everyone trying to cover up or shut up people like you who only DEMAND answers to questions to which the public has EVERY right. Would it not have been easier AND cheaper just to answer the 5 simple questions that were asked???

    PLEASE do not let this rest here. I look forward to your next post on this one.

    1. Indra/Damesam,

      This is just dishonest behaviour dressed-up as some high principle.

      Imagine a State Enterprise trying to impose a Confidentiality Policy upon its staff and on top of that, denying them the right to reveal the term or even the existence of that Policy. How then could staff seek advice if they cannot reveal the existence of the policy?

      Then, when several people in EFCL send me that shocking document and I ask the questions, they begin a second serious rounds of misbehaviour. This time, the game is to try getting an ‘off-the-record’ meeting with me to discuss the issues, of course I am not going for any such thing and insist on its being properly recorded as any professional meeting is. So, they then spend some taxpayers’ money in an attempt to play at being transparent and open to dialogue etc. etc….all the while refusing to reply to the original questions.

      When I did not stop, we are now seeing further waste of public money in engaging this attorney to send me this sad and ineffective letter. Imagine wasting valuable time and public money to try to insist that this oppressive Confidentiality Policy ‘…is consistent with what obtains in many companies…‘, when all EFCL had to do to end the matter was to release the policy.

      So, I have made a request under the Freedom of Information Act and let us see if a prompt reply is to be had from the folks at EFCL.

      The burning question is if there is any such thing as a Confidential State Policy. I wonder.

      Thanks to you both for joining-in again.

      Afra

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