Opinion: Huge secret

POSTED: 11/27/11 10:48 AM

The National Gazette became available Friday but it is highly difficult to get one and there is no mad dash to get a copy. We make the latter assertion based on the fact that our news editor was the first person to try to get one and his visit was at around 12:30.

The statement on the difficulty comes from the cumbersome administrative procedure to actually get a copy. One understands that government likes to collect its money in a centralized way, but the bureaucratic headache that’s been created to get a simple document like the Gazette, is mind boggling.

But let’s explain. To obtain the Gazette one must first obtain a proof of payment at the Receiver’s Office. That proof of payment is then taken to the Legal Affairs Department in order to obtain a copy of the Gazette. This could be no problem if you take the subscription as you have only a one time headache, but if you’re interested in only an issue every so often the headache gets bigger especially if you’re just spending four guilders per issue.

The mind boggling nature of the bureaucracy grows when considering that our neighbors in the North make their version of the Gazette available at bookstores. You can even get one at Le Grand Marché.

So really all the administration has done here is create yet more bureaucracy and headaches about what ought to be public information. This proves what Dutch Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer has said: public information is still a huge secret.


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