Usual practice should change
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: THE statement that 'this is what has always happened' is really not a very valid reason that a practice continues on when it comes to the provision of services to the public, especially at public expense.
Who owns the person-specific information that is collected during the normal doing of one's job as a servant of the public?
As a medical practitioner, I have had to deal personally with this type of issue and as a profession we, the medical profession, are involved in an on-going struggle with what is the 'correct' stance to take with respect to patient records.
In fact, the dentists also have an issue - who owns the dental records of a patient of theirs - you know - that information that is so often touted as the vital material involved in person identification during forensic investigations?
If that information is solely the possession of the professional who has generated the record, then, under the current 'usual practice' arrangements that apply to state and federal parliamentarians, all records should be completely erased/destroyed when that professional moves on/dies/retires/ becomes unwell etc..
That is the logical conclusion that one has to come to if the current standard normal practice continues on when there is a change of incumbent in a state or federal member representative role.
In fact, a further logical conclusion is that all police records generated by various members of the police force should also be destroyed or move with the police officer or detective when they move jurisdictions, are promoted or retire/leave the force for whatever reason.
Exactly the same circumstances exist when a politician moves from their representative role for whatever reason.
Why should there be differences in the standards of professional practice?
Surely it is only fair that the same standards be applied across all areas of high-level public service practice.