by David, re-published here with his permission.openletter

Good Morning your Honorables,

I woke up this morning feeling so suicidal and desperate because of my situation and was wondering why the government is working against its citizens.

I am a reformed offender, having made silly mistakes some years back, and trying desperately to put my life back on track, provide food and a living for my young family and feel useful in my community.

I have been knocked back from every single job offer both paid and voluntary that I received because of my criminal record which under the new reform would have become SPENT.

My problems is in regards to the implementation of the new Rehabilitation of Offenders Act passed in April 2012, which was meant to be enforced by April 2013, but will take up to November 2013 or longer to get implemented. Honestly over a 12 months to be put in place???

I would like to plead with you and request that you help ask the below questions to the people at the Ministry of Justice, we appreciate they are busy but our lives and the lives of our children and extended families depends on us getting jobs and living meaningful lives and contributing into our society.

You and the team at the Ministry of Justice will have to agree that it is poor and wrong that the relevant agencies cannot implement these changes within a reasonable time frame given there are mammoth resources available to conduct these checks in the first place, and given there are mechanisms in place for filtering,

Also with all due respect to the honorable MP’s that have work tirelessly to push this reform I believe you should scrutinize the work of this government agency, and given that there appears to be a delay in the implementation of important laws passed by Parliament, the relevant people – the Minister and the civil servant in charge – should be called to account and to explain the delay and what is being done about it.

My Questions:

(i). to specify what “…necessary changes to systems and processes…” they make reference to;

(ii). who is responsible for these;

(iii). which civil servant has overall responsibility for implementation of the project;

(iv). which government Minister is accountable and answerable to Parliament for implementation of the project;

(v). why “…it has not proved possible…” to implement the necessary changes by the original April 2013 deadline;

(vi). where the revised November 2013 deadline has been published and whether this deadline has been announced in Parliament by the Minister;

(vii). whether Parliament has been informed officially of these delays, either through the relevant Minister or a civil servant;

(viii). what, if any, response has been provided by Parliament.

Thank you very much for reading and hopefully get a reply and some news from you shortly.

Regards

David

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