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In response to overwhelming complaints from the public, the Canadian Registry for Public Accountability (CRPA) was conceived in 2011 by citizen members of Canada Court Watch as an additional tool in efforts to promote accountability and transparency amongst individuals and organizations providing services to the public in matters relating to the justice and/or child protections system in Canada. The CRPA first went into the public light in March of 2012 when it launched its social media website CRPA.ca.
Prior to the launch of the Canadian Registry for Public Accountability the citizens of Canada had no effective way to provide feedback or to share information about individuals or institutions affecting them, many which are being funded by tax dollars. Child protection agencies have developed child abuse registries where the names of children and families are placed without fair and just cause. In many cases, child protection workers, judges and lawyers break the law and violate the rights and freedoms of Canadians and have avoided accountability.
It is the hope of the site’s founders that citizens of Canada will use this powerful social media tool as a way of reporting on and monitoring the performance of individuals and institutions connected to the justice and child protection systems in Canada. The CRPA database is intended to give those individuals and organizations who do their job well the public attention they deserve while bringing attention to the dishonorable professionals who try to hide their misconduct behind the power of their positions.
The CRPA organization was founded on the principle that the citizens of Canada have the right of association and the right to inform each other about their personal experiences with individuals and organizations and to let other Canadians know if they recommend or do not recommend certain individuals or organizations. Canadians have the right to protect themselves and the right to be informed.
Organizational structure of the CRPA
The organization is currently managed by a volunteer eight member Board of Directors. Voting memberships in the CRPA are available to all members of the public who are Canadian citizens 18 years of age or older. The first general elections for a publicly elected board are expected to be held in 2013. Once fully functional, CRPA will be operated as a non-profit Canadian organization administered by a publicly elected board.
The CRPA website allows registered users to leave written feedback about their interactions with various individuals and the institutions they work for and to rank the individuals based on whether they recommend or do not recommend the services being provided by a particular person. To ensure the accuracy of all information entered on to the Registry website, the identity of all registered users and members will be verified by personal phone contact prior to information being entered into the database. No anonymous users will be allowed to register the names of professionals on the website.
Data Collection on individuals and organizations
The CRPA collects all information and data from any source about those listed in the Registry and stores it at a secure database facility. While the names of those in the registry will be viewable by the public, the data collected on individuals and organizations is only available for viewing to members the CRPA who agree to certain privacy and confidentiality requirements. Use of such information would be allowed in the event that a person or organization has caused damages to another person. The CRPA will also review and collect statistics on the information submitted to see if patterns emerge which would warrant the pursuit of criminal or criminal charges against any individual or organization listed in the Registry based on the collective testimony of those who have submitted information into the Registry.
Very unique about the CRPA website is that it has a transparent and accountable process to have names removed. Any person whose name appears in the Registry and who feels that the registration of their name on the Registry is not warranted can simply fill out an application form to have their name removed from the registry. All applications will be reviewed before a three member Expunction Review Committee who will review all information submitted to the Registry from various individuals. The findings and the decision of the Committee will be sent to the applicant after a review has been made.
Should an applicant not be satisfied with the decision of the Expunction Review Committee, then the Applicant can apply to have a public hearing before a six member Committee. Both the Applicant and the person who submitted the name to the CRPA registry will be given the opportunity to appear in person and to provide oral and written arguments at the Committee hearings. Hearings will be electronically recorded with the hearing will be open to members of the public.
This expunction process will ensure fairness and due process to those who feel that their names have been unfairly entered into the registry while at the same time allowing the public to share their experiences and opinions about those whose names have been entered into the Registry.
Surveys and harvesting of statistics
One of the goals of the CRPA is to collect some of the most reliable statistics relating to various components of the justice and child protection systems in Canada. Accurate statistics cannot be harvested otherwise. The CRPA will ensure reliability of its statistics by verifying the identity of every individual who responds to the surveys in person by phone. No anonymous entries for surveys will be permitted. The identity of those responding will be kept in confidence.
The CRPA website has a forum which has both private and publicly accessible and/or viewable areas. Only verified users can post on the website using any name they wish including alias. By ensuring that only verified users can post to the site, the problem with spam and malicious posts against persons on the site is almost eliminated.