Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine publish a partial list of the wines you paid for.

They do point out that:

“A demonstration of the level of value for money that the cellar can provide occurred recently over the wines used at the London Summit in April. You may have seen some coverage in the media indicating that the government used £1400 worth of wine at the 8 official dinners and lunches organised on 1 and 2 April. We calculate that, at a conservative valuation, it would not have been possible to acquire those wines directly in the London wine market for less than £6 000, more than four times the actual cost to the taxpayer.”

I am not sure whether buying wine is a good use of tax payers money or not maybe foreign diplomats etc will expect it and the UK will lose out somehow if it is not there but I do feel we need the full facts. Clearly, some wines are a lot cheaper than others so I feel further cost savings could potentially be identified if only we had the full facts.

“Mr Swain complained to the Commissioner on 18 July 2006. Regrettably, there then followed a period of 22 months’ delay during which, so far as we can tell, the Commissioner took no steps to fulfil his statutory duty under FOIA s50. His investigation only commenced on 16 May 2008. We are not in a position to say, and it is not for us to decide, to what extent that inordinate delay was due to lack of resources, or to deficiencies in the Commissioner’s systems of internal management, or to a mixture of those or indeed other causes. What is clear is that the volume of complaints to
the Commissioner has been much higher than was predicted and, in cases where information ought to have been disclosed by the public authority, long delays in the commencement or conduct of the Commissioner’s investigations tend to frustrate the purpose of the Act and deny to the
public the rights which the Act has created.”

“The government has also published its response to the consultation on extending the Freedom of Information Act. The government’s response reflects the considerable support for extending the Act. A further consultation will now be undertaken with those proposed for inclusion within the scope of the Act: Academies, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).”

Source: Ministry of Justice

“The Government is attracted to bringing such utilities within the Act. While it does not propose to include utilities in the first section 5 order, it will carry out further consultation with the
bodies concerned”

My academies petition

Had to laugh at the suggestion someone made to the consultation that CFOI should be added!

medical chartered society institution engineers university further higher education scotland royal great britain reform leeds opticians city london institute physics united nations manchester science technology ministerial appointment alderney british burial child abduction custody church commissioners consular fees european communities extradition law general council guernsey jersey college oxford northern ireland order reference privy counsellor queen sark social security administration health service naval marine pay pensions proclamation justice management films coinage orders income corporation taxes national patents pharmacy designs universities cambridge wales association accountants actuaries veterinary surgeons poisons civil england ministers crown public company parliamentary swansea air aviation fund finance accountancy surveyors settlements medicine school forces broadcasting criminal academy appointments engineering pharmaceutical international organisations merchant shipping supplementary reading local government benevolent dentists professions birmingham sheffield architects inspections nursing hull marriages osteopaths chiropractors channel islands midwifery helena financial dealings counsellors island section tag cloud

Where is the data from? the data was released by the Privy Council Office under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (request made through The “OrderName” field gives the subject area of each order, this column was the initial data set. The words “Act”, “Measure” etc and all numbers were removed from the initial data set. What is left is considered a reasonable illustration of what the Privy Council make orders about.

The Department for Work and Pensions have no geographic numbers an that means benefit claimants an potential claimants will have to pay more to call them on 0845 numbers. This is especially unfair as a proportion of the calls are likely to relate to errors made by the Department.

I do welcome the fact that the number for crisis is an 0800 number but many people in real financial difficulties may be trying to call using mobiles and on some networks 0800 calls are very expensive. I would urge the DWP to ensure they can provide a geographic alternative to all non-geographic numbers to make life just a little easier for people who have lost their jobs during the recession.

Request for telephone numbers

“…I am upholding the original decision, and we will not be supplying you with a copy of the full Register. Instead, as you are aware, you will be able to access it via our website.

However I fully understand the frustration expressed in your recent email as a result of our handling of your original request. In view of this I have decided to send you a file which includes the registration numbers of all organisations currently registered with us. In order to access the
organisations’ details you will need to cut and paste each registration number into the search facility on the Register, this will return the full details for that organisation.”

I welcome this disclosure it is a small step towards increase transparency but I really don’t see why they could not have released much more.

ICO response