“We can now operate regional closed user groups. These are local groups where people contribute with regard to local matters. You will not see a group unless you are a member of one. The main benefits include confidentiality, NAIM is not subject to FOI, a reduction in inbox content, an archive of issues etc etc.”
“If you are not a member then click the join us link on the left. Registration is always easier when using a business e-mail address and public service addresses such as .gov.uk, .ac.uk, .nhs etc. Where personal e-mail addresses are provided we will usually require confirmation of your reasons for joining. Acceptable categories do not include casual interest or non related information management functions.”
[NAIM stands for National Association for Information Management]
It is clear they are targeting public sector workers who are also ‘information managers’.
“My Lords, does not the Minister feel thoroughly ashamed that a Government who came to power committed to freedom of information and ending the culture of secrecy in Whitehall cannot even provide a list of the times and dates when the Prime Minister saw the most powerful media magnate in the world?”
“My Lords, does the Minister agree that a fee structure that charged exorbitant fees for freedom of information would in fact be the freedom to dine at the Ritz?”
“I have the pleasure of moving this amendment on behalf of my noble friends Lord Goodhart and Lord Lester. It would replace the unlimited period for disclosing information in the public interest with a 20-day limit. We strongly believe in the amendment.”
“perhaps it is something that the CBI and the private sector will have to take on board–that doing business with the public sector, which for many companies is very profitable indeed and very attractive, carries with it certain freedom of information responsibilities.”
“the crux of debate today is on Clause 34 of the Bill, “Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs”. Where we part from the Government is that they still believe that the effective conduct of public affairs requires too much secrecy. We believe that effective conduct of public affairs comes from accountability and transparency. Ministers may deny it; but a profound change has taken place in the Government’s attitude to freedom of information since taking office.”
“There was a good example of that last weekend when it was reported that an apparent tiff between Sir Anthony Eden and Churchill about the timing of Churchill’s retirement had been kept secret for 50 years. It seems extraordinary that that should be so. A number of the embargos on the workings of government, the security services and royalty belong to a different age.”
another from: Theyworkforyou
OK, so the economy is the big issue in this election and FOI isn’t and probably never will be but it does matter as FOI can arm the public information about public services, public spending and decision making.
Right now the full result of the election are not known but we do know that no one party has an overall majority. I am optimistic about the opportunities that a hung parliament presents for achieving better FOI laws an greater transparency.
Minority Government means majority non-government
In general Governments have more to lose from increased transparency and opposition parties have more to gain. A minority Government might struggle to resist changes to the law to increase transparency if a number of other parties supported the changes.
Transparency as part of a deal
A party such as the Liberal Democrats could insist on changes to the law to increase transparency as a part of a much larger deal. This of course assumes that agreement can be reached on the major issues such as the economy and health. The Liberal Democrats would like to see the ‘ministerial veto’ scrapped.
On individual bills before Parliament we could see amendments to build in transparency e.g. bills which create new public bodies could be amended to make the newly created bodies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Conservatives as the single largest party
The Conservative support a number of improvements to Freedom of Information for example they favour the publication of the COINS database.
“A Conservative government will increase the range of publically funded bodies that are
subject to scrutiny using Section 5 orders under the Freedom of Information Act. … We will extend the Freedom of Information Act to these organisations within weeks of the General Election.”
The organisations that the Conservatives would like to make subject to FOI include Network Rail, Northern Rock,The Carbon Trust, The Energy Saving Trust, the NHS Confederation (in relation to activities in receipt of public funds), the Local Government Association and
Traffic Penalty Tribunals. (Big Ideas for real change in politics)
Addtofoi has been campaigning for these bodies and many others to be made subject to FOI for some time and will continue to do so.