“The debates on the Telecoms Package, thanks to a remarkable citizen mobilization, led to an extremely strong recognition of the access to internet as a fundamental right with the re-adoption of amendment 138/46 in second reading by a qualified majority.”
“Answer: The City of Edinburgh Council spent £10,626.04 on bottled water from January 2008 to December 2008.”
You must know the drill by now, sign the petition to try to get the Duchy added to the Freedom of Information Act:
look what I found at the National Archives…
“Dear Private Secretary
The Prime Minister wishes ministers to be reminded that they should never admit the existence of arrangements by which Ministers meet Lobby Correspondents…”
[November 27, 1964]
I have set up this Google Group for people who want to be part of the campaign to improve the Freedom of Information Act and make it easier for people to get information about public services and public authorities.
Please join if you are interested:
coming soon: petition to make academies (state-funded schools) subject to FOI
The FOI Wiki now has a list of FOI Blogs. If you are not interested in such Blogs then please stop reading.
Below is an extract from a recent (3 Mar 2009) ICO opinion, case
reference ENQ0234673 that I have been forwarded. The opinion suggests a valid request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) as an ‘applicant’ is a request which:
“* “is in writing,
* states the name of the applicant and an address for
* describes the information requested.”
The FOIA does not seek to place restrictions on who can make a request for information and thus the word ‘applicant’ is not defined within the Act. An ‘applicant’ can be a private individual, an company or any other body such as an unincorporated association.”
This appears to be quite a liberal interpretation of who can make a request under the Act but it may reflect what the ICO does in practice. Up until now I had assumed that the ICO would only accept appeals from natural persons (people), companies, limited liability partnerships, public authorities and bodies formed by statute, Royal Charter or similar. I thought that only ‘legal persons’ could make requests.
It would be great if the ICO could publish some guidance on the website about this.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw has vetoed the publication of minutes of key Cabinet meetings held in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003.
Jack Straw said “There is a balance to be struck between openness and maintaining aspects of our structure of democratic government,”
The fact is though that the Freedom of Information Act contains a public interest test which required the Information Tribunal to consider that balance.
I would rather that crucial decision whether or not disclosure is in the public interest was taken by an independent person rather than someone who might be embarrassed by the information.
Scrap the ministerial veto procedure!
twelve questions to ask every MP in the UK about transparency/FOI
this blog entry is a work in progress – I will keep editing it as ideas come to me.