Second edition of YRTK: Call for input

A second edition of Your Right to Know is in the works, and I am keen to hear from any readers about improvements that can be made to make this next edition even better and more comprehensive. I will most likely be including an additional chapter on decisions made by the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal and the way the law has been used in practice. I will also provide more detail about what is happening in Scotland. What else would you like to see?

  • Do you have any problems using the book?
  • Is there something you want to know that wasn’t addressed?
  • Have you found any changes to the FOI contact details listed in the book?

I’d particularly like to hear from anyone who has made requests under the Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulations. What was your experience? How would you rate the public authority’s response? Were they helpful and professional or obstructive and delaying?

You can either post your comments here or email me. Many thanks!

3 Responses to “Second edition of YRTK: Call for input”

  1. N Louis says:

    In the second edition of Your Right to Know you could say something about how requests are actually looked upon by Civil Servants when they arrive in the various departments. Because although laws may change or be brought in. The attitude of Civil Servants both in local and central government towards being helpful and accommodating when a request arrives, leaves a lot to be desired.

    The very fact that so many people have to take decisions to the Information Commissioner, only for him to either fail to make decisions quickly or protect the secrecy status quo shows that the whole FOI Act needs strengthening in favour of the public not the public authority.

    It’s no use just highlighting experiences where requests made under the Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulations. Then rating the public authority’s response if they were helpful, professional or obstructive and delaying, as this doesn’t get to the very essence of the attitudes behind information being hidden by the civil service.

    You may also want to look and include something about the outcome of the current Freedom of Information – Costs Exercise that the big central departments are going to carryout. As its was agreed by ministers that following the first year of implementation, there’s some evidence of the costs the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act has placed on government departments is needed.

  2. Rod says:

    I’d like to see discussion of the amount of time the IC should be allowed to review a case and come to a decision. My own request for disclosure of the Wells Report into the NHS University was turned down by the dpartment of health (& at internal review) under section 33 of the act & sent to the IC in April 2005. I still haven’t got a ruling.

    As far as I can find out very few refusals were under section 33 -it might be interesting to see how different sections of the act are being used to refuse requests?

    Rod

  3. John Cross says:

    I am enjoying your book, it is very interesting. My suggestion is that you could take the template letters in the previous edition and upload them. This would make it quicker for people to write requests.
    I found it difficult to know how to be specific in my request without the risk of missing out on information that would interest me, guidance on this would be good.

    So far I have made two requests and got one acknowledgement of receipt.
    Regards and thanks,

    John Cross

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