Video: Discussing FOI on Newsnight

Newsnight reporter Allegra Stratton reported on the April 5th show (I’m looking for a link to this package) that the Government is planning to introduce fees for making Freedom of Information requests.

We’ve been here before (back in 2004/05) when the law was first introduced. No surprise that politicians who were once in favour of FOI when in opposition suddenly lose their appetite for the people’s right to know once in power. It usually takes about 12 months, so this government is doing well to last as long as it has.

I am of the opinion that it’s unlikely for these moves to succeed. We are still awaiting the report from Parliament’s post-judicial scrutiny on Freedom of Information. And do politicians and bureaucrats really want to come out against FOI at a time when cuts are being made and FOI has shown itself to be one of the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to cut waste, inefficiency and corruption? Making it harder for the citizens to get answers on how public money is spent is going to be a public relations disaster, so I hope sane heads prevail in Parliament.

Above, I am discussing the issue with Jonathan Baume, head of the First Division Association (FDA), the union for senior civil servants:

3 Responses to “Video: Discussing FOI on Newsnight”

  1. Josef from WA ST, USA says:

    Rockin’ great sortie Newsbrooke.

    Thanks for clipping the video…

    We miss you here in Washington State. A LOT!

  2. C says:

    Heather,

    I appreciate that the following, linking to an article on US legislation, might at first glance to be outside your immediate area of interest. However, given the UK governments apparent willingness to “roll over” and accept legislation coming out of Washington DC these days, it’s likely that the EU may soon be facing attempts to implement or support this internationally…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/23/ron-paul-cispa-cyberterrorism-bill

    It’s worrying to consider how much consideration this sort of thing gets by the UK government (who were *so* keen for the likes of Phorm to get established here in the UK), and then how much abuse such frameworks may be subjected to… Worth watching, perhaps?

  3. John L Bell says:

    Re: ‘ …… hope sane heads prevail in Parliament’

    Ms Brooke! There is always ‘hope’! …. But on past performance going back to the Conway scandal of 2008 and working forward, …. ‘hope’ is often trumped by ‘politicians’ self interest’ whenever possible!……..
    I would humbly suggest!

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