Commissioner rules on restaurant inspections

The Guardian reports that the Information Commissioner has ruled against councils who refused to show restaurant inspection reports to the public, stating that:

“The public has a right to know what health inspections discover,” he said. “Well-run restaurants have nothing to fear – and much to gain – from public scrutiny. Publishing inspection reports will put pressure on restaurants to raise their standards.”

The Information Commissioner’s press release gives more detail.

Readers of the blog may know that I have a case with the Commissioner appealing Hammersmith and Fulham’s refusal to release restaurant inspections. Yet I have received no communication from the Commissioner about his informal negotiation with the council on behalf of Which? magazine to release these same reports. This is the danger of such informal and opaque negotiations. The Commissioner needs to publish his entire caseload along with all cases resolved, otherwise the public do not gain from the precendents being set.

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