Mass of FOI articles

There was a deluge of FOI articles this weekend as the Act went into force Saturday. Even Al-Jazeera covered the story, though it failed to make Tony Blair’s New Year’s message. Here is a summary of the main stories during the past three days:

Monday January 3

The Guardian
Files show extent of Murdoch lobbying
David Leigh and Rob Evans
Tycoon won ministers’ assurance that he could bid for Channel Five
Lib Dems urge Blair to stop us playing guess who came to dinner
Michael White, political editor
The Liberal Democrats last night challenged Tony Blair to embrace the new freedom of information era by adopting the White House practice of publishing a register of official dinner party guests and topics discussed at Chequers, his official country residence.

The Scotsman
Freedom of information suppressed by secretive Holyrood
Hamish MacDonell – Sottish Political Editor
THE Scottish Parliament came under intense criticism last night, after it emerged that up to a third of all committee business takes place in secret, only days after the Freedom of Information Act came into effect.

Northwest Evening Mail
MP hoping to get answers to foot-and-mouth questions
South Lakes MP Tim Collins will use the FOIA to get answers to questions about the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Sunday January 2

The Sunday Times
Firms are urged to enjoy freedom of information
BUSINESSES are being urged to make use of the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force yesterday.

The Observer
Guess who’s coming to Chequers? Pop stars and tobacco bosses
Antony Barnett, public affairs editor
In a milestone victory for freedom of information, The Observer has found out who Mr Blair has wined and dined – at taxpayers’ expense.
Information tsar defies doctors
Martin Bright and Jo Revill
Patients and families will gain access to records despite the medical profession’s worries.

Saturday 1 January

The Guardian
Falconer rejects risk to information act
Alan Travis and Rob Evans
More staff and resources will be provided if there is a greater than expected surge in requests under the Freedom of Information Act that comes into effect today, the lord chancellor has promised.

Independent
Secretive departments to be blacklisted
By Marie Woolf and Robert Verkaik

Aljazeera.net
UK adopts freedom of information law

Friday 31 December 2004

The Scotsman
No Evidence of Shredding’, Says Information Commissioner
By James Lyons, PA Political Correspondent

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