FOI news 24-31 January

31 January 2008
Four More Years for Scottish Information Tzar
Allmediascotland – Edinburgh,Scotland,UK

In his first five years, Kevin received more than 1500 appeals and issued over 550 decisions, including surgical mortality rates for all surgeons in Scotland; sex offender statistics; and an entire PFI/PPP contract.

29 January 2008
South Wales Evening Post – Swansea,Wales,UK

A Rat-infested warehouse supplied food to children and the elderly at more than 150 establishments across Carmarthenshire, it has been revealed.The county council was forced to release a list of schools, care homes and leisure facilities supplied by Pembrokeshire-based Skelfayre after a Post reporter requested details under the Freedom of Information Act.

28 January
A free and just society needs whistleblowers
ic Wales

The Freedom of Information Act, which became operational three years ago, has moved things forward but not nearly enough. Civil servants and ministers who wish to halt embarrassing disclosures have a plethora of exemptions within the Act at their disposal.

26 January

He wrote ‘Money’. But is Martin Amis really worth £3000 an hour?

Independent – London,England,UK

This work earns him a salary of £80,000, according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN), which discovered the details of his salary using the Freedom of Information Act.

BBC bids to suppress study on Middle East ‘bias’

The freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke suggested the BBC has become an unfair target for FoI requests. “My real issue is secrecy of the government rather than media organisations,” she said. “I almost feel the BBC has taken the brunt of these disclosures. It’s the vulnerable organisation and not the Cabinet Office or the Treasury, which will fight everything.”

BBC accused of wasting licence fee in battle to suppress ‘Mid-East
Daily Mail – UK

The expensive saga was prompted by a member of the public who has repeatedly tried to force the document’s release under the Freedom of Information Act.

24 January

Department stalls over Freedom of Information requests
Health Service Journal – London,UK

The Department of Health has been failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. Two requests regarding senior DH civil servants made by HSJ last year have been delayed.

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