Secret Squirrel

I’m always foraging around for secret information that ought to be in the public domain. I will post responses here from my access requests so you can see how well (or badly) the government is honouring its commitment to openness and transparency. You can find more detail about these, and other, requests in the Request Diary.

This is a public resource that should help to reveal those bodies that think they’re above answering the public. The more requests and responses I can collect here, the better, so please let me know if you’ve made any requests and the responses you received.

House of Commons
Decision to publish aggregate totals of MPs’ 07/08 expenses (30 April 2009) New!
Parliamentary Beer and Wood Panel Groups (22 April 2009) New!
Names & Salaries of MPs’ Staff (sent 2 January 2005)

Olympic Delivery Authority

Total Spend with Consultancy Companies 2006-07

ODA Contracts awarded in 12-months up to October 2007
Register of Gifts & Hospitality

Transport for London
Congestion Charge Cameras (number, locations, hours of operation)
Oyster Card database (police access, specifications of design, lots more!)
Bendy Bus accident database

Surveillance Drones
Metropolitan Police: Islamic Protests
FOI contacts for all UK Police forces
Police PR

Information Commissioner’s Office
Caseload Database (14 March 2006) – uncorrected, raw data from ICO
Caseload Database (4 August 2005) corrected and proofed
Text of first 10 Decision Notices (1 June 2005)

Crown Prosecution Service
Prosecution rates by crime, outcome and area (27 September 2005)
Number of rape cases vs number prosecuted (23 March 2005)
Number of cases in which CCTV footage is used (October 18, 2004 – Open Govt Code)

Department for Constitutional Affairs
Statute Law Database (18 September 2005)

Tower Hamlets
Cost of security for 2005 election

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Restaurant Inspections (18 February 2005)

British Library
WiFi (wireless internet) Contract (2 January 2005)

Kensington & Chelsea
Restaurant Inspections
Harrods Food Hall
Parking Enforcement Contract
Waste Collection Contract

Home Office Coroner’s Unit
Jurisdictions & Contact Details – May 2005

London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
Fire Safety Inspection Reports (sent 18 February 2005)

Minutes of Governors’ Meeting Post-Hutton (sent 18 February 2005)

Attorney General’s Chambers
Advice on Iraq War (2 January 2005)
Advice on National Identification Card (2 January 2005)
Listing of Subjects on which Advice Sought (2 January 2005)

4 Responses to “Secret Squirrel”

  1. pat says:

    I have just finished your book and I am amazed that you fetishise government secrecy but almost condone corporate secrecy. I think there is a bit of hypocrisy in this perspective, especially the transnational nature of modern corporates. You ignore the potential control that they use this information within the public discourse, because they are ‘just making money”. They use this information to maintain a favourable policy environment while using a wikileaks like response moving to the lowest legal environment.

    I have no issue with the focus on government, however many conspiracies that you focus on are covering up incompetence and the law of unforeseen consequences rather than some grand illumanitesque scheme.

  2. elizabeth says:

    ..I haven’t read your ‘page’ in depth, but have read ‘pats’ post. Anyhow, I only came across you on sky news reports (I watch both BBC & Sky, as it is usually entertaining, but with ‘news’).
    I was struck by your statement re forensic science. You, in my belief, are probably right. The Police over the last 2 decades have been ‘civilianised’. I understand the reasoning. But, my fear now, is ‘the civilianised’ can go on strike, & obviously police can’t. What happens if they do that?….I have more questions,.. You are the 1st to state & question this, & you being from ‘abroad’.
    I would appreciate a reply & maybe if you have ‘statistics’ (maybe not, as they never amount to much).
    Thankyou, Elizabeth

  3. David says:

    The major blunder that sent detectives on the Gareth Williams inquiry down a blind alley for more than a year is the second embarrassment admitted this month by Britain’s biggest private forensic science laboratory. The latest error – described as “astonishing” and which led to a public apology from the company to the Williams family – has raised questions over systems and practices at LGC, which handles half a million samples a year. Critics called for a public inquiry to try to discover if private providers were fit for purpose following the final closure today of the state-run Forensic Science Service.
    John Arthur Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis from 2000 until 2005. He was a writer for the News of the World, for £7,000 an article, until his resignation as the hacking scandal progressed. He also sits on the board of LGC, the UK’s leading analytical laboratory providing chemical, biochemical and DNA-based analysise.

  4. Mike Jackson says:

    I wondered if you would be interested in a long running saga that culminated in UKIP taken over the Thanet District Council by promising to do a CPO with a company called RiverOak, once in power the leader Cllr Chris Wells has done a 360 degree turn and on his own back decided no to do the CPO, UKIP councillors jumping ship due to his dictatorial way he is running the council, to the point all council related mail is sent to his own home address.
    There are many colourful characters also involved Ann Gloag and her brother Mr Souter also Paul Cartner and his pal Mr Musgrove, and everyones favourite dodgy policeman Ray Mallon and finally the leader of Kent County Council Mr Paul Carter.
    There is a good story here and if your interested in further details and proof please contact myself and I will pass on your contact details to those who hold all the evidence.
    Many Thanks

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