Category Archives: public sector

Open data creates inefficient government and why this is good

The promise that open data will improve government efficiency is misplaced.  Every administration claims it will make government effective and efficient.  We had Clinton’s Reinventing Government and Bush’s reforms after 11 September.  Neither has delivered as it promised. In large … Continue reading

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A modest defense of democracy: three cheers for Blair, Cameron, and Clinton

I am not convinced that Leveson Inquiry shows a diminished democracy.  Instead, we have been treated to an eye opening view of how modern democracy works.  In the past, much of this would not be known or understood. Like the … Continue reading

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Jay, Leveson, our modern day version of a Socratic dialogue

I have been enjoying the Leveson inquiry despite its depressing revelations. For many, what is of interest is seeing the powerful being brought to account.  For others, it is a chance to see the issues raised by phone hacking addressed.  … Continue reading

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Will the Big Blue Button come to the UK? A records management revolution too far?

The Department of Health has published its “The Power of Information: Putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need”.  The document sets out how it will use information to fulfil its obligations found in … Continue reading

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FOIA, equality, justice and the future of democracy

We should not be surprised that powerful people, in particular politicians and political leaders, do not like FOIA.  Aside from the issue of political and public accountability, which raise important democratic principles, the FOIA challenges the political and social hierarchies.  … Continue reading

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Will the reform of FOIA create empty archives: The myth, the threat, or the reality?

In the recent discussions around the future of FOIA, there have been important actors missing: records management and archives. Their absence creates three problems.  Two are understandable and relatively minor. The third is the most subtle and the most dangerous … Continue reading

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In defence of frivolous requests: FOIA and political accountability.

The FOIA is under post legislative scrutiny by the justice select committee.  The written and oral evidence provided showed a concerned for frivolous or time wasting requests.  I write here to defend one of these requests and show that they … Continue reading

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Without Fear or Favour, police corruption and the failure of imagination.

Considering the Leveson Inquiry, I have been interested in the relationship between the police and the press. In particular, I was interested in the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Without Fear or Favour: a review of police relationships. … Continue reading

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Obama, Reagan, and Huey Long: What has really changed in American Politics?

In his vote-harvesting season, it is important to reflect on the American political past to understand what has changed and what needs to be changed.  What connects these three men does not seem as obvious at first.  Reagan and Obama … Continue reading

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If we are going to charge for FOIA requests we might as well start charging for complaints.

The current post legislative review of the Freedom of Information Act  which was shaped by the Government’s initial response to the review of the legislation sought written evidence on three areas.  Does the Freedom of Information Act work effectively? What … Continue reading

Posted in FOIA, Government, public sector, transparency | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments