Monthly Archives: April 2012

Meeting Murdoch: Political Influence always has a purpose.

When the bailiffs come to your home, you know the reason, you do not have to ask. I have never met Rupert Murdoch nor am I likely to meet him.  If we were to meet, especially if he were to … Continue reading

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Leveson is not A Few Good Men: Thoughts on Rupert Murdoch’s Testimony

I have watched the unfolding inquiry and several things struck me about James Murdoch’s testimony. What immediately jumps out is the reaction to one side of the story.  To be sure, the testimony and the associated emails present a fascinating … Continue reading

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Empty Archives: hollow men and the fear of accountability?

In their recent visit to the Justice Select Committee Lord O’Donnell and Lord Hennessy talked about the possibility of “empty archives”.  Lord Hennessy mentioned that Cabinet minutes were not as explicit as they were in previous generation. He said that … Continue reading

Posted in FOIA, Government, statesmanship, transparency | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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Can social media reduce the cost of responding to foi requests?

In the recent written evidence to the Justice select committee reviewing FOIA in the UK, the “cost” of FOI has been discussed.  Often, the witnesses want to cut this cost by limiting the number of requests. I would argue that … Continue reading

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Freedom of Information’s dirty little secret: it works.

What a casual observer of the debate over FOIA’s future will miss is that it works in practice and theory.  At a basic level, this is an obvious point. The legislation is supposed to work as designed by Parliament.  After … Continue reading

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Can the uk have a transparent and accountable government if civil society is weak?

The United Kingdom relies upon three connected parts to support a transparent government. The first part is the permanent infrastructure of civil servants.  The second part is having the opportunities to publish and share information. The third part is the … Continue reading

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The day Freedom of Information died in the United Kingdom

The 29th of March passed without much notice for most people in the United Kingdom. For freedom of information, it was a watershed day. From this day forward, Freedom of Information will never be the same.  Why?  The First Tier … Continue reading

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How the Information Tribunal has eroded our rights (IPCC v IC) and why Bull Connor is smiling in his grave.

One may wonder what Bull Connor, the epitome of the racist resistance to the American civil rights movement, has to do with an Information Tribunal ruling.  What the ruling represents is a clear echo of the ideology and approach to … Continue reading

Posted in censorship, FOIA, Government, local government, transparency | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments