Category Archives: FOIA

Jenny Jones, the MPS, and the search for better records management

On 8 January, the Guardian reported a claim by a police whistle blower that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) had shredded documents illegally.[1] The documents were reports on Jenny Jones who is a Green life peer which were held by … Continue reading

Posted in corruption, FOIA, justice, privacy, transparency | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Rahm Emanuel’s Funeral Oration for Laquan McDonald: “I’m committed to reform.”

On 7 December 2015, Rahm Emanuel wrote an article, a funeral oration, to explain that Chicago would be reformed after Laquan McDonald’s death. The Mayor wrote that he is committed to reform.[1] On its own a call to reform is … Continue reading

Posted in corruption, FOIA, Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Can the Goddard Inquiry succeed when civil servants hide the secrets?

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, also known as the Goddard Inquiry, has started in the UK.[1] This long overdue Inquiry will “investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect … Continue reading

Posted in censorship, corruption, FOIA, Government | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

In defence of PRISM: why we need governments in cyberspace.

  With the latest revelations about the United States of America’s government’s access to various internet services  companies, people have been outraged. They seem genuinely surprised that such action is occurring.  What they fail to realize are two important things.  … Continue reading

Posted in FOIA, privacy, transparency, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Vexatious requests guidance: weakening our power to make the state speak

The long awaited guidance on vexatious requests has arrived.  The guidance follows from two distinct events. The first was the Parliament’s review of FOIA during which the MoJ presented evidence that suggested council’s were limited in their ability to deal … Continue reading

Posted in FOIA, public sector, transparency, Uncategorized, vexatious requests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What is the public interest in an undeclared war? Leveson Inquiry connection to the Iraq War

Was the Iraq war a declared war that demonstrated an existential threat to the United Kingdom against which the public had to be consulted?  Lord Hennessy in his testimony to the Post Legislative Scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act … Continue reading

Posted in FOIA, Government, statesmanship, war | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Why did I start blogging? Reflections after my 50th blog posts.

I finally made it to 50.  When I started blogging, I decided that once I reached 50 posts I would decide whether to continue or stop. Either I would not make it, through boredom, fear,  too much hard work or … Continue reading

Posted in education, FOIA, good writing, Government, local government, scholarship | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in FOIA, Government, public sector, transparency | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in censorship, FOIA, Government, local government, public sector, transparency | Tagged , , , , , , ,