Tag Archives: Freedom of Information Act

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

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

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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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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

Time for a change…..of name, but the journey continues

I have blogged on this site since August 2010 under my name. I thought it was time to move to a different title reflects the content.  If the blog had been about me personally, it might have remained unchanged. However, … Continue reading

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