Ministers should not be able to block freedom of information (FOI) requests, according to amendments to FOI legislation proposed by a Liberal Democrat MP. A Labour former minister has said that the law should extend to media companies. Tom Brake has introduced a Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill in the House of Commons, …
I'm in shock
Someone cares about the little people?
How on earth did he get into Goverment?
We'll have to see how much this proposal is gutted if it passes at all.
A well framed law to help the people....
someone pinch me I am dreaming.
The ministerial veto is the perfect example of how our last government believed that they were above and more powerful than the law.
While the system of common law does mean that at times the wheels can grind exceeding slow and that as a result lawyers can make a lot of money, it also means that it is very difficult for ministers to ride roughshod over the law. Unfortunately over the last decase or so a lot of legislation has been passed that allows the government, civil service and even the police to bypass that system.
New Labour seemed very keen that we move to a legal system of administrative certainty. It's interesting to see that some of their number are already whining about legislation which they were instrumental in passing.
A rare outbreak of common sense, but why stop at media companies? Business should be subject to at least some FOI, not least where it concerns government contracts. It's far too easy for businesses and those in government responsible for their contracts to squeal "commercial confidentiality" every time they are asked an uncomfortable question.
No transparency > no accountability > rather a lot of opportunity for under the table pocket lining, or simply the non-delivery of paid for services as seems to happen 90% of the time the words "government" and "contract" appear in the same sentence.
The following link may appeal to you
Interesting that Her Majesty's government is unable to spell "regional" - I'd have thought it was a word in fairly common use in government circles!
OK, I do have a copy of the OED in my pocket - that's why the coat is so heavy!
Obviously intended to cover Murdoch and his empire, but by what justification? He may well be a powerful and immoral oligarch, but none of that has any "formal status" in law and, as far as I´m aware, receives no money from the taxpayer.
Even if there were grounds for including his media organisations under FOI, most of the information they handle would fall under the "journalism" exemption anyway. So what would be the point?
Or to put it another way
"they were not sure whether some of what they might write might, in some other context, be made available for the delectation of our journalists"
They didn't have the balls to stand behind their assessments. Probably because they couldn't be justified in fact. Boo fucking hoo.
Was this not Tony Blairs *one* regret
That he didn't strangle the FoI Act? The only one he saw fit to mention.
Bought in IIRC by Jack Straw on his first go round as Home Sec.
This, a minimum wage and a few (and I can't think what they would be) other measures may be the only lasting *good* things done by the lase Labor government.
... but what about ACPO...???
...some of the most brutal assessments...
Ooh - does that mean there are some juicy titbits just waiting to be asked for?