Barack

Saw this earlier, thought it was quite interesting.

Obama denying more FOI requests than George W.

Although last year he said he hoped his government would :

” encourage accountability through transparency. My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.”

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FOI India

In part two of the video we see how the legislation allows everyday Indian’s to combat corruption and apathy by offical bureacrats. It shows how the people are able to claw back power from one of the most corrupt  government structures in the world. We also hear about the challenges still to be overcome.

FOI in India

I dont think there is a better example of how FOI has made an impact on a society than in India. FOI started in India as a grass roots movement and it is still with the coutrie’s poor that it makes the biggest difference. In the first video we see how it evolved through the fight against coruption and some of the key players involved.

Aliens and the Royal Family

Who may be exempt from FOIA requests, i’ll tell you who – Strange bizarre creatures from another planet and aliens. HoHoHo.

Well, a recent FOI request led to details about Princey Charles and his lack of financial nous. This may supposedly lead to Jackington of Straw changing the laws to protect Charlie, Queeny and Willsy.

And on a possibly unrelated note:

The MOD are planning on destroying reports of UFO sightings after 30 days, this would mean they are exempt from FOI requests .

‘The dedicated UFO hotline answerphone service and e-mail address serve no defence purpose, and merely encourage the generation of correspondence of no defence value. Accordingly, these facilities should be withdrawn as soon as possible,’ the memo dated November 11, 2009, states.

‘Reported sightings should be answered by a standard letter and … should be retained for 30 days and then destroyed, largely removing any future FoI liability and negating the need to release future files post- November 30, 2009.’

So, no defence value. Or this is all a cover up

FOI Requests

Something we touched on in the presentation.  There is the argument that journalists use the FOIA as a way of fishing for a story, thus potentially wasting peoples time.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2010/jan/20/council-freedom-of-information-requests

How frivolous some requests are may become more clear if other public bodies follow this example.

It’s a gate and it’s about climate, it can only be one thing : CLIMATEGATE

Another example of the FOI in the news.

The University of East Anglia / scientists + climate change + emails + FOI requests = News.

It’s November 2009 and some cheeky so and so has hacked into the computers of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, they’ve gone and copied documents and thousands of emails.

Well, it would seem most of the emails weren’t a particularly good read, as the only ones folk seem concerned with were sent from Mr Phil Jones. Monsieur Jones had said some not very nice things about climate change sceptics, more details here.

When oh when is he going to talk about the bloomin Freedom of Information Act i hear you cry, well, the answer is : now.

Well, the other thing which came from the emails was the fact that FOI requests had not been handled correctly by the department, which makes sceptical folk think you’re hiding stuff and being devious little blighters. Have a looksie here for a grammatically correct version of what i’m attempting to tell you.

Moving things along…

Where do you think that the freedom of Information Act is going?

Should it be extended to include more types of organisation?

What about charities for example?  They rely on the public for much of their income, yet we can ask for little more than a copy of their accounts…

Sarah White, who processes FOI requests for Cornwall Council, suggests some ways that the Act could be improved both in terms of its implementation, and the bodies encompassed by it.

FOI future