Tuesday, 7 September 2010

More Democratised Dictatorship.......

The Ministry of Justice advises that it is their wish to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, which is most generous of them indeed.

"We are carefully considering the different ways of achieving this aim, including looking at the extension of the Act to additional bodies.  Any extension of the FOI Act will need to take account of the burdens that this would place on bodies to be covered."
Perhaps a little less time spent on telling us, for example, how to live our lives, equality, diversity and writing copious reports read only by those on the state payroll might just mean that no additional 'burden' would be placed on them!

It seems to me that unless the matter under inquiry encroaches on national security there is no valid reason whereby any government department, public authority, quango, charity (fake or otherwise), or any other body that is in receipt of public monies (however large or small), should be able to claim exemption from a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Agree?

7 comments:

Woodsy42 said...

Of course, if they take pubic money they should be open to pubic scrutiny.

Woodsy42 said...

woops, make that public scrutiny!

Witterings From Witney said...

No probs Woodsy - either should be subject to an FOI request!

Joseph Takagi said...

It seems to me that unless the matter under inquiry encroaches on national security there is no valid reason whereby any government department, public authority, quango, charity (fake or otherwise), or any other body that is in receipt of public monies (however large or small), should be able to claim exemption from a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Agree?


So, the Mayor of a local town has the official Jag serviced, which costs £400. That garage, in order to get that business is now going to have to be fully compliant with FoI legislation (training staff, ensuring correct filing, dealing with requests for information) to get £400 of business each year from the council?

What about if the Mayor's driver goes off to buy de-icer spray from the local petrol station and asks for a receipt? Is that garage also now subject to an FOI request because they are a body in receipt of £2 of public money?

Witterings From Witney said...

JT, methinks you are extracting the water!

FOIs are for public bodies and the examples you give are not public bodies!

Joseph Takagi said...

WfW,

OK. Your original post just said "bodies". Then again, isn't a charity supposed to be a private body (RNLI are, many are stuffed full of fakecharity money).

Witterings From Witney said...

JT, Charities do not count themselves as public bodies and are exempt from FOI at the moment - eg Housing Associations.

Yet they receive public money in the shape of housing benefit for example. Ergo they should not be exempt from FOI on the basis that any organisation that receives public money is a public body.