Hunting the snark

There isn’t any legal requirement to publish a clear public link, explaining how to make an FOI request, but it is obviously in the interests of both applicants and the organisation. The applicant knows where to go, and the organisation directs requests into the hands of those best placed to answer them properly. If there […]

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Shame

In the flood of positive PR for Freedom of Information’s 10th anniversary, a piece appeared in the Manchester Evening News that shows a possible downside of the legislation. The MEN is my local paper and the main hospital in the story is the closest to my house, but I didn’t notice it – it was highlighted on Twitter […]

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Number crunching

At least according to Wikipedia, St Basil of Caeseria is the patron saint of hospital administrators, while lighthouse keepers enjoy the patronage of both St Dunstan and St Venerius the Hermit. In the light of such specificity, it seems unjust that Freedom of Information Officers have no more appropriate option that St Thomas More, who covers […]

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A fairy story

A stupid FOI request made to Wigan Council about their preparations for dragon attacks has hit the headlines at least twice. In  June, the first time it made waves in the local press and on the BBC, I blogged about how such daft requests brought FOI into disrepute; rather than make a fuss, a council should simply […]

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Freedom Fighters

At least according to TweetDeck, Ian Dunt’s opinion piece about FOI on Politics.co.uk has struck a chord. For days, I have seen the headline being retweeted uncritically, usually by journalists: “How Whitehall neutered the FOI Act’. The article itself is stirring stuff. Take this: “Since the Act was passed it has become increasingly useless. Now, […]

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Angry birds

With two blogs already published on the question of Tweeted FOIs, there is every reason not to add to the noise. Alistair (@alistair_sloan) Sloan, from a legal perspective, has argued persuasively that a Tweeted FOI request has enough of the characteristics of a FOI request to often be valid. Bilal (@FOIkid) Ghafoor, from a more […]

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Here be Dragons

I assume that somewhere, there is a rota. Once in a while, an organisation emerges to complain about the moronic FOI requests they receive, and the high cost of dealing with them. Inevitably, a small number of idiots will have obliged by making some eye-catchingly stupid requests, and so the public authority will be able to imply that […]

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Does my briefing look big in this?

On his blog, David Higgerson, the journalist and Digital Publishing director for Trinity Mirror, reports an interesting case from Hackney Council. Rebecca Helmsley made an FOI request to the Council via What Do They Know about the death of a person in a children’s home in the 1980s. During the process, Hackney accidentally appended the wrong […]

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