Who regulates the Regulator?

Privacy International’s pugnacious Director Simon Davies had an ace up his sleeve for Right to Know Day last week. Internet Eyes is a daft system where people get access to small business CCTV, in the hope of spotting crime and winning a cash prize. Lonely people poring over grainy images of often unidentifiable convenience store […]

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FOI Officers wanted for short survey

I’m currently writing a book, for which I need to do some surveys and interviews later in the year. To that end, I’m testing out some survey software. Moreover, the story that Chris Cook broke in the FT about private emails in Government last week is still, to my mind, one of the most fascinating […]

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A Modest Proposal for Improving FOI: Leave it Alone

The deservedly celebrated blogger FOI Man recently wrote about changes (http://www.foiman.com/archives/382) he thought would help FOI to function better. Inspired by this, I wondered what my changes would be – but on a long car journey, I realised that I actually thought that FOI should be left alone. Even though certain commentators will bend your […]

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And another thing….

I blogged about vexatious punters last week, with the egregious example of an applicant plaguing the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames with a variety of unacceptable messages. A decision published by the Tribunal yesterday delivers a vital message to the aggrieved applicant. If you think your public authority is up to something then “the proper course of […]

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Nudge Nudge Wink Wink

I like Michael Gove: like Eric Pickles, he keeps happy 1980s memories of Spitting Image alive just by having a face that, even in repose, looks like a caricature. But Mr. Gove has, as described in Chris Cook’s story in the Financial Times, apparently presides over a wrong-headed approach to FOI that shows once again […]

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Transparency, according to Mr Maude

The Cabinet Office, run by the urbane and slightly saturnine Francis Maude, champions the Government’s Transparency agenda. Transparency is the process of publishing (or obliging others to publish) data on a wide variety of subjects. Although Transparency and FOI are clearly nodding acquaintances, they don’t spend a lot of time together socially. Transparency is about […]

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How not to get information

I reviewed some Information Commissioner FOI decisions recently for a presentation, and as always, I was drawn to the vexatious ones, both actual and alleged. There’s an intriguing one where a resident had a vehicular disagreement with a council lawnmower and made FOIs as the insurance case went on. I’ve had my fair share of […]

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