Bitter Chocolate

Just before Christmas 2021, as a thank you gift to 254 staff for their hard work after a challenging year (not my words, but those of the Information Commissioner’s Office), someone in the ICO used their corporate credit card to buy them all a box of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat. I cannot tell you who […]

Read More »

Weapons of Mass Deference

The defining issue of the Tony Blair era is almost certainly the Iraq War, and I suspect that when most people think of him and his sidekick Alistair Campbell, it’s WMDs and dodgy dossiers that come to mind.  So when the First Tier Tribunal issued a decision recently on a journalist’s attempt to dig into the […]

Read More »

Regulating the FOIA into obscurity?

This is a guest post from the redoubtable John Slater, whose tireless efforts to hold DWP to account are a lesson in how FOI should be used. John has had real success in wrestling information out of a stubborn and secretive system, but the post describes the hurdles in the way of the applicant, and the shameful way in […]

Read More »

Caesar’s Wife

In May 2016, the Labour member for Heatons North, Alex Ganotis, became Leader of Stockport Council, having been a councillor for some years. A month or so later, I read a story mentioning him in the Manchester Evening News, and his name rang a bell. Alex Ganotis is also a Group Manager at the Information Commissioner’s Office – I […]

Read More »

Wanted

Many of today’s newspapers report (once again) that police forces are refusing to name wanted suspects because of Data Protection and Human Rights. It’s tempting to assume that by now, everyone knows that the Data Protection Act does not prevent the disclosure of wanted suspects’ names and photos, so when another newspaper makes an FOI […]

Read More »

National insecurity

In all the furore over the announcement of the Government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill, one detail caught my eye. The Daily Telegraph published an article by Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC. Mr Wanless was keen that whatever else, we did not forget about the children: “We have heard plenty from groups extolling privacy […]

Read More »