FOI more smoke and mirrors


I got round to reading
today that the Press
Gazette
was patting itself on the back for its campaign to stop or slow
down the legislation to change the FOI Act by putting restrictions on requests
by way of cost.

Quite right that
the Press Gazette and the Campaign for Freedom of Information along with many
other campaigners and bloggers should have taken up the issue. 

That this has had
a success in getting Baroness Ashton to agree that the original date set for
this legislation of 19th March to be laid before the House may now well be delayed, “It will be
for the business managers to tell me what date I’ve got and that will be in the
public domain as soon as I know it”. she is quoted as saying, so this is
obviously for technical reasons but it does not change the fact that the
legislation in the form of a Statutory Instrument will still go forward, whilst
not having to admit that they had been caught out trying to slip one through
whilst parliament was on its Easter break. 

The fact that just
11 days after the end of the public consultation before laying this before
parliament shows that a) the government does not want the debate b) that it
knows that in the lead up to a break most MP’s either wont be about or will be
disinterested and c) is determined in one way or another to stop us seeing what
they are doing.

We think that the
government are happy not to labour the point as to do so would create the
debate that they wish to avoid, and to accede to the machinations of the press
and campaigners in this instance is a better route as it knows that there is
other legislation that will effectively do a far better job of gagging any FOI
requests. 

In particular I
refer to the Private Members bill raised by David MacLean, the Tory whip, which
I raised and highlighted in my blog on 15th
Jan
and more recently on the 25th
Jan
.

David MacLean’s
bill will amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to exempt from its provisions the House
of Commons
and House of Lords
and correspondence between Members of
Parliament and public authorities
 

This bill is now
in committee, and as a Private Members bill, David MacLean can choose the committee members to sit.

The effect of
this bill will be to make every government department, agency, ngo, Pfi project
and any other group that works with government SECRET.

 

Sorry to say
Press Gazette, you missed the important one, because if the MacLean bill goes through, the only copy you will have to print is the propaganda that you are given.

 


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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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