September 2007 Archives

The Information Commissioner may have been publicising Friday 28th September as international Your Right To Know Day (.pdf), but another Anniverseray has now been reached:

It is now over 1000 days since our original Freedom of Information Act request was submitted, initially to both the Office of Government Commerce and to the Home Office, for the to pre-Stage Zero and the actual Stage Zero Gateway review reports, on the Home Office's Identity Cards Programme.

Despite years of delays, and an appeal to the Information Commissioner, who made a Decision in favour of full publication, back in July 2006, folllowed by an appeal by the OGC to the Information Tribunal, who also found in favour of full disclosure in May 2007. The OGC is currently wasting more public money by appealing to the High Court.

These Gateway Review reports have still not been disclosed.

The High Court resumes its non-emergency activities after the summer break on Monday.

We will be nagging them to disclose when the alleged OGC appeal, supposedly on a point of law, rather than just the balance of the interpretation of the law, against the Information Tribunal's ruling is to be heard.

See OGC Gateway Reviews of the Identity Cards Programme category archive for the history of this deliberate and disgraceful bureaucratic and political suppression of our rights under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

It is very likely that when, not if, the High Court finds in our favour, and orders the Labour government to disclose the by now, very out of date documents, we will want to know exacly how much this has cost the taxpayer in terms of legal fees and civil servants' time.

UPDATE: 5th October 2007

The OGC have emailed to say that the High Court date for their appeal against the decision of the Information Tribunal regarding their ordering of the full publication of the Home Office Identity Cards Programme early Gateway Review reports, has provisionally been set for Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th March 2008 at the Royal Courts of Justice (times and Court still to be decided nearer the date).

Even assuming that the High Court makes a Judgement (hopefully rejecting the appeal of the OGC)) on the Wednesday, this will be at least 3 years 2 months 3 days i.e.1158 days since the original FOIA request to the Office of Government Commerce and the Home Office, when the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came fully into force on 1st January 2005.


About this blog

This United Kingdom based blog has been spawned from Spy Blog, and is meant to provide a place to track our Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests to United Kingdom Government and other Public Authorities.

If you have suggestions for other FOIA requests,  bearing in mind the large list of exemptions, then email them to us, or use the comments facility on this blog, and we will see  what we can do, without you yourself having to come under the direct scrutiny of  "Sir Humphrey Appleby" or his minions.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

email: blog @spy[dot]org[dot]uk

Here is our PGP public encryption key or download it via a PGP Keyserver.

WhatDoTheyKnow.com

WhatDoTheyKnow.com - FOIA request submission and publication website from MySociety.org

Campaign Buttons

cfoi_150.jpg
Campaign for the Freedom of Information

NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

irrepressible_banner_03.gif
Amnesty International 's irrepressible.info campaign

Yes, Minister

Yes, Minister Series 1, Episode 1, "Open Government" First airtime BBC: 25 February 1980

"Bernard Woolley: "Well, yes, Sir...I mean, it [open government] is the Minister's policy after all."
Sir Arnold: "My dear boy, it is a contradiction in terms: you can be open or you can have government."

FOIA Links

Campaign for the Freedom of Information

Office of the Information Commissioner,
who is meant to regulate the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scottish Information Commissioner,
who similarly regulates the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002

Information Tribunal - deals with appeals against decisions by the Information Commissioners.

Freedom of Information pages - Department for Constitutional Affairs

Friends of the Earth FOIA Request Generator and links to contact details for Central Government Departments and their Publication Schemes

UK Government Information Asset Register - in theory, this should point you to the correct Government documents, but in practice...well see for yourself.

Access all Information is also logging some FOIA requests

foi.mysociety.org - prototype FOIA request submission, tracking and publication website

Blog Links

Spy Blog

UK Freedom of Information Act Blog - started by Steve Wood, now handed over to Katherine Gundersen

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

Open Secrets - a blog about freedom of information by BBC journalist Martin Rosenbaum

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

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