One might have hoped that Paul Boateng, now that it has been announced that he is going to be the new High Commissioner (equivalent to Ambassador) to South Africa, would have properly complied with the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act and released some details abou the Office for Government Commerce Gateway Reviews of the Identity cards scheme.
However he is not even bothering to answer Parliamentary Questions on the matter, giving an excuse that could have been written by Sir Humphrey Appleby himself:
Wednesday, 16 March 2005
Mark Oaten Mark Oaten (Winchester, LDem)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what traffic light status was awarded to the identity cards scheme by the Office of Government Commerce at the Gateway Review 1 stage.
Paul Boateng (Brent South, Lab) holding answer 25 February 2005
The ID Cards programme has not yet undergone a Gate 1 Review. It has, however, undergone two OGC Gate 0 Reviews, in June 2003 and January 2004 respectively. The traffic light status awarded by these reviews is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as disclosure would be likely to prejudice both the ability of OGC to examine the effectiveness, efficiency and economy with which other Government Departments exercise their functions and also the formulation and development of Government policy. I believe the public interest in disclosure of such information is outweighed by the public interest in non-disclosure"