Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Media FOI strories 04 Jan - Freedom of Information casts light on Whitehall farce

Guardian FOI site
Files show extent of Murdoch lobbying
January 3: The Guardian reveals how media tycoon Rupert Murdoch won ministers' assurance that he could bid for Channel Five.

Howard goes on election offensive
January 5: The Tories have seized on the launch of the government's Freedom of Information Act as a new stick with which to beat Tony Blair.

The U-bend of history
January 4: The battle for soft toilet paper in the civil service lasted 17 years, according to official documents released under the Freedom of Information Act today.

50,000 files opened as act sweeps away 30-year rule
January 4: More than 50,000 files closed under the so-called 30-year rule are opened early today at the national archives at Kew under the Freedom of Information Act.

Falconer backs war advice secrecy
January 4: Lord Falconer gave his first indication yesterday that he could veto the release of potentially explosive legal advice on whether Britain should have gone to war with Iraq.

Why Jim arrived so reluctantly - and Harold went so fast
January 4: Papers show Callaghan hated No 10, while Wilson feared conspiracy theories as he quit.

MoD kept race details on troops
January 4: The army repeatedly refused to carry out ethnic monitoring of its soldiers, accordin to a file released today under the Freedom of Information Act.

Home Office told Porridge makers to naff off
January 4: The Home Office refused to allow the producers of Porridge to go inside a British prison, according to a 1975 Home Office file released today.

The cat o' 99 tales
January 4: The strange tale of the Home Office cat, concealed in a file created as long ago as 1929, is finally released under the Freedom of Information Act today.

Questionable information
January 4, letters: You are right to point to the loopholes in the new Freedom of Information Act (Leader, December 31).

The Sunday Times - Harrods first to fall to data law
"Using the new law, The Sunday Times has obtained the most recent food safety inspections at Harrods, which were conducted last month. The reports are the first of their kind to be released under the act."

The Sunday Times - Holyrood would have cost half as much under PFI"THE Scottish parliament could have cost the taxpayer £200m less if it had been built under a private finance deal, documents released under freedom of information legislation reveal."

BBC - Why you're free to ask in Sweden...
"The Bishop of Stockholm recently had to pay a fine for neglect of duty. She had broken what is probably the world's oldest freedom of information act, from 1766."

4NI -Murphy welcomes the Freedom of Information Act
"The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Murphy, has welcomed the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2000"

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