Monday, January 17, 2005

Media roundup

FT 17th Jan - Private equity groups battle to keep secrets
"Secretive UK private equity groups are fighting an attempt to force them to shed light on their performance under the new Freedom of Information Act amid confusion over what the new law requires them to reveal...The issue has come to a head as a result of a FOIA application by a private market intelligence gatherer, which asked local authorities to reveal sensitive information such as internal rates of return on their private equity investments as soon as the new law took effect on January 1. Local authorities have up to 20 days from the application to respond."

EU Business 16th Jan - UK Freedom of Information Act holds promise for postcommunist democracies
"Some 50 countries already have similar laws, yet many are of a very limited nature, so experts say the new law should serve Britons well. Could a law like this benefit the new postcommunist democracies, too?"

Daily Telegraph 16th Jan - What soars ever higher? The cost of Blair's Queen's Flight freebie"An RAF crew enjoyed eight nights' upmarket accommodation plus expenses at taxpayers' cost during Tony Blair's recent holiday to Egypt, The Telegraph can reveal."

Daily Telegraph 15th Jan - Pentagon planned love bomb
"The Pentagon examined the possibility of developing an aphrodisiac bomb that would cause enemy troops to find one another sexually irresistible, newly declassified documents reveal."

Guardain 14th Jan - Schools 'unprepared for Freedom of Information Act'
"Most schools are not equipped to meet the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, the National Association of School Governors warned today"

Computer Weekly - Socitm warns that councils' IT systems are not ready for Freedom of Information Act

Guardian 11th Jan- In the land of the free
"Britain's Freedom of Information Act comes into force almost 40 years after its American equivalent. Sarah Left explains how the US system works"

New Statesman - John Kampfner wants to know a secret (or two)
"In the first week of its operation, some 900 applications were received. Of those, roughly 120 came from the Conservative front bench, in a co-ordinated probe of the system. Journalists accounted for about half the remaining figure, and members of the public the rest" - Freedom of Information Act now in force
"Rosemary Jay, a partner with Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, commented: "This marks a new era. An information society needs information rights and the UK has lagged behind others for too long. It will be a challenge for some parts of the public sector but most have worked hard to prepare for it."

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