Sunday, April 24, 2005

Media roundup

Sunday Herald 24th April - Haemophiliacs blocked in bid for secret files
"HAEMOPHILIACS have been refused acce ss to secret files which they believe could reveal how they were infected with hepatitis C through contaminated NHS blood products. Campaigners requesting the release of classified documents under freedom of information legislation have had their demand turned down on the grounds of cost. The Department of Health has also claimed that some of the documents have been destroyed. The 600 files contain information on blood policy decisions taken by the UK government between 1972 and 1986, during which time thousands became ill."

Sunday Telegraph 24th April - NHS debts soar to over £1bn
"Evidence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act or from NHS staff contradicts Labour's manifesto claim that "the NHS is being restored to good health".

Holdthefrontpage 22nd April - FOI Act helps news group keep check on Government quango spending
"The Kent Messenger Group has revealed how a Government quango responsible for boosting jobs in Kent spent almost £250,000 of public money on corporate hospitality and entertainment in five months last year. Political editor Paul Francis uncovered how the South East England Development Agency spent £247,591 entertaining clients, businesses and politicians at a series of events between June and November, after making a successful request for details of the spending under the Freedom of Information Act."

BBC News 22nd April - 'Temporary' lights for 463 days
"Machine operator Mr Baker said he used the Freedom of Information Act to request information about the lights after experiencing frustrating delays on the road known as the Saltney Straight between Broughton roundabout and Boundary Lane in Saltney."

Daily Telegraph 22nd April - MoD dumped munitions in the Irish Sea
"Since the 1920s the Ministry of Defence has dumped more than a million tons of munitions in the Irish Sea, including 14,600 tons of phosgene-filled artillery rockets. The extent of the dumping, disclosed yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act, shocked environmentalists."

The Register 21st April - General election debate misses purpose of ID cards
"Details of an ID card Gateway Review, published on the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) website as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request last month, reveals that the wider "public service" use of the ID card database has been an objective of Government for two years. The OGC Review, dated June 2003, states that the ID Card database "could provide a more efficient basis for administering public services by avoiding the need for people to provide the same personal information time and again to a range of public services".

Legal Week - City giants seek to protect pitch secrecy
"Clifford Chance (CC), Simmons & Simmons and SJ Berwin are among a raft of leading firms taking urgent steps to avoid sensitive details of their pitches to public bodies from leaking into the public domain. The move follows January’s introduction of the Freedom of Information Act, which could force public bodies to release details of pitch information — including details of fee structures — as well as the type and level of work they are farming out."

EHealth 19th April - QoF results publication likely in next two months
"Dr Jamie, who had been referred to the Information Centre after writing to most of the 300 plus PCTs in England, had asked for the release of the data held on QMAS under the Freedom of Information Act."

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