Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Media roundup

BBC news -Blair's local denied late licence
"But, according to documents obtained by the Conservatives under the Freedom of Information Act, the police and environmental health officials advised against granting the licence extension."

Norwich Evening News - N&N staff act to stamp out blunders
"A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed more than 60 mistakes made by staff caring for patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) during the past two years." - Freedom of Information – six months on
"Local authorities in England received 35,406 requests under the Freedom of Information Act in the first six months of the Act’s operation, and have handled implementation without serious problems, according to a recent survey."

Birmingham Mercury- SCHOOLS' truancy shame revealed
"The DfES had refused to name the 146 schools it was targeting. But using the Freedom of Information Act, The Birmingham Post has discovered eight of them are in the West Midlands."

Belfast Telegraph -FREEDOM Act brings risks
"Almost one year into the operation of the Freedom of Information Act businesses are becoming increasingly alive to the opportunities, as well as the risks, created by the Act and its introduction of a general right of access for any person to information held by public authorities, including government departments and local authorities."

Western Mail - Airport challenged to reveal its plans
"Using specialist lawyers, Friends of the Earth is challenging Cardiff Airport's claim that because it is owned by a private company, it is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act."

The Sun - Fury over gipsy tax bill
"The number of unauthorised sites has soared to 4,264 since Labour came to power — up 38 per cent. But councils must still provide travellers with schooling, social services and waste collection. The figures — obtained by the Tories under the Freedom of Information Act — will anger residents whose lives have been blighted by the camps."

Managing Information - VOLUNTARY Sector Using Freedom of Information Act
"The Freedom of Information Act is being used extensively by voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) in the first six months of its life, according to new research by Ashridge Business School and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO."

*Download the full report (PDF)

Media bulletin - Commercial radio fights for BBC budget disclosure
"Commercial radio is battling to get the BBC to release information about its radio programming and marketing budgets before spring, its last chance to argue against the BBC's request for a big licence fee increase.The Information Commissioner has been brought in to the fight by the Commercial Radio Companies Association, after the BBC declined to agree to its request for information. -New Scientist reports on nuclear accident responsiveness
"In response to a request from New Scientist under the Freedom of Information Act, the MoD released post-mortems of four exercises conducted during the past decade . They reveal that delays in issuing public warnings, poor monitoring of radiation and breakdown in communication could all have increased people's exposure to radiation."

Washington Post - Secrecy Is Infectious: Bill Would Shield Biomedical Research
"The North Carolina Republican has introduced legislation to create the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, a new bureaucracy that would help spur research and development of drugs and vaccines to blunt the impact of a pandemic or bioterrorist attack. The agency, to be part of the Department of Health and Human Services, would get something no other agency has: a full exemption from the Freedom of Information Act."

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