Monday, January 16, 2006

Media roundup

National News

BBC news - Man's vigil at wrong hospital bed
"A series of errors led to a man holding vigil at the bedside of a woman he wrongly believed to be his sick mother."

The Guardian - Heseltine demands fresh inquiry into Westland affair
"Lord Heseltine today demanded a fresh investigation into the Westland affair and the release of paperwork relating to the crisis under the Freedom of Information Act."

Press Gazette - Too much freedom to block FoI requests is hampering progress
"By Maurice FrankelDuring more than 20 years of campaigning for a Freedom of Information Act, two questions repeatedly nagged me. The obvious one: would Britain ever get an FoI Act? And the more troubling one: if we did, would it be worth having? Well, the act is now here and, despite some problems, it is certainly working."

Daily Telegraph - Fears over loss of vital information
"Plans to charge for Freedom of Information requests are worrying organisations on small budgets, reports Roland Gribben."

Daily Telegraph - Tories demand inquiry into Prescott's £57,000 handout for second home
"Ms Spelman will launch a fresh attempt this week to uncover more information by tabling a series of parliamentary questions and requests under the Freedom of Information Act."

The Independent - Blair sets out to sell his nuclear power policy to the public
"Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that officials in the nuclear power industry want ministers to reduce public scrutiny on planning applications in order to keep down costs and secure the support of investors."

Computer Weekly - Outsourcing: keeping divorce private
"Public outsourcing failures could be laid bare by FOI, says Renzo Marchini."

India - Delhi newsline- Clerk booked for Rs 500 RTI bribe
"In probably the first incident of its kind since the Right to Information Act came into force here, a lower-division clerk in the office of the Commissioner of Industries was nabbed by the CBI for seeking a Rs 500 bribe to process an RTI application."

Ireland online - Govt accused over 'culture of secrecy'
"The Government has created a culture of secrecy within public bodies by repeatedly trying to gag the Freedom of Information Act, it was claimed today. The Labour Party, which introduced the legislation in the mid-1990s, vowed to extend its powers if elected into office."

Local News

Belfast Telegraph - Findings of confidential probe into loans firm to be revealed
"The long-awaited findings from an investigation into an Ulster company are to be examined at a Parliamentary hearing next month, it can be revealed today....Invest NI's refusal to publish the PwC report is currently the subject of a Belfast Telegraph complaint to the UK's Information Commissioner, the overseer of the workings of the Freedom of Information Act."

Hastings Observer - Hospital Trust refuses to divulge ex-chief's pay-off
"The news comes after the Observer demanded the information be made public by lodging a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act. But after a two-month delay the hospital Trust refused the request."

Serious about news (Bedfordshire)-US agencies hold Yarl's Wood files
"ONE HUNDRED documents on Yarl's Wood are held by American intelligence agencies. Requests were made by Bedfordshire on Sunday in November 2004 for their release under the American Freedom of Information Act."

Yorkshire - Prime Minister attacked over secrecy in supertram affair
"The Prime Minister's officials rejected a request for details from the Yorkshire Post, under freedom of information rules, claiming it could have a "detrimental effect" on the development of policies. They confirmed they held relevant information and that there was a public interest in releasing it, but insisted it was outweighed by the Prime Minister being able to have a "free and frank forum" which might otherwise be limited."

Eastern Daily Press - Yarmouth holidaymakers: the facts
"We all know that Yarmouth attracts a certain type of visitor but figures supplied under the Freedom of Information act now paint the most accurate picture yet of tourism in the town. TOM SMITHARD investigates."

Sheffield Star - 'Alley gates' blamed for increase in crime
"A DONCASTER protester has claimed the alley gates are to blame for a 33 per cent increase in crime figures in part of the borough. But Lawrence Parramore's campaign has been slammed by his neighbours in Nether Hall, who support the gates and fear his activities may delay their installation in other areas. He obtained statistics from South Yorkshire Police under the Freedom of Information Act, which show total offences in Balby jumped from 2,408 in 2003-4 to 3,239 in 2004-5."

Workington Times and Star
- Councillors wants news on future of Dump
"A group of parish councils forming the Derwent Forest Parish Council Liaison Committee wrote to the Northwest Development Agency demanding information under the Freedom of Information Act but were told that most of the information was commercially sensitive so did not have to be disclosed."


EU Observer - EU ministers to open their meetings to public
"The EU Council, the member states' decision-making body, has decided to open its doors to parts of its meetings, in a move that has been termed by the European Commission as crucial in regaining the trust of Europe's citizen."

al-Jazeera Memo

The Guardian - Labour MPs leaked Bush's proposal to bomb al-Jazeera
"Two Labour MPs have defied the Official Secrets Act by passing on the key contents of the British document revealing that President George Bush wanted to bomb the Arabic TV station, al-Jazeera."

New York Times - Britons Face Trial Over Claim Bush Spoke of Attacking Arab TV
"A British civil servant and a former researcher appeared in court today in the latest chapter of an unfolding legal battle over claims that President Bush proposed bombing the Arabic language Al Jazeera television station."

Liverpool Daily Post - Kilfoyle may face jail over Bush bomb threat leak
"LIVERPOOL MP Peter Kilfoyle could be jailed for two years after admitting passing on secret details of George Bush's threat to bomb al-Jaazeera TV station....Mr Kilfoyle said: "I believed the document should be made public because it is a matter of national interest. It does not imperil anybody and it reveals the kind of person we are dealing with."

No comments: