Monday, March 20, 2006

Media update

National news

Daily Telegraph - How too many adverts are interrupting your viewing
"Newly released documents shows that Big Brother, Lost and other Channel 4 shows have fallen foul of rules limiting the amount of advertising that can be shown.In the case of Big Brother, television executives attempted to justify the breach by arguing that the reality show should be treated more like a sporting fixture, documents obtained by the Sunday Telegraph, under the Freedom of Information reveal."

Daily Telegraph - Prince's 'carbuncle' under fire as the battle of Poundbury hots up (again)
"Now an email released to local residents under the Freedom of Information Act appears to show that a council officer has advised the Duchy to reinsert the five-storey tower for the latest plan for the site by developers Woodpecker Properties."

Daily Mail - One in six parents denied school of their choice
"But in another setback only one in 1,000 heads has registered an interest in becoming one of his trust schools, according to a Government list disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act."

"WHAT does Downing Street do when it receives a tricky question from a Labour MP? Nothing, if the experience of former defence minister Peter Kilfoyle is any guide. The dogged Liverpudlian has sent a second letter to Tony Blair seeking an explanation for glaring contradictions in No.10's responses to George W Bush's threat to commit a war crime by bombing Arabic TV station al-Jazeera. The Cabinet Office had confirmed under the Freedom of Information Act it held documents on Bush's threat but wouldn't release them."

""I believe it is the responsibility of NHS Ayrshire and Arran to be as open and transparent as they can in ascertaining the reasons behind the failures in Mr Heron's case. They should start by revealing the name of the surgeon." Mr Neil said he would use the Freedom of Information Act to demand the surgeon's identity if the trust refused to reveal it."

Regional News

Belfast Telegraph - Legal body snubs Telegraph appeal
"Northern Ireland's public information authority has criticised the Legal Services Commission for failing to disclose information to the Belfast Telegraph under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.In an investigation into criminal legal aid in Ulster, the Belfast Telegraph requested statistics from the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission (NILSC) on how many people not in receipt of state benefits received legal aid over 12 months, and the total cost."

Birmingham Post - Pheonix information bid fails
"Phoenix Venture Holdings bosses have been denied access to records of conversations between the Government and City bank Rothschild's which they say could shed new light on the collapse of Longbridge.Chairman John Towers and other Phoenix directors used the Freedom of Information Act to try to obtain details of talks between the Department of Trade and Industry and the bank."

Overseas FOI


CCNMatthews- Government Announces the Extension of the Appointment of the Information Commissioner
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today a six-month extension of John Reid's appointment as Information Commissioner. Mr. Reid's current term extension expires on March 31, 2006."Mr. Reid's extension will ensure that the Office of the Information Commissioner continues to function effectively as the Government moves forward with reviewing the Access to Information Act," said the Prime Minister."

Ottawa Citizen
- Harper's gag on ministers breaks vow
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's clampdown on communications to the public
could put his government on a collision course with its top priority to open
up government and make it more accountable, officials say.Bureaucrats say the Harper government made it clear from the start that its policy agenda and communication plans must stick to five key priorities. But recent media reports suggest Mr. Harper is so determined to focus oncampaign promises that he imposed tight controls on what ministers and bureaucrats can publicly talk about."

al-Jazeera - FBI targeting those who oppose Bush’s war
"Recently released documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, accused the U.S. government of spying on members of an antiwar activist group in 2002 because of its views."

IOL - Commissioner: Garda must be subject to Freedom of Information laws
"More public bodies, including the Garda Siochana, must be included under the Freedom of Information Act, it was claimed today. Information Commissioner Emily O’Reilly told an Oireachtas Committee that police forces in England and Scotland were already subject to similar legislation and it must happen here."

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