Monday, April 10, 2006

Media update

Independent - Heather Brooke: There's nothing private about an MP's expenses
"Few of us would assume we could claim more than £120,000 in expenses every year without handing over receipts to the boss. Yet that's exactly what Westminster MPs are doing, forgetting that it's the public who put up the £80m claimed for staff, postage, offices, second homes, travel and "additional costs". "

The Herald (Scotland) - Putting a price on disclosure
"To be Dunioned: passive verb, to be the subject of a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. In the 15 months since this legislation came into force, Scotland's Information."

The Herald - Watchdog criticises plan to use information-for-cash system
"Scotland's information commissioner has criticised the Irish model of demanding up-front fees when people request official data."

Scotsman - 100 landings on Scots soil by US jets with torture links
"After a Freedom of Information Act request from the Liberal Democrats, the department released air traffic control records of flights made by 20 US-registered aircraft operated by CIA front companies and hire firms known to rent planes to the agency."

The Guardian - Seven out of 10 absent parents pay maintenance for children
"The CSA's figures show that in the three months to the end of last year some 30% of nonresident parents failed to pay. Of women, 31% were nonpayers, while 30% of men did not pay. The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act."

BBC news - Police reveal officer convictions
"Scores of serving Metropolitan Police officers have drink-driving convictions, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act confirm."

Regional news

Norwich Evening News - Council blocks incinerator truth bid
"The Evening News has tried to find out more about the bids under the Freedom of Information Act. However, the council is refusing to disclose further information claiming it would prejudice the commercial interests of the companies."

Dundee Courirer - ‘Too costly’ for CPS to detail G8 prosecutions
"DETAILS SURROUNDING the number of prosecutions after violent clashes at last summer’s G8 Summit are being withheld by the Crown Prosecution Service. Politicians reacted with fury as numerous cases were dropped in the wake of the meeting of world leaders at Gleneagles in Perthshire. However access to statistics demanded by The Courier under Freedom of Information laws has been denied."

"Figures released to the Press and Journal under the Freedom of Information Act show officers had greater success in stopping illegal meat and meat products in the year to April 2005."

Belfast Telegraph - NIO in the dock over parade body references row
"Papers released under the Freedom of Information Act do not support NIO claims about how officials dealt with DUP member Don MacKay's application to join the Parades Commission."

"On January 1, 2005, a new law came into force, designed to promote the openness and transparency of public organisations across the UK. The Freedom of Information Act was a gateway to increased knowledge, which granted the public 'a general right of access to information held by public authorities'."

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