Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Media update

Friends of the Earth - Blair must publish nuclear briefing
"Tony Blair must publish details of the information he received from the DTI on the Energy Review, Friends of the Earth said today. The environmental campaign group is filing a Freedom of Information request asking to see the "first cut" of the energy review which led the Prime Minister to declare that nuclear power is back on the agenda "with a vengeance."

The Guardian - Royal Society urges caution over research publication
"Scientists should consider the impact and potential risks to the public when deciding to publish research results, a new report from the Royal Society has warned. The report, published yesterday, outlines 15 questions that researchers should ask themselves to help them take public interest into account."

The Guardian - Jon Henley's diary
"The attorney-general's office in particular played an absolute blinder, acceding to all but one of the 120 queries it was sent. Fortunately, we hear from an unusually reliable source, the one that got turned down was for the release of Lord Goldsmith's early, draft legal advice to Mr Tony Blair on whether or not international law could justify the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam."

Daily Telegraph - Thames ignored plea for hose ban
"The agency's growing annoyance with Thames is disclosed in private correspondence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

Daily Telegraph -New 9/11 footage released
"The United States government has released new video footage of the September 11 2001 attack on the Pentagon....The film was released after an application from pressure group Judicial Watch under the freedom of information act."

"At least 285 officers were arrested by colleagues last year according to figures obtained by The People under the Freedom Of Information Act. Six forces refused to tell us."

BBC News - Crime 'hotspot' study angers city
"A report which labels Nottingham as the most crime-ridden place in England and Wales has been condemned by officials in the city as "fatally flawed"....The report gathered statistics from police forces using the Freedom of Information Act and took population data from the 2001 Census."

Daily Mail - Reid in firing line over new Home Office blunders
"On Friday, figures released to the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that 359 prisoners absconded from Leyhill Open Prison in South Gloucestershire between 2000 and 2006. "

Epolitix - 'No room for complacency' on information access
"Speaking at a Manchester conference on Monday, Lord Falconer said the Freedom of Information Act, which came fully into effect last year, is "providing the public, academics and the media with new means of access to understand the decision-making process"."

The Guardian - 'I will help you,' he said. Then he asked for sex
"Amid the maelstrom, the government has hardened its stance on immigration, introducing a new fast-track asylum application process. The statistics tell the story. At Harmondsworth detention centre, for example, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal 99.6 per cent of fast-track asylum claims are rejected."

Inside Housing
"Firms were concerned that commercially sensitive information held by the corporation could be revealed to rivals through the Freedom of Information Act, he said. Lynne Murray, a partner at law firm Lewis Silkin, said: 'With the freedom of information the concern is that what they consider to be commercially sensitive information could become available to the public at large or their competition."

Computer Weekly
- Toddlers used in trial of identity biometrics
"A Home Office department is fingerprinting under-fives, and may include babies, in a biometrics ID scheme. The trial ends the department’s technological taboo on enrolling very young children in identity checks. Details of the scheme emerged after the Home Office released an internal report under the Freedom of Information Act."

Regional News

Glasgow Evening News - Polluting bus firms 'should be named'
"But when the Evening Times, through the Freedom Of Information Act, asked who the offending firms were the council said it didn't keep a list. FOI officer Jim Donaldson said: "On inspecting our records it would appear that we do not hold the information. Neither does anyone hold it on our behalf."

Bolton Evening News - It's all gone thong!
"STAFF at the company which runs Bolton's council houses are being disciplined for sending inappropriate emails one of which commented on a co-worker's underwear...The emails would have remained secret had Chris Berry, a 48-year-old local government worker from Smithills, not put in a request under the Freedom of Information Act to discover why a fence had been put up next to his house by Bolton at Home."

Bolton Evening news - The £20,000 cost of travellers' clean up
"NEARLY £20,000 has been spent evicting travellers from Bolton and clearing up in their wake over the last three years. And the figure for the last 10 years is nearly £65,000, according to statistics released by Bolton Council."

St Alban's Observer - Counting the cost of missed appointments
"MISSED appointments in the NHS are soaring out of control and costing millions of pounds, Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has discovered."

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