I've flagged up the User Group established by DCA before, it has now met for the first time, there were concerns about the process of its setting up being rather secret and not that transparent.
We have established a panel of users to act as a sounding-board on how the Act is working in practice, and to inform the Government about their experiences of the Act.
The group will be provided with information on the operation of the Act and will be invited to provide feedback to us, which will help us ensure that FOI meets users’ needs properly and effectively. Overseas experience has demonstrated that sustained and committed effort devoted to fostering an active and widespread FOI constituency amongst users helps to promote the long-term success of the Act.
The group is chaired by Baroness Ashton of Upholland, and the members of the group are:
Steve Bailey JISC, University of Bristol
Jane Bacot-Kilpatrick Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority
Paul Bettison Leader Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Peter Bottomley, MP
Judith Cullen Head of Environmental Information Unit, DEFRA
Maurice Frankel Campaign for Freedom of Information
Professor Robert Hazell University College London Constitution Unit
John Hipwood Chairman of the Press Lobby
Rosemary Jay Pinsent Masons
Anthony Kenny Intellect UK
Lord Lester of Herne Hill
Adrian Pollitt Head of the Office of Strategic Health Authorities
Ian Readhead Deputy Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
Bob Satchwell Society of Editors
Richard Thomas (observer) Information Commissioner
The first meeting minutes are not exactly informative......
Minutes of the first meeting - 8 June 2006 (PDF)
See my previous posts : Nov 05 and Aprtil 06
Also see Heather Brooke's posts: With friends like these…? and Selection secrecy for FOI users group