Sunday, September 03, 2006

Media update

The Guardian - Labour's £2bn army of consultants
"Our findings paint a disturbing picture of millions of pounds wasted on controversial or abandoned schemes and huge differentials in pay between civil servants and consultants brought in to do similar jobs. Data drawn from internal Whitehall sources, ministers' answers to MPs, and freedom of information requests"

The Observer -Revealed: bonuses paid to Home Office bosses
"Senior civil servants in the Home Office have been paid more than £2m in bonuses over the past two years despite the myriad scandals that have engulfed the department, The Observer can reveal. The bonuses were agreed by the Prime Minister....They were released by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act, and disclose the scale of hundreds of 'performance-related' bonuses being paid out by the Home Office to the majority of its top mandarins. The sums range from £3,000 and £15,000."

The Sunday Times - Pay £180bn: you've been quangoed
"It can also use quangos for concealment: many do not have to provide answers under the Freedom of Information Act. For those who sit on the governing bodies they provide a lucrative source of income. Some quango heads earn more than £100,000 a year for just a few days’ work each month."

Scotland on Sunday - MoD finds vital body armour on sale at eBay
"Documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation also show MoD detectives also found fire-fighting equipment, Navy survival suits, radios and even the cockpit section of an RAF trainer for sale."

Sunday Herald - Trident fleet’s safety alerts double
"The internal reports, released by the Ministry of Defence under the Freedom of Information Act, claim the increasing number of incidents did not indicate the Clyde bases were becoming less safe. More events were being recorded because staff were more aware of the need to report mishaps, they suggested."

Press Gazette - BBC loses landmark FOI case over Middle East coverage
"The Information Tribunal has ruled against the BBC in the first case testing the exposure of the corporation's journalism to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The tribunal decided that the corporation had been wrong to deny a request for an internal report about its coverage of the Middle East using a blanket derogation in the law that exempts the BBC from releasing information about its journalism."
(note: this decision doesn't appear to be on the tribunal website yet)

International news

Australia - Tasmanian Times - Omb forces Tas Gov to release Cabinet Documents
"Ombudsman forces Tasmanian Government to release Cabinet Documents Rick Snell The result will be a revolution in the way that Tasmanian government decision-making can be scrutinised and understood. There may be flow on effects in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia in the short term."

Herald Sun - MPs' petrol bills secret
"VICTORIAN MPs and their families have pumped more than $500,000 of free petrol into their taxpayer-funded cars -- but their bills are being kept secret."

No comments: