FOI Yes!….in principle anyway…..

In principle “yes”

Just caught a passing reference to the Chief Minister’s statement on a Freedom of Information Act.  Mr Bell has stated that he is committed to open government and hence – logically – a Freedom of Information Act.

The caveat:

It mustn’t cost too much. 

My take on this:

It could turn out to be a relatively useless piece of legislation (as mentioned in a previous post). If certain enquiries are not possible on cost grounds, and others refused on grounds of retaining privacy, will it be fit for purpose?

Data protection can already be used as a neat dodge if information is to be withheld. Yet, the pubic is open to scrutiny on a daily basis (CCTV).  Google Street was not considered to be an invasion of privacy yet potential thieves can “case the joint” at leisure and view various possible angles of entry. Could an artist sit outside a dwelling without raising alarm?

My view is simply that double standards are in use at all times and we need to ensure that we have more insight into the other side of things. Which means that we need a FOI ACt which is fit for purpose and not a fudged fix. We mustn’t be misled by statements with little content.


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