Some may eagerly await the Isle of Man FOI Act. However, Zak Hall is right to question the effectiveness of the proposed legislation (Could this be another copy and paste job?) as it seems that some in the UK have complained about the legislation currently in force there. Mr Hall goes on to suggest that shredders may have been used in the UK prior to the implementation of the Act. We wouldn’t do that, would we? Suffice to say that it is not always possible to obtain records even if they have existed at some point. Take CCTV images for example, recent cases show clearly that despite the enormous amounts spent on surveillance of a low crime rate jurisdiction, the images are not available when requested – for one reason or another. (Of course CCTV is not actually intended for public access).
Records can conveniently go astray. I can vouch for that – although it wasn’t convenient for me. So perhaps we shouldn’t get too excited about the long-awaited FOI. Do we really believe it will provide the information we so urgently require? Will it provide us with the identities of the advisors and what advice has been given over the past few years? What do you think?