Monday, October 12, 2015

A secret review of transparency

The UK government is currently reviewing its Freedom of Information Act. The review commission is comprised of handpicked opponents of freedom of information, leading to the obvious impression that the "review" is a strapped chicken designed to limit access and reduce transparency. And their first briefing cements that conclusion:

A controversial commission set up to review what the public has a right to know under the Freedom of Information act has held its first briefing – and then banned journalists from reporting it fully.

A senior figure from the Commission met reporters – including from The Independent – to outline how it intends to go about it work.

But under draconian rules, laid down by the Commission, the individual cannot be named or quoted directly.

So, its a review of transparency, and its secret. How British! But it gets better: submissions on this major public review close on November 20, but the commission expects to have read them all, drawn conclusions, written a report and gotten it printed to be ready to present to parliament by December 17. Which suggests strongly that they won't be read, and that the commission has already made up its mind. Maybe they've been taking advice on "consultation" from the New Zealand state services Commission...?