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Monday, 27 June 2011

Feedback on the UK's Freedom of Information landscape now - a Government Information Group (GIG) event

On Wednesday 22 June, CILIP's Government Information Group held their 2011 AGM and a small select group of attendees were honoured to hear the thoughts of Maurice Frankel, Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

Maurice gave his take on the current state of FOI in the UK. In a nutshell he wavers between being quietly impressed at the operation of the UK FOI Act (on the one hand) and on the other being highly concerned and paranoid.

He highlighted some example cases which show causes for concern and issues to be aware of as FOI evolves, including the risks posed by greater focus on localism and creation new reporting authorities.

It was refreshing to know that Maurice has a constructive relationship with government officials, even to the extent of once presenting the main thrust of thinking of a government official in their absence at a regional training event. (At least that's better than one French official who was not aware that the French government even had an FOI act!)

And I also came across a conspiracy theory of the week - did Tony Blair hold up the adoption of the FOI Act because of his dealings with Bernie Eccelstone? (as implied in his published autobiography - A Journey). Let me know what you think.

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