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FOI act under fire

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posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 06:36 AM
Found this article on BBC News last night, at the bottom of the page. I thought it was quite important and interesting and needed to be shared;
Justice ministry lists Freedom of Information Act 'flaws'

The Freedom of Information Act has done little to boost public participation in government and may have reduced trust, the Ministry of Justice has said. In evidence to the Commons justice select committee, it said FOI had made authorities more open, but had not improved their decision making. The MPs are considering whether the act - made law in 2005 - should be amended. Some civil servants are calling for the imposition of fees to dissuade "vexatious" and "serial" requesters. The FOI Act allows members of the public, companies, journalists and campaigners to request information from some 100,000 public bodies.

They want to make changes to it, and, at the bottom of the article is one of their sugestions;

Among the contributions was the Association of Chief Police Officers, which said "the original purpose and remit of the act has somewhat become lost because of the way in which it can be used and abused in its application by certain individuals". "Whilst most requests are submitted by responsible and concerned citizens or organisations, a significant proportion are simply bizarre or obsessive in nature and do little to advance public knowledge or satisfy a wider public interest," ACPO said. The organisation also said "fishing" by journalists "to trawl for stories" was "a major concern". It backed the introduction of a £10 fee for all requests and an education programme to give the public "more realistic expectations as to the types of information they are likely to receive". However, the Nuclear Information Service - a not-for-profit body promoting public awareness of the industry - said it believed there was no need to change the charging basis for the scheme, and there were already sufficient powers within the act to deal with vexatious requests. It said that the rising number of requests volumes should be a cause for satisfaction in government, not concern, and it was "unreasonable to blame members of the public who exercise their rights to information for an increase in costs when public authorities do not handle information requests in a cost-effective and considered manner".

Thats right, people "abuse" their right by exorcising it. (I do like the comment by the Nuclear Information Service, seems to be the only one who is for the FOI to remain the same.)

I believe that this should of gotten more attention from the press, but they don't seem to be bothered too much about it.

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 07:09 AM
ACPO, a for profit organisation that has everything to do with curtailing our freedom and nothing to do with proper policing, they make me sick, dirty lying thieving bar stewards. They just dont like it when they get caught lying, so instead of sorting out their issues, it's us thats the problem. W thing that stops ships drifting...ah yes anchors

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 07:16 AM
reply to post by Trolloks

I just have to laugh when things like this come up. What better way can they say, quite simply "Look, We just passed the FOIA to shut you up. We never actually expected you to use it. Your requests for information are making us have to work. Really hard. There's only so much crap we can omit and edit before lunch."

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 07:48 AM
Reply to post by Inquisitive1

Thank you for that. I have known all along the FOIA was a load of stinky stink. I agree some info released was eye opening to the sleeping, but what good did it do? No one seems to care anymore, they just keep living in ignorance. And I do not know this for a fact, but I am 99.9999% sure even with the FOIA, there are tons of things still being hidden from us. That's why the whole transparency campaign rhetoric faded away. HEY OBAMA! I'M STILL F***ING WAITING! I VOTED FOR YOU, YOU PENIS! Could you please come thru on at least ONE campaign promise? I mean really. You're the first Uncle Tom to ever be POTUS, show some f***ing gratitude and throw us a bone. YOU PENIS! Uh Oh. Now I'm a terrorist, since I tossed a governmental complaint on the interweb. Only one man can save me now. Vote Ron Paul 2012!!

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posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 12:59 PM
I work in local government and, frankly FOI is something of a "pesterers charter".

People FOI things they could simply just ask for, or can find in the public domain but they're too lazy to look for it themselves. It actually wastes a considerable amount of time.

Then there are journalists who simply ask for some information so they can make a story out of it on slow news days, and political hacks and researchers who simply want information so that they can twist it to their own particular bias - usually their requests are massively complicated and can tie up an awful lot of time.

FOI is a good idea, if used properly. Sadly, its not being used properly.

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 04:20 PM
I was going to send a request to the USAF under the FOIA.

I was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, otherwise I would not be granted the request.

I was trying to investigate geoengineering and had I signed the confidentiality agreement it would have prevented me from discussing the information I received.

This is completely contradictory to the name FOIA. To say "we will give you the info you seek. But, you can not ever discuss it with anyone else or we will sue the heck out you and possibly put you in jail if you do.

Not exactly what I was I expecting, but I wasn't that surprised. FOIA is BS...... IMHO

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