Information stored in electronic recycle bins is held for purposes of FOI disclosure, says watchdog – OUT-LAW.com

“Public sector bodies will generally be required to disclose information even if it is stored in computer ‘recycle bins’, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 12th October 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

Freedom of Information to include ministers’ private texts – BBC News

“Emails from private accounts and texts sent by the prime minister and cabinet members could be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).”

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BBC News, 30th September 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

A Chagossian double bill: an environmental information contest, and a touch of Wikileaks – UK Human Rights Blog

“The manoevres by which the Chagossians were evicted from their islands in the Indian Ocean, the late 1960s and early 1970s, so to enable the US to operate an air base on Diego Garcia, do not show the UK Foreign Office in its best light. Indeed, after a severe rebuke from the courts in 2000, the FCO accepted that the original law underlying their departure was unlawful, and agreed to investigate their possible resettlement on some of their islands. The first of these new cases is an environmental information appeal concerning the next phase of the story – how the FCO decided that it was not feasible to resettle the islanders in 2002-2004.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 20th September 2012

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

HRH the Prince of Wales: advocacy of an ordinary man – Panopticon

“The Upper Tribunal’s judgment in Evans v IC and Others (Seven Government Departments) [2012] UKUT 313 (AAC) (Mr Justice Walker, Professor John Angel and Suzanne Cosgrave), handed down yesterday, has received extensive media coverage – unsurprisingly so, given the subject matter (Prince Charles’ correspondence with government departments) and the requester (Rob Evans of the Guardian). The judgment is stupendously long (65 pages, plus 3 open annexes). Here are the salient points.”

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Panopticon, 19th September 2012

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

Unpaid work schemes ruled lawful as high court rejects Poundland case – The Guardian

“Government back-to-work schemes criticised as ‘forced labour’ were ruled lawful by the high court on Monday.”

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The Guardian, 6th August

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Government considers extension of winding up powers beyond banks – OUT-LAW.com

Posted August 6th, 2012 in banking, consultations, EC law, government departments, insurance, news, winding up by sally

“The Government is seeking views on whether to extend its existing powers to stabilise or wind up ‘systemically important’ large banks to other vital financial services functions such as investments and insurance.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 6th August 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

Justice committee’s report on FOIA – Commentary on the ss.35 & 36 recommendations – Panopticon

Posted July 27th, 2012 in freedom of information, government departments, news, veto by sally

“As Tim Pitt-Payne QC commented in his post on the report earlier today, the Committee’s report has not landed a bombshell in the middle of the FOIA landscape. To a very large extent, the report endorses the current structure and content of the legislation, something which the Commissioner clearly welcomes. However, whilst the Committee has largely resisted calls for FOIA to be amended, it has commented fairly extensively on how the Act should be applied in practice. This commentary is doubtless going to influence the evolution of FOIA case-law for the foreseeable future.”

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Panopticon, 26th July 2012

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

Court to force clean up of UK’s air pollution – The Independent

Posted July 16th, 2012 in EC law, environmental health, government departments, news, pollution by sally

“The Government faces a Supreme Court action this week demanding that it slash air pollution levels by 2015. Lawyers acting for the environmental charity ClientEarth are making a legal challenge to force the coalition to cut levels of lethal nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to within European Commission limits.”

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The Independent, 15th July 2012

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Move to ’20-year-rule’ for secret papers will cost £52m – BBC News

“The Ministry of Justice says reducing the ’30-year rule’ for publishing secret government papers to 20 years will cost up to £52m.”

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BBC News, 13th July 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Number Ten needs its own lawyer, says leading QC – BBC News

Posted June 6th, 2012 in attorney general, government departments, legal services, news by sally

“A former legal adviser at the Foreign Office has said that legal issues are not addressed as effectively as they might be at the heart of government because the Prime Minister does not have a lawyer among his immediate circle of advisers.”

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BBC News, 5th June 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Almost 1,000 data offences recorded at DWP in 10 month period – OUT-LAW.com

Posted May 22nd, 2012 in data protection, government departments, news, penalties by sally

“Staff at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were disciplined a total of 992 times for unlawfully or inappropriately accessing individuals’ social security records between April 2011 and January this year.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 22nd May 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

NHS risk register’s publication vetoed by cabinet – The Guardian

Posted May 9th, 2012 in freedom of information, government departments, health, news, veto by sally

“The official assessment of the risks involved in the government’s NHS shakeup will never be published after the cabinet exercised its rare right of veto to keep it secret.”

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The Guardian, 8th May 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

“Thinking the unthinkable”? Freedom of information and the NHS Risk Register – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted April 16th, 2012 in freedom of information, government departments, health, news by sally

“In a recent post, Panopticon brought you, hot-off-the-press, the Tribunal’s decision in the much-publicised case involving publication, under Freedom of Information Law, of the NHS Risk Register. Somewhat less hot-off-the-press are my observations. This is a very important decision, both for its engagement with the legislative process and for its analysis of the public interest with respect to section 35(1)(a) of Freedom of Information Act 2000 (formulation or development of government policy) – particularly the ‘chilling effect’ argument. At the outset, it is important to be clear about what was being requested and when.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th April 2012

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Michael Gove appeals against ruling on misuse of email – The Guardian

“The education secretary, Michael Gove, is challenging a ruling by the information commissioner that he used a private email account for departmental business.”

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The Guardian, 29th March 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Government’s IP policy-making to be scrutinised in cross-party group inquiry – OUT-LAW.com

Posted March 19th, 2012 in government departments, inquiries, intellectual property, news by sally

“The way that Government determines policies on intellectual property (IP) issues is to be reviewed by a cross-party group of MPs.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 16th March 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

Whitehall’s worries about Freedom of Information case – BBC News

“Could publishing a Whitehall document outlining the possible risks of the NHS shake-up pose a risk to good governance? That’s been the argument made in an appeal against a Freedom of Information ruling in central London this week.”

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BBC News, 8th March 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Government department must disclose data from private email correspondence, ICO rules – OUT-LAW.com

“The Department for Education (DfE) must disclose information sent from a private email address belonging to the Education Secretary unless there is a legitimate reason to refuse doing so, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 6th March 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

Freedom of Information: this scaremongering leads to nothing but misinformation – The Guardian

Posted February 20th, 2012 in data protection, freedom of information, government departments, news by sally

“The information commissioner writes that Whitehall insiders’ criticisms of the Freedom of Information laws are nonsense.”

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The Guardian, 19th February 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Secrecy laws ‘don’t harm the work of ministers’, says information commissioner – The Guardian

Posted February 20th, 2012 in freedom of information, government departments, news by sally

“Christopher Graham, the information commissioner, has hit out against the ‘distinguished Whitehall insiders’ who have called for the repeal of the freedom of information laws currently under review by parliament.”

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The Guardian, 19th February 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

The Public Sector Equality Duty – what does it mean and how does it work? – No. 5 Chambers

Posted February 15th, 2012 in equality, government departments, local government, news by sally

“This paper deals with the present state of the law concerning the Public Sector Quality Duty (‘the PSED’) and how public bodies are required to act in order to comply with the duty.”

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No. 5 Chambers, 6th February 2012

Source: www.no5.com