Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #foi

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💡Zététique ou Autodéfense intellectuelle ? (thread)

Lors de mon enseignement des bases de la #PenséeCritique, la « #zététique » et l'#AutodéfenseIntellectuelle m'ont été présentées de façon confondue : il m'a été longtemps difficile de faire la part des choses entre les deux.👇
De plus, sans même parler d'#AutodéfenseIntellectuelle, la définition du terme #Zététique elle-même semble être différente d'une personne à l'autre.
Je vais ici vous en exposer ma compréhension depuis les cours de @RichMonvoisin à son utilisation dans la communauté des #SceptiquesRationnel·les française et parler brièvement des idéologies associées comme l'#AutodéfenseIntellectuelle afin d'éviter les épouvantails.
Read 60 tweets
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has broken #FOI laws more often than it has followed them, new figures have revealed.…
The ministry responded to #FOI requests within normal time limits on less than one in five occasions in the first quarter of this year. Including permitted extensions, it provided just 45 per cent of responses within legally mandatory timescales.
While by far the worst, DIT is not alone. The Department for Health and Social Care, Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy also regularly broke transparency law. Image
Read 6 tweets
It’s taken 4 months but Cabinet Office has finally answered my #FOI request for names/membership of Cabinet Committees:

They’re refusing to release the info, citing ‘future publication’

(Background: ) A Freedom of Information re...Image
They’ve applied a public interest test about releasing the info now versus some undetermined time in the future (this is a real flaw with section 22 – they don’t have to say when it will be published).
They say there's a ‘public interest in cost effectiveness’ & allowing govt to deal with the necessary ‘preparation, administration & context of publication’.

We’re talking about a short Word doc published as a PDF.

We should be worried if that much prep is needed.
Read 8 tweets
📢 MPs debate the #NationalSecurity Bill today. @CampaignFoI & @a19right2info have serious concerns about the implications of the Bill for journalists and those working for civil society organisations who receive some funding from foreign governments.
#FOI #officialsecrets
The publication of leaked information which prejudices the UK’s interests would be an offence with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The identical act by someone without foreign government funding might not be an offence at all.
CSOs based in, or with a presence in the UK, which have received foreign governments for their int'l work include: @ActionAidUK, @Anti_Slavery, @article19org, @ClientEarth, @Global_Witness, @IndexCensorship, @mediadefence, @OCCRP, @privacyint, @ReprieveUK, @TransparencyUK.
Read 4 tweets
New: @ICOnews Freedom of Information backlog remains high. On 25.4.22:
🔴 there were 2,272 active #FOI cases
🔴 the oldest dates from 6.3.20 (It involves the Cabinet Office and exemption for security bodies)
🔴 45% are over 6 months old
🔴 20% are over 9 m
🔴 7% are over 12 m
The ICO’s Director of #FOI and Transparency said in May 2022 that the caseload was still over 1,000 cases greater than it was before the Covid outbreak. The new figures illustrate the difficulty the ICO faces in reducing its backlog.…
We have urged @JCE_IC @ICOnews to do more to address #FOI delays, by using its power to serve ‘enforcement notices’ on authorities with large backlogs of requests. These can require multiple overdue requests to be answered by a set deadline.
Read 5 tweets
Following @CommonsPACAC's report on the Cabinet Office's #FOI clearing house, and the CO's rejection of an independent ICO audit, Cttee chair @William_Wragg has written to (i) @JCE_IC (ii) Home Office NED Sue Langley, about the review the CO has asked SL to undertake instead.
The letter to Sue Langley asks:
🔴 What is your prior experience of reviews of govt depts?
🔴 What is your prior experience of #FOI?
🔴 What actions are you taking to ensure you are independent?
🔴 Can you provide @CommonsPACAC with regular updates?…
The letter to @JCE_IC @ICOnews asks if the CO review ToR:
🔴 provide the same public reassurance as the audit proposed by the ICO?
🔴 allow the ICO to understand if the Clearing House makes a necessary/helpful contribution to x-govt #FOI processing?…
Read 3 tweets
Quand mes parents se sont séparés, tout est parti en vrille. Mon monde s'écroulait car ils ne nous avaient pas appris à vivre sans eux. Ma mère sombre dans la dépression la plus totale. Je suis l'aînée. Que faire ? Il faut qu'on mange... toute ma famille paternelle nous a tourné
Le dos. Ça a été l'enfer, même pour manger car on ne recevait presque plus rien du boss. Que faire ? Je commence à me prostituer. Oui. Je me sentais sale mais je ne voyais pas quoi faire d'autre. Un jour, je rentre en pleurs. Je me sens sale. Je prie et dis à Dieu que j'en ai
Marre. Que j'ai besoin d'un miracle. Je veux travailler alors même que j'ai laissé tomber mes études après le bac. Un jour ma best m'appelle et me dit qu'une société cherche une secrétaire. Je ris. Je n'y connais rien. Je vais quand même à l'entretien
Read 7 tweets
Why is the government bothering to set up a brand new access to information scheme, when the obvious solution is to bring housing associations under the #FOI Act?
The enforcement mechanism in the 2020 white paper looks absurd. There will be internal review by the landlord, involving up to 3 stages, followed by complaint to the Housing Ombudsman, followed by the Ombudsman referring systemic breaches to the Regulator for Social Housing.
The Housing Ombudsman will apply #FOI like exemptions, but has no experience of doing so. And unlike the @ICOnews, the Housing Ombudsman cannot enforce their decisions.
Read 3 tweets
We don’t usually call out highly-questionable freedom of information #FOI decisions.

But @abc730 made an exception for this one about vaccines, and an email exchange between Health Minister Greg Hunt and Brendan Murphy.

Short thread 🧵
After an almost year-long fight to find out why the Government didn’t buy more vaccines sooner, this is all the Health Department will release from an email chain in which mRNA vaccines are discussed.

(How do we know that? Because mRNA documents are what we asked for.)
You can see in red s47C, s47F, and s47G.

These are various *conditional* FOI exemptions.

They’re conditional because the Department of Health must weigh the *public interest* involved.
Read 7 tweets
The @ICOnews has disclosed a briefing document prepared for new Commissioner @JCE_IC on developing its #FOI strategy.…
It refers to longstanding criticisms @CampaignFOI has made of @ICOnews over the extent to which it uses its enforcement powers under #FOI and a lack of focus on its FOI work compared to data protection.
It also says "delays in our complaint handling system do understandably draw criticism from some high-profile groups, including the @CampaignFoI and @openDemocracy" and "@MySociety have suggested that the Access to Information brief should be split out of the ICO's functions".
Read 6 tweets
🚨We're urging peers to support an amendment to be debated this evening to bring the Advanced Research and Invention Agency under the #FOI Act.🚨
As it stands, ARIA will be excluded from #FOI altogether. We are encouraging peers to support Amendment 6 in the name of Lord Clement-Jones, Lord Fox, Baroness Chapman of Darlington and Viscount Stansgate, which would make ARIA subject to the FOIA.
Read our briefing for peers…
Read 3 tweets
Ten Tory politicians helped firms to secure £1.6bn in PPE contracts, leaks reveal.

The Cabinet Office has been blocking my #FOI for emails between Gove and his personal donor David Meller, who received £164m in non-compete contracts, since March.…
This leak came after The Department for Health and Social Care have been refusing requests from @georgegrylls, me and countless others for a copy of this list since at least December last year.
My appeal is currently awaiting determination by @ICOnews, whose investigation will hopefully ensure that these emails are disclosed. The Cabinet Office has also refused my request for all correspondence around the handling of the request.
Read 3 tweets
The decay of our Freedom of Information infrastructure in the UK is troubling to witness. @JennaCorderoy of @openDemocracy explains why 👇🏾.
There's an urgent need for those who care about transparency & integrity in the UK - including funders - to act:…
Here's a new report by @openDemocracy on #FOI and #transparency in the UK:…
A crowdfunder for #FOI organisation @CampaignFoI:
Read 3 tweets
🧵#ThisIsWhyIFOI Remember Dr. Bonnie Henry at the @Canucks home opener? I asked @bcndp #bcgov under #FOI about who paid for the jersey and other expenses. Many readers wonder about the PHO attending such commercial events. #bcpoli #cdnfoi #FOIAFriday #SportsBiz #covid19 ImageImage
This morning, @bcndp #bcgov tells me it has rejected my #FOI request about Dr. Bonnie Henry at the @Canucks game, because she was allegedly there as a private citizen, not because she is the provincial health officer. Where have I seen that lame excuse before? 🤔#bcpoli #cdnfoi Image
Last year, Dr. Bonnie Henry co-authored a book with her sister. When I wanted to know about the contract and other details, I was told I couldn’t see them. The “private citizen” excuse was invoked. #bcpoli #cdnfoi #FOIAFriday…
Read 9 tweets
The Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill has its 2nd reading in @UKHouseofLords today.

We are calling for peers to reverse ARIA's exemption from Freedom of Information.…

#FOI #ARIA #opengovuk
The idea that complying with #FOI would be an obstacle to the UK becoming or remaining a ‘science superpower’ is utterly implausible. The obstacles to innovation by funding bodies have been discussed at length and do not include FOI.
All public bodies have important tasks to fulfil in the public interest & ltd resources. ARIA has no greater claim to avoid complying with #FOI than any other body. On the contrary, its budget, which outstrips that of many FOI bodies, provides compelling grounds for its inclusion
Read 6 tweets
1/ I'm sitting in on an @ifgevents live stream with @ICOnews's Elizabeth Denham… #IfGDenham

If there's something relevant from a public engagement perspective I'll add to this thread
2/ Some prepared remarks from ED first. The law worked best, she says, when the publics' views are put front and centre of any data use #IfGDenham
3/ Big things on her desk are #transparency, #AI #algorithms and #BigData < I wonder how many of those are big things from the public's perspectives? Suspect outcomes and impacts are much more relevant, less about data #IfGDenham
Read 12 tweets
The Information Commissioner recommended an audit of the Cabinet Office #FOI clearing house in May 2021 to provide an "independent view" of its compliance with the #FOI Act.

Cabinet Office declined and opted to investigate itself.…
The ICO's written evidence to @CommonsPACAC highlights that it can only conduct an audit with the consent of the public authority and calls for its powers of audit under #FOI to be strengthened.
.@ICOnews also says @cabinetofficeuk is "the most complained about public authority to the ICO with respect to FOIA" #FOI
Read 3 tweets
An individual used the #FOI website What Do They Know to ask @ICOnews about complaints made about the Met Police; effectively, they wanted to know how many of the complaints were upheld. The info was disclosed, but the response also contained an interesting statement. (1/7)
The ICO reply said: “Please keep in mind that there is no requirement to produce a formal decision in data protection cases such as the Decision Notices issued in FOIA ones.”… (2/7)
There’s a solid argument that this is true – there isn’t a line in the Data Protection Act 2018 which is as unambiguous as S50(2) of the FOI Act (the Commissioner “shall” make a decision unless certain conditions are met. (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
The FOI Act is a vital tool for journalists and campaigners. Here is a thread of some of the things we’ve recently learnt through #FOI requests 👇

If you want to protect your right to know, please consider supporting our urgent funding campaign
A report from a 2016 pandemic preparation exercise warned Government of the need to stockpile PPE and set up a contact tracing system.

Request by @DrMQureshi covered by @Robert_Booth @guardian.…
At least 750 allegations of sexual misconduct were made against serving police officers across Britain over five years, with the highest number made against @gmpolice.

Request by @PA covered by @SamuelOsborne93
Read 12 tweets

'the story ... is how “trans activists” and their “allies” have actively prevented FiLiA from doing grassroots work to benefit the #women and #girls of #Portsmouth - with the complicity of local institutions and elected representatives.'


'A year-long series, which FiLiA was due to run alongside the Play Youth Community youth groups within @portsmouthtoday , working with #girls excluded or at risk of being excluded from school was #cancelled.'


'The @BritishRedCross individual refused to share details of the events with local #women and lobbied other service providers to also boycott them, again based on spurious accusations of “#transphobia”.'

Read 8 tweets
Video of @CommonsDCMS's pre-appointment hearing this morning with John Edwards, the Government's preferred candidate for Information Commissioner… #FOI #dataprotection

I haven't watched the whole session yet, but 🤦
#GDPR be like 🤔 Rubin's vase
Edwards on #FOI: "For some requests, I think it is legitimate to ask a requester to meet the cost of some of that administration. Otherwise, you see, there is a potential for cross-subsidisation of people who are over-using or even abusing those rights …"

Not great.
Read 5 tweets
NEW: ‘A blatant attempt to dodge accountability, the modern equivalent of shredding vital documents.’

This week’s newsletter has lift-off 🚀 with latest on our legal action against the use of disappearing Whatsapp messages in government…
Vital evidence of how the govt makes decisions – on #Covid19, on #Brexit, on private contracts – is being lost irretrievably. Not only is it undemocratic, but it’s unlawful. Which is why we decided to take action with the brilliant team @Foxglovelegal
This follows a 2 year campaign by @iainoverton to get an answer to the q: are special advisers using encrypted software apps such as Whatsapp to conduct govt business? The request was made under the #FOI act.…
Read 7 tweets
1. CTV has a story on how the #ableg Privacy Commissioner is investigating the War Room’s hiring of Hamish Marshall’s PR/lobbying firm… #cdnpoli
2. It all started with the War Room’s Netflix/Bigfoot petition alerting me to fact that @CDNEnergyCentre was running petitions. Why, I wondered, was a publicly-funded comms outfit gathering names & postal codes like a political party?
3. The War Room is funded thru tax revenues but was set up as a separate corporation with 3 UCP Cabinet ministers on board of directors to TRY to shield it from Freedom of Information requests (more on that later).
Read 13 tweets
Hmm. So the shadowy #JBC, a part of @UKHSAgovuk (which is, I note, still answering #FOI requests as @PHE_uk 🤔) is now hiring *permanent* staff:…

HT @samdownie
Noting that neither @UKHSAgovuk OR the #JointBiosecurityCentre were listed as official @DHSCgovuk agencies in its latest update...…
...and that, after months of delay, @DHSCgovuk FLAT OUT DENIED #JBC needed any official establishing documents, framework agreements, MoUs or data sharing agreements - and that, despite saying it "ensured robust privacy standards", it had done no #DPIAs:…
Read 5 tweets

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