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Opening comments & FOI: The stories so far Steve Wood Conference Chair Senior Lecturer in Information Management Liverpool John Moores University Editor.

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Presentation on theme: "Opening comments & FOI: The stories so far Steve Wood Conference Chair Senior Lecturer in Information Management Liverpool John Moores University Editor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Opening comments & FOI: The stories so far Steve Wood Conference Chair Senior Lecturer in Information Management Liverpool John Moores University Editor of FOIA Blog and Open Government: a journal on freedom of information

2 FOI and the media: the story so far The number of FOI stories in UK Press mentioning the word “Freedom of Information Act” The number of FOI stories in UK Press mentioning the word “Freedom of Information Act” January 2005: 175 January 2005: 175 February 2005: 264 February 2005: 264 March 2005: 198 March 2005: 198 April 2005: 90 April 2005: 90 May 2005: 90 May 2005: 90 June 2005: 92 June 2005: 92 July 2005: 78 July 2005: 78 August 2005: 82 August 2005: 82 After initial surge of interest - steady usage and reporting in the National media After initial surge of interest - steady usage and reporting in the National media Data taken from searches using Lexis-Nexus Professional Data taken from searches using Lexis-Nexus Professional

3 FOI and the media: the story so far Which national newspapers are featuring FOI: Which national newspapers are featuring FOI: Daily Mail: 102 Daily Mail: 102 Daily Star: 10 Daily Star: 10 Daily Telegraph: 75 Daily Telegraph: 75 Express: 64 Express: 64 Guardian: 160 Guardian: 160 Independent: 126 Independent: 126 Independent on Sunday: 34 Independent on Sunday: 34 Mail on Sunday: 32 Mail on Sunday: 32 Mirror: 55 Mirror: 55 News of the World: 22 News of the World: 22 Observer: 34 Observer: 34 People: 7 People: 7 The Sun: 26 The Sun: 26 Sunday Express: 24 Sunday Express: 24 Sunday Mirror : 9 Sunday Mirror : 9 Sunday Telegraph: 22 Sunday Telegraph: 22 Sunday Times: 109 Sunday Times: 109 The Times: 143 The Times: 143 Data taken from 1 st Jan.- 31 st Aug Data taken from 1 st Jan.- 31 st Aug. 2005

4 Five FOI releases of importance Five releases relating to national government, health, local crime, food safety and land use: Five releases relating to national government, health, local crime, food safety and land use: 1. Treasury Flat taxes (featured in FT) 2. NHS Heart Surgery Data (featured in Guardian) 3. Reading No 1 area for vehicle crime revealed (featured in Reading Chronicle) 4. Restaurant inspections (various) 5. Newark: Prime site went to lowest bidder (featured in Newark Advertiser)

5 The story so far Emergent reports and statistics so far in 2005 Emergent reports and statistics so far in 2005 Official reports Official reports Parliamentary Ombudsman final report on the Code of Practice Parliamentary Ombudsman final report on the Code of Practice DCA Stats DCA Stats IC Annual report IC Annual report Commercial research Commercial research Idox Idox APR Smartlogik APR Smartlogik Practitioner research Practitioner research UCL Constitution Unit UCL Constitution Unit

6 FOI around the world Nations with new FOI laws: Nations with new FOI laws: Germany Germany India India New FOI era in US New FOI era in US Proposed Cornyn changes to US FOIA Proposed Cornyn changes to US FOIA Ireland Ireland Reductions in use linked to increased fees Reductions in use linked to increased fees

7 The shape of things to come Issues from the requestor perspective Issues from the requestor perspective Frustration over delay issues Frustration over delay issues Inconsistency across sectors Inconsistency across sectors After a slow start increased commercial interest in using the Act as a competitive intelligence tool (see FT 29 th Aug. 2005) After a slow start increased commercial interest in using the Act as a competitive intelligence tool (see FT 29 th Aug. 2005) Pressure to add further bodies with public functions Pressure to add further bodies with public functions More coherent testing of FOI performance by the media and academics: proposed UK Sunshine week, FOIA audits More coherent testing of FOI performance by the media and academics: proposed UK Sunshine week, FOIA audits Issues from the FOI Practitioner perspective Issues from the FOI Practitioner perspective Emerging case law from decisions notices Emerging case law from decisions notices First tribunals? First tribunals? DCA fees consultation DCA fees consultation Establishing information rights as a profession Establishing information rights as a profession Managing Complex cross department and authority requests Managing Complex cross department and authority requests Improvements to publication schemes and review Improvements to publication schemes and review Emergence of disclosure logs Emergence of disclosure logs

8 Websites and contact details Freedom of Information Act Blog Freedom of Information Act Blog Updated daily Updated daily News, views, comment and discussion News, views, comment and discussion Monthly newsletter Monthly newsletter Open Government: a journal on freedom of information Open Government: a journal on freedom of information Peer reviewed research and commentary on FOI worldwide Peer reviewed research and commentary on FOI worldwide Free and run under open access principles Free and run under open access principles Contact Contact ljmu.ac.uk ljmu.ac.uk


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