TPA get stung again over inaccurate figures….

Lest Matt or any of the guys over at the Taxpayer’s Alliance think I have some kind of agenda, let me re-assure them I don’t. The topline of their previous ‘research’ that the Government was paying lobbyists to lobby government is, if true, important work. Particularly in Northern Ireland where the public sector employment steals much of the oxygen from the private sector.

That’s why it’s important that if you are going to have a punt at bursting that particular balloon, you do it accurately. It seems another of their FOI reports has come unstuck through another inaccuracy on the part, they claim, of one of their respondents

But instead of shooting to the messenger this time, perhaps they should look again either at their own methodology (a phone call to the target organisation might help seal any leaky gaps before, rather than after, publication?), or deliberately dampen expectations in the press about just how robustly their figures can be read…

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  • Pigeon Toes


    Not seeing your point here. The information provided from the source is inaccurate.

    Why would they have reason to doubt that it was wrong in the first instance?

    (Albeit info from the NHS)

    Unless you are suggesting (and it may be a good idea) that all info provided by NHS should be double and triple checked.

  • willis


    But you do have an agenda! You want a level of accountability and probity from all who purport to inform the public.

    I fear that both the TPA and the NHS are not too bothered. Thanks to the fine work done by our major newspapers we now have a public space almost entirely inhabited by cynical hucksters.

    Their economy is collapsing? Oh dear.

  • Mick Fealty


    Just saying that if you serially put out ‘research’ that is based on contaminated data and try to attach large claims on it, you either need to sort out the cause of the contamination, or deliberately play down the provenance of the research.

    Nothing more or less.

  • Mick,

    slightly OT but just curious as to when the next Gael poll is due for release?

  • Pigeon Toes


    So if NHS research is based on same original NHS “contaminated” data then we should not trust the research based on the original data provided?

    NHS cannot be trusted to provide accurate data. That’s not terribly reassuring for the general public.

  • Pace Parent

    Without independent audit of the information provided by a public authority it is impossible to know if the information is valid or accurate. It seems that the FOIA is being used by some public authorities (CCEA in education for example) as a means to further control public access to information about performance data by using “commercial in confidence” claims.