“Run like a huckster’s shop” – Redux

[No change since June 2009, then? – Ed]  Have there been any consequences…?  A BBC report that the DUP and Sinn Féin have, belatedly, agreed the outcome of the semi-detached polit-bureau Northern Ireland Executive’s June budget monitoring round was met with understandable criticism from the other NI Executive parties. Justice Minister David Ford, who leads the Alliance Party, described the situation as “shambolic” while the Ulster Unionists and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) said they had been kept in the dark about … Read more

“the electoral prospects of individuals are not strictly a relevant factor when weighing the public interest in the disclosure of information…”

Another week, another ruling by the Information Commissioner that the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers acted against the public interest in refusing to disclose information in response to a FoI request.  The request, from the News Letter, was for disclosure of OFMDFM’s corporate risk register – a list of the issues “causing concern” within OFMDFM.  As the News Letter report notes of the commissioner’s decision …the Information Commissioner, the watchdog which enforces the open government law, has dismissed … Read more

OFMDFM: “open and transparent…” – redux

Via The Irish News.  As UUP leader Mike Nesbitt says, “We’re not North Korea…”  [Thankfully… – Ed]  ANYhoo…  The UUP leader has welcomed a recent (27 March) decision by the Information Commissioner (not yet online) that the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers were wrong to refuse to release the results of market research, that they had commissioned, into the proposed Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre (PbCRC) at the site of the old Maze Prison.  From the UUP press … Read more

“it is in the public interest to know the type of information that the Ministers were taking into account”

Here’s a little referendum related snippet from Scotland.  The Scottish government is reportedly “surprised” at a recent ruling by the country’s Freedom of Information Commissioner. In response to a request by Labour MEP Catherine Stihler on 30 May last year, the Scottish government had refused to confirm or deny whether it had received legal advice on the status of an independent Scotland within the EU.  They had cited section 18(1) of the FOI Act.  As the Information Commissioner’s press statement notes  This allows … Read more