Friday, August 14, 2009

Freedom Of Information Eagles Under Attack By The NHS


Around the country we are hearing there are still problems with the NHS fortress information mentality . Its very clear that highly managed "democracy" is the new slick fashion and the continuing contortions away from openess and clear vision have been pursued from the DOH mandarins downwards.

New Labour are seriously problematic when it comes to openess and real transparency. They've hated it and have created sets of well networked information kevlar-ed dominion bureaucracies which includes big and small charity players.

Despite the post Mid Staffs (400 extra deaths) surge of Alan Johnsons speech about open Boards which have public meetings at Foundation Trusts - very little reform has happened. The admin classes are stiking back behind the scenes taking advice from each other and seeking to interupt the flow of critique at the services . Which is them really..

Dominion is all with these people - the right to manage secretly cannot be part of a health giving democracy apart from patient confidentiality . Openess creates the need for political debate and social and policy changes, and information denying practices on patient consultation rights over changed services and minutes of committees is basically the trend toward State and admin-class fascism disguised.

So get your UK Eagles to brush up on FOIA Guidance clauses - and expect a very difficult quarry indeed.

Links to guidance are provided here (copied from the Information Commisioners Office site ) :


Also see :

The freedom of information guidance we produce is split into these four categories:

  • Procedural guidance - this deals with the practical aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, such as how to use the Codes of Practice. This section also includes good practice guidance.
  • Topic specific guidance - this guidance is designed to assist authorities in dealing with requests for specific types of information, such as information relating to the deceased.
  • Sector specific guidance - this is guidance aimed at a particular public authority sector.
  • Exemptions guidance - this deals with the exemptions under the Act.

Guidance on the model publication scheme can be found in the model publication scheme section of the website. Although some of the guidance on this page also covers Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), specific guidance can be found in the EIR section of the website.


Applying the exemption for third party personal data: the Tribunal’s approach in House of Commons v IC & Leapman, Brooke and Thomas
(Other recently updated guidance is labelled below)

Procedural guidance

When is information caught by the Freedom of Information Act? (AG12)
Lifecycle of a request (GPG3)
Consideration of requests without reference to the identity of the applicant or the reasons for the request (GPG6)
Interpreting a request
Information held: retrieving and compiling information from original sources

Information held on behalf of another - new

Making a request for information – new

Section 8 - Valid request – name and address for correspondence
Section 9 - Charging a fee
Section 9,12,13 – Using the Fees Regulations
Section 10 - Time for compliance (AG11)
Section 11 - Means of communication (AG29)
Section 12 - Redacting and extracting information
Section 14 – Vexatious requests – a short guide
Section 14 - Vexatious or repeated requests (AG22) – recently updated 03/12/08
Section 16 - Advice and assistance (AG23) – recently updated 1/07/09
Section 16 - Good practice in providing advice and assistance
Section 17 - Refusing a request – new
Section 17 - Writing a refusal notice – new
Section 17 - Time limits on considering the public interest (GPG4)
Codes of Practice - Using the procedural codes of practice (GPG2)
Codes of Practice - Records management FAQs (AG8)
Codes of Practice – Internal reviews
Codes of Practice - Time limits on carrying out internal reviews (GPG5)
Codes of Practice - Destruction of requested information

Topic specific guidance

Enterprise Act 2002 and Freedom of Information Act 2000 - new
Reports provided by third parties - new
Circular (or round robin) requests- new
Information contained in court transcripts
Access to information about public authorities’ employees
Access to information about the deceased
What should be published: minutes and agendas
When should salaries be disclosed?

When should names be disclosed?
Complaints and investigations files – how to approach them
Guidance on dealing with requests for MP’s correspondence relating to constituents

Sector specific guidance

Information produced or received by councillors - new
Basic guide on compliance for first tier councils

Exemptions guidance

Duty to confirm or deny (AG21)
Prejudice and adversely affect (AG20)
Public interest test
(AG3) – recently updated 1/7/09

The exemptions

Section 21 - Information reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means (AG6)
Section 22 - Information intended for future publication (AG7)
Section 23 - Information supplied by or relating to security bodies - new
Section 24 - The national security exemption – new
Section 26 - Defence (AG10)
Section 27 - International relations (AG14)
Section 28 - Relations within the UK (AG13)
Section 29 - Economy (AG15)
Section 30 - Investigations (AG16) – recently updated 03/08/09
Section 31 - Law enforcement (AG17) – recently updated 03/08/09
Section 32 - Information contained in court records (AG9)
Section 33 - Public audit (AG18)
Section 34 - Parliamentary privilege – under review
Section 35 - Policy formulation, Ministerial communications, Law Officers’ advice and the operation of Ministerial Private Office (AG24)
Section 36 - Effective conduct of public affairs (AG25)
Section 37 - Communications with Her Majesty and the awarding of honours (AG26)
Section 38 - Health and safety (AG19)
Section 39 - Environmental information (EIR guidance pages)
Section 40 - Personal Information (AG1) – recently updated 11/11/08
Section 40 - Update note: Applying the exemption for third party personal data: the Tribunal’s approach in House of Commons v IC & Leapman, Brooke and Thomas
Section 41 - Information provided in confidence (AG2)
Section 41 - The duty of confidence and the public interest
Section 41 - Information provided in confidence relating to contracts
Section 42 - Legal professional privilege (AG4) – recently updated 11/11/08
Section 43 - Commercial interest (AG5)
Section 43 - Public sector contractsFOI annexe
Section 43 - Commercial detriment of third parties
Section 44 - Prohibitions on disclosure (AG27)

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