Opening comments foi the stories so far
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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 of FOIA Blog and Open Government: a journal on freedom of information. FOI and the media: the story so far.

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Opening comments & FOI: The stories so far

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Opening comments foi the stories so far

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


Foi and the media the story so far

FOI and the media: the story so far

  • The number of FOI stories in UK Press mentioning the word “Freedom of Information Act”

    • January 2005: 175

    • February 2005: 264

    • March 2005: 198

    • April 2005: 90

    • May 2005: 90

    • June 2005: 92

    • July 2005: 78

    • August 2005: 82

  • After initial surge of interest - steady usage and reporting in the National media

  • Data taken from searches using Lexis-Nexus Professional


Foi and the media the story so far1

FOI and the media: the story so far

  • Which national newspapers are featuring FOI:

    • Daily Mail: 102

    • Daily Star: 10

    • Daily Telegraph: 75

    • Express: 64

    • Guardian: 160

    • Independent: 126

    • Independent on Sunday: 34

    • Mail on Sunday: 32

    • Mirror: 55

    • News of the World: 22

    • Observer: 34

    • People: 7

    • The Sun: 26

    • Sunday Express: 24

    • Sunday Mirror : 9

    • Sunday Telegraph: 22

    • Sunday Times: 109

    • The Times: 143

  • Data taken from 1st Jan.- 31st Aug. 2005


Five foi releases of importance

Five FOI releases of importance

  • Five releases relating to national government, health, local crime, food safety and land use:

  • Treasury Flat taxes (featured in FT)

  • NHS Heart Surgery Data (featured in Guardian)

  • Reading No 1 area for vehicle crime revealed (featured in Reading Chronicle)

  • Restaurant inspections (various)

  • Newark: Prime site went to lowest bidder (featured in Newark Advertiser)


The story so far

The story so far

  • Emergent reports and statistics so far in 2005

    • Official reports

      • Parliamentary Ombudsman final report on the Code of Practice

      • DCA Stats

      • IC Annual report

    • Commercial research

      • Idox

      • APR Smartlogik

    • Practitioner research

      • UCL Constitution Unit


Foi around the world

FOI around the world

  • Nations with new FOI laws:

    • Germany

    • India

  • New FOI era in US

    • Proposed Cornyn changes to US FOIA

  • Ireland

    • Reductions in use linked to increased fees


The shape of things to come

The shape of things to come

  • Issues from the requestor perspective

    • Frustration over delay issues

    • Inconsistency across sectors

    • After a slow start increased commercial interest in using the Act as a competitive intelligence tool (see FT 29th Aug. 2005)

    • 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

  • Issues from the FOI Practitioner perspective

    • Emerging case law from decisions notices

    • First tribunals?

    • DCA fees consultation

    • Establishing information rights as a profession

    • Managing Complex cross department and authority requests

    • Improvements to publication schemes and review

    • Emergence of disclosure logs


Websites and contact details

Websites and contact details

  • Freedom of Information Act Blog

    • Updated daily

    • News, views, comment and discussion

    • Monthly newsletter

    • www.foia.org.uk

  • Open Government: a journal on freedom of information

    • Peer reviewed research and commentary on FOI worldwide

    • Free and run under open access principles

    • www.opengovjournal.org

  • Contact

    • s.wood@ ljmu.ac.uk


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