BBC BLOGS - Open Secrets
« Previous | Main | Next »

Paying tax for FOI

Post categories:

Martin Rosenbaum | 17:23 UK time, Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Information Commissioner's Office has acquired an unusual status.

It appears to be the only public sector organisation which the TaxPayers' Alliance thinks should have more money.

Taxpayers Alliance demoThe TPA has been a notably shrewd and effective user of freedom of information - assisted by the fact that data about how public money is being spent is often the easiest kind of information to obtain through FOI.

There are other campaign groups which have also exploited the opportunity of FOI, such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

This is all part of a growing role for campaign organisations in deploying FOI to promote their agenda, according to my colleague Jeremy Hayes. It's one of the topics he explores in a paper he's written for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which provides a very good overview of the impact of FOI on journalism in the UK.

Yet in Scotland the Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion has been surprised by the low usage of FOI by Scottish campaigning and voluntary organisations. He's supporting a research project to explore this further. However I'm not sure whether this would meet with the approval of the TaxPayers' Alliance.


or register to comment.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.