Long, long ago and far, far away someone came up with the idea of the Freedom of Information Act. This law (it really is a law) makes it the legal duty (because it is a legal duty) for specified bodies, including local authorities, to release information to those who want it.
Making information, well, free!
And then publish the information made free so that anyone else can see it too. Here is what the Freedom of Information Act says “Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 all public authorities must have a publication scheme to ensure that we make information about the council routinely available as part of our normal business.” The Act says other things too but that’s the main thing.
For some strange reason Tower Hamlets Council has decided to ignore this because its Freedom of Information publication scheme does not work. Even if you know that an FOI request has been submitted because it is your FOI request.
The screen grabs taken of the Council’s FOI site this morning show why it does not work. LW has complained about this before. We were given some excuse. No doubt a similar excuse will be trotted out this time.
Problem is that in the light of the allegations in the Poplar Papers residents might be starting to wonder exactly why Tower Hamlets Council is, well, breaking the law?
Or maybe nobody has been submitting FOI requests to the Council recently? And by recently we mean several years.
Which is all very odd because on the FOI page it clearly says “We are committed to promoting openness and transparency and to ensure that a significant and growing amount of information we hold is easily available without the need for individuals to make a specific request for information.”