An extract from Jonathan Isaby's Thunderer Column for The Times :
Since its addition to the statute book in 2000, I had thought the Freedom of Information Act to be one of those landmark pieces of legislation that was an irreversible leap forward, like votes for women or the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
As far as I am concerned, anyone working for central or local government should expect those of us footing the bills to be able to see where our money has gone. The public sector doesn’t draw on some mythical pot of “government money” for its funding: it’s all taxpayers’ money and, save for matters such as national security or affairs relating to private individuals’ health and welfare, we taxpayers should have the ability to scrutinise all that is being done in our name.
Our FoI legislation has helped to foster a culture of openness at every level of government. Those of us who have used it to uncover frivolous or unnecessary spending can certainly rejoice in having forced politicians and bureaucrats to change their wasteful ways.
Those manning the barricades to defend FoI may have a variety of motives. But when the TaxPayers’ Alliance finds itself aligned with a plethora of trade unions and organisations as diverse as the British Humanist Association and Greenpeace, we can but hope the government will take notice.