UK Liberty

Good for him

Posted in freedom of information by ukliberty on October 25, 2007

The BBC:

Liberal Democrat MP Mr Hemming asked how many boxes had been bought, at what cost and what tendering process had been used, as part of his campaign to get ministers to answer factual questions.

“It’s quite a serious problem because it’s one of the reasons you end up having so many disasters in government, because they just hide problems rather than getting them fixed.”

He said he wanted to ask all departments the same question to see which would respond.

“The point about this question is the answer is slightly embarrassing because the boxes are quite expensive,” he told the BBC website.

“My overall impression was some departments are quite cavalier in their willingness to respond, to answer proper parliamentary questions.

“It really does demonstrate that there are quite serious problems at the heart of government under the current prime minister.”

Among those he accuses of “squirming” out of a response are the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice – both said it would cost too much to answer the question as the information was not easily accessible.

To be fair, they probably don’t know!

Mr Hemming said it would cost “about 20 quid” to answer the question – “if you don’t try to improve government by getting people to answer questions you might as well just give up.”


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