FOI Disclosure Stories 6 – 12 July 2009

Duke of York’s expenses claims jump to £4000 a week – 10/07/09
“The Duke of York’s expenses claims as Britain’s trade ambassador have jumped to £4,000 a week, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The figures, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, showed a rise of 50 per cent over the previous year as the Duke billed the taxpayer for £207,000 in expenses for his overseas trips, excluding flights.”

NHS hit by a different sort of virus
– Channel 4 09/07/09
“A More4 News investigation finds that more than 8,000 dangerous viruses have infected NHS computers in the last financial year, with a significant number of cases impacting on patient care. On 18 November 2008, a computer virus called the Mytob worm caused havoc in three major London hospitals when it spread so quickly that it overloaded computer networks… But the same day, More4 News revealed that the trust could have avoided the incident if easily available security updates had been applied to their network months earlier.”

Millions Of People With Musculoskeletal Conditions At Risk Of Being Let Down By NHS
– Medical News Today 10/07/09
“One-in-five (21%) primary care trusts (PCTs) do not offer ‘clinical assessment and treatment services’ (CATS) for people with musculoskeletal conditions, denying them services deemed a ‘keystone’ of the government’s 2006 musculoskeletal services strategy. A report based on Freedom of Information requests and published by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) also reveals that just under half (45%) of PCTs do not define life-long conditions such as arthritis as ‘long-term’, meaning people with musculoskeletal conditions are being ignored in large areas of the country.”

Mind the gap – BBC 09/07/09
“Women are earning more than men in some public sector organisations – but only in the lower-paid grades, according to new research by the BBC. Female clerical and admin staff are taking home bigger salaries than their male colleagues in 14 out of 17 public sector bodies which responded to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request about pay… But higher up the career ladder it’s a more familiar story, with male earnings outstripping females’ and men outnumbering women in the senior management roles.”

Failed adoptions up a third in the past year
– The Times 10/07/09
“The number of adopted children who have been returned to care homes because their new parents cannot cope with them has doubled in the past five years. Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the number has increased by a third in the past year alone as parents struggle with often challenging children who have suffered years of neglect or abuse in their natural families.”

Ofcom coughs 3G coverage maps
– The Register 08/07/09
“The UK regulator has finally released nationwide maps of the 3G coverage available, and it will come as no surprise that anyone planning to take a dongle to the Highlands will be out of luck… The release of the maps (pdf) comes despite Ofcom’s response to a Freedom of Information request, lodged by Simon Fluendy, that the regulator didn’t have such a thing… now we can all see how much 3G coverage each operator has.”


Gloucestershire criminals owe £3.6m – Gloucester Citizen 11/07/09
“Criminals in Gloucestershire owe more than £3.6million in court fines. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show the outstanding bill for uncollected court fines, which includes compensation for victims, stands at £3,624,734.21.”

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