Freedom of information laws ‘should be extended to private companies’ – STV – 31.01.13
Freedom of information laws should be extended to private companies contracted to provide public services, the Scottish Information Commissioner has said. Such a move will ensure accountability and transparency where large sums of tax-payers’ money are involved, Rosemary Agnew said.
HMRC: taxman increasingly ‘snooping’ on taxpayers – The Telegraph – 14.01.13
Figures obtained under Freedom of Information show HMRC officials made almost 14,400 authorised views of “communications data” on taxpayers during tax evasion investigations in the past year. This equates to a rise of almost 25% on 2010 figures. It is not clear how many times the surveillance has led to a successful prosecution for tax evasion or whether those found to be innocent are told that they have been spied upon.
Not so grim up North: BBC staff paid up to £90,000 to relocate to Salford HQ – Daily Mail – 31.12.12
A freedom of information request found that 850 staff have been given a total of £11 million to cover the costs of moving, as well as one-off payouts worth 10 per cent of their salary to encourage them to move north from London.
Your £1 million bill for jet-set BBC bosses: Corporation spent huge sum on flights to U.S. in just seven months – Mail Online – 14.12.12
The BBC spent more than £1 million on flights to America in the space of seven months this year, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Attacks on Norfolk prison staff revealed – BBC – 30.11.12
A prison officer was scalded on the face when a kettle of boiling water was thrown at him by an inmate at a Norfolk jail. This was one of 21 staff injury assault reports at Norfolk prisions between January 2011 and October 2012, a Freedom of Information request found.
Maritime agency’s Monaco trip funded by taxpayer – BBC – 15.11.12
Officials of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have been criticised for spending almost £20,000 sending four people to an annual boat show in Monaco during a period of cuts.
Tax-dodging clampdown will aid open-government commitments – The Guardian – 30.10.12
Eric Gutierrez, senior governance advisor at Christian Aid, states that the UK government’s transparency commitments and its leadership of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) are commendable. However, some transparency commitments are more politically difficult than others, he says, and it’s the difficult ones that, so far, are still not appearing in the government’s agenda for the OGP.