Ministry of Defence shredding thousands of documents

Almost 9000 'linear metres' of files, documents, emails and faxes have been destroyed by the Ministry of Defence ahead of the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act and the number of documents destroyed has doubled in the last year as the 1st of January deadline approached, according to a written parliamentary answer provided by Ivor Caplin, a junior defence minister.

Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP, said: "Looking at the figures, you could conclude that Whitehall departments are trying to get rid of embarrassing information". However, Kevin Dunion, Scottish Information Commissioner, does not believe that there has been a systematic attempt to get around the act: "People should be uncluttering their files at this time. It is the selection process for this which is the key. This is an instruction to people to carry out good housekeeping and it is laudable to do that."

Number of MoD documents destroyed doubles (The Herald, 1 January 2005) not available online