FOI: one month on and the honeymoon is over

Freedom of Information hits the front page of the Independent but the news is not good. Ten examples are provided of questions asked but no answers given. These include: legal advice given to the government on the war on Iraq; ministerial and military correspondence concerning the legality of the Iraq war; Steven Byers' decision to declare Railtrack insolvent in 2001; assessments of candidates for the Olympic bid ; evidence against detainees in Belmarsh; minutes of meetings held by BBC board of governors in relation to the death of David Kelly; how many primary schools in england still have outside toilets; redecoration costs of the Lord Chancellor's residence; the DTI investigation into BAT; and minutes of meetings held between officials at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and executives of US gaming companies.

Some of the requests received outright refusals, others were delayed because of the need to consider the public interest test.

Is this freedom of information? One month into the Government's 'new era of openness', outrage grows at a catalogue of obfuscation and evasion in answer to requests for disclosure (The Independent, 2 February 2005)