Heather Brooke: more people should be using the FoI Act

Investigative journalist Heather Brooke told a public meeting at the Stubbing Wharfe, Hebden Bridge yesterday evening that those who vote need to be informed.

To be informed, they need information. Government information needs to be brought back into the hands of the people. Ms Brooke said that although our current Freedom of Information Act is weak law and even more weakly enforced, we should all make much more use of it than we currently do.

Heather Brooke told how she successfully took the BBC to such a tribunal for refusing to provide the minutes of the Governors' meeting at which they sacked Greg Dyke. She argues that where members of public bodies know they have to be accountable, they will actually make better decisions.

Examples of information she has sought are: gifts and hospitality details received by members of public bodies, registers of members' interests, lists of contracts and amounts, letters and email correspondence between public bodies and contractors.

Using the Freedom of Information Act (Hebden Bridge Web, 23 November 2007)