Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Freedom of Information Act >>> easy tips on how to take the government survey

Plans to restrict the FOI Act have become a very big story:
Futures Forum: The Freedom of Information Act >>> local government: How to make an FOI request
Futures Forum: The Freedom of Information Act > plans to restrict citizens' right to information would “severely damage democracy”
Futures Forum: The Freedom of Information Act > and 'generating stories' 

The campaign group 38 Degrees has some tips on how to take the government survey on the Act:

38 Degrees Logo

It was Freedom of Information that exposed the MPs’ expenses scandal. And showed that our government worked with chemical companies to block an EU ban on bee-killing pesticides. [1] But the government wants to close this down. Their plans to water down the Freedom of Information Act could see:

  • us having to pay for information about our own politicians
  • ministers having more power to block the release of information they don’t want us to know
  • swathes of information being completely closed off from the public. [2]
But it’s not a done deal. The government’s put out a survey on the future of Freedom of Information - and we have until next week to have our say. [3] If thousands of us respond, we can use people power to show that we won’t stand for them making politics more secretive.

The survey itself is full of jargon - so the 38 Degrees staff team have translated the questions into plain English. It’s easy to fill in and you can skip any questions you don’t want to answer. There are also some tips on the page to help you. Please click here to get started:

Hundreds of journalists, organisations and ordinary people use FOI every day to hold politicians to account. It’s helped uncover the MPs expenses scandal, and revealed the huge number of NHS contracts being handed out to profit-hungry companies. [4]

38 Degrees members believe democracy only works when people are involved. If the government gets away with these plans, people will be shut out of politics. So if you believe we have the right to know what the government is doing in our name, please add your voice to the calls for a strong Freedom of Information law. Take part in the survey now:


[1] BBC News:
10 things we found out because of Freedom of Information - BBC News
The Guardian: 
Insecticide firms in secret bid to stop ban that could save bees | Environment | The Guardian

[2] Campaign for FOI: Campaign for Freedom of Information » Stop FOI restrictions
BBC News: Is this the end for the Freedom of Information Act? - BBC News

[3] Government website: 
Independent Commission on Freedom of Information: call for evidence - Consultations - GOV.UK

[4] BBC News: 10 things we found out because of Freedom of Information - BBC News

98,000 members of 38 Degrees say: hands off our Freedom of Information law - 38 Degrees
Freedom of Information: government consultation on fees - 38 Degrees
Dear PM - Don't weaken our Freedom of Information Act! - 38 Degrees


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