Members of the public have a right to request access to information held by public authorities under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act
Hold that thought….
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority set up to promote access to official information
Hold that thought too… and then consider this scenario…
A request is made to the DWP asking for details of how many seriously ill and disabled people died whilst awaiting an Atos assessment and whilst they appeal against a decision that puts them in the wrong group or claims they are fit for work.
The request was denied by DWP on the grounds that it was vexatious.
The requester appealled to the ICO who upheld DWP decision not to release the information.
The reason…? 11 identical requests were made followed by a further 13 and DWP said that these were as a result of an on line blog written by the original requester!
So an important statistic of interest to millions of ill and disabled people, their carers and families, is denied to the public for the flimsiest of reasons.
I, along with many others believe that the statistics which were originally published prior to the Welfare changes, are no longer being made available because they have risen so dramatically. If the true figures were known, I am of the opinion that there would be a backlash against the government.
So, are you still holding on to those two thoughts that I mentioned earlier?