Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

Open, accountable government, rigorous control of public finances, and a fairer society for all.

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Open and Accountable Government

Our first aim as declared within our charter.



Good Government in the Isle of Man!

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The question of how well we are governed rumbles below the surface of Manx political life.
 
Peel resident, Trevor Cowin, has been openly critical of departmental behaviour for a number of years and gratifyingly has been influential in gradual improvement.
 
This time he's taken his concerns to the Lieutenant Governor!
 

Freedom of Information Act 2015 receives Royal Assent

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That was the announcement given at the start of June Tynwald but no celebrations yet, as before the public can make use of it, an Appointed Day Order is required. So watch out for that!

Also remember to start with FOI requests can only be submitted to DEFA and The Cabinet Office.

In the meantime to find out information from the rest of government we must resort to the 1996 Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

That's what one PAG member has recently done to the Department of Infrastructure - here it is:

 

Freedom of Information Bill 2014 - PAG Submission

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foi Tyn snoopIn our February 2014 article we described the IOM Freedom of Information Bill 2014 as 'a typical Manx whum'.

Well, having taken a detailed look at the Draft Bill, in order to make a written *submission to Consultation process, that opinion hasn't changed!

We conclude that the Draft Bill appears to be based on the UK Freedom of Information Act 2000 (UK Act) but In key respects the Bill is weaker and more restricted than the UK Act.

Click 'More' below for a summary or download our full submission.

Attachments:
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Download this file (PAGfoiSubmissionFIN040414.pdf)PAG submission for the Freedom of Information Bill 2014214 Kb1760
 

Freedom of Information Bill 2014 - Initial impression "A typical Manx Whum"

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foiOne thing's for sure, journalists from The Guardian won't be clamouring to our shores if the Freedom of information Bill 2014 is made law here.

That's because only residents of the Isle of Man will have a statutory right to access information held by public authorities. And then locals may only be allowed the information if to was created after the 11th October 2011.

 

PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information Bill

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Draft Bill

A) Introduction

1. Positive Action Group (P A G) is an IOM political lobby group which has been campaigning, since its formation in 2006, for a Freedom of Information Act. We contributed to the Preliminary Public Consultation in February 2007

2. The current ‘Code of Access to Government Information’ is inadequate and we welcome this move to replace it. In the last 2 years P A G has made 2 innocuous requests to government under the Code. Both were refused. Following complaint the information was released on the recommendation of the Commissioner. In both cases there was nothing in the information that was prejudicial to government. We believe that this Bill will shift the culture of government to be be more accepting of the “right to know” by the public.

3. Comment has been made on 25 of the 73 clauses in the Bill by direct reference to the draft legislation rather than the summary of the provisions given the consultation document.

4. When considered appropriate reference is made to the UK FOI Act upon which this Draft Bill is modelled. 

5. Similarly reference is made to the Scottish FOI Act. 

6. Recently the States of Jersey published a Report “Draft Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 201_”. We refer to this and recommend it for excellent background information on FOI. 

7. P A G wholeheartedly endorses the Office of Data Protection Supervisor’s response to this consulation.

 
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