Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

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

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Criminal Justice Bill 2009 consultation

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The deadline for making your consultation submission about the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009 has been extended to 16th December 2009. Please make every effort to contribute.

 

A Whistleblower's Guide

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If you would like to 'blow the whistle' on some event or issue you feel deserves public scrutiny, here are some guidelines for best practice, to protect you and your story from the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

 

UK MPs Expense scandal

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Your Right to Know by Heather BrookeNo one can avoid the media coverage of the MPs' expenses scandal in the U K. The Daily Telegraph was responsible for releasing the details, but in fact all the legwork was done by a young, self employed, investigative journalist, using the Freedom of Information Act.

Heather Brooke's investigation lasted several years. She was relentless in probing the secretive Westminster world of politicians expenses and eventually led to the exposure of the "John Lewis list".

To hear how Heather Brooke used F O I to uncover the information listen to a recording of a talk given by her to The Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School 2008. It lasts about 20 minutes and is a fascinating insight to the background behind the Telegraph's apparent scoop.

Heather’s talk is about half way along this recording, after some short applause for David Gordon. Please click on the image to the right for information about her book on this subject.

 

PAG Constitution

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At the AGM of 27th April 2009 The PAG Constitution was altered to reflect our activity. The four amendments were restricted to Section I. Objectives.

That section now reads:

Section I. Objectives

1. The Positive Action Group shall be a not for profit Association open to all individuals who meet the qualifications for membership as detailed in Section III.

2. The objectives of the Positive Action Group shall be:

(a) To promote awareness and understanding of politics and citizenship

(b) To encourage members of the public to participate actively in politics by taking part in discussions, making their views known, voting, standing for office and holding public office.

(c) To encourage an increase in the percentage turnout of the electorate, by raising awareness of the importance to the electorate of exercising their democratic right to vote - a consequence of which will be that they can help to shape and secure the future of the Isle of Man.

(d)To bring to the attention of Tynwald Members, the Government of the Isle of Man, or any other appropriate bodies, issues or matters of public interest raised by members of P A G; and which may include submissions in response to public consultation exercises

(e) To raise funds for the purposes of furthering the aims of the Association.

 

Access to Government Information

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A year ago this piece of information "Liechtenstein - false teeth and stamps are its main exports" prompted P A G to ask this question to the IoM Post Office:-

'I am trying to find out the turnover of the Philatelic Bureau, but could not see it listed separately in the sets of accounts you recently emailed me. I note that an aim for the coming year is "The profitable operation of a philatelic bureau for the marketing and sale of postage stamps and coins to collectors" . Could you please advise me the turnover for the unit for the last 5 years?'

Simple, you would think, but oh no commercial confidentiality prohibited release of the figures and the request turned into a real saga involving Mr Speaker, the Chair and Board of IoM Post Office and High Bailiff Michael Moyle (acting as Commissioner).

See what happened by reading his findings. Please do spare a few minutes as the Commissioner's findings exemplify shortcomings in the prevailing attitude to information requests under the existing Code.

 


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