Yesterday Staffordshire County Council controversially published details of “The cost of “Freedom of Information” to local people“. The titling of that page gives some clue to its intent: FOI is a ‘cost’, and it’s you, local people, who pay.
But I think the list – despite its obvious agenda and related weaknesses – is actually rather brilliant.
Why? Because it shows just how flexible a tool FOI is, how widely it is used, and perhaps raises questions to be answered about why it has to be used in the first place.
The top ten requesters, for example, throws up not just news organisations but a politician, a parish council, and the right wing campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance. Continue reading