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Jan 14th, 2016

38 Degrees invited to the FOI Commission!

By Rachel Oliver

This blog post is written by Campaigns Director at 38 Degrees, Blanche Shackleton.

I’m feeling hopeful today. Before Christmas, the government was quietly planning to water down our Freedom of Information laws: our right to know what our politicians are up to, and how they’re spending our public money.

Fast-forward a few months and they seem to be backing off. Because of our backlash – a massive petition and tens of thousands of us writing in to the government consultation. One minister’s quoted in the press saying; “Nobody in the Government wants to touch this now, it’s a very hot political potato.”

None of this is a done deal – yet. But we’re having impact. I think together we can win this.

Our first chance is next Wednesday. I’ve been invited to give evidence on behalf of 38 Degrees members to the people who are advising the government on this. They’re in the final throes of putting together their recommendations. So this is our opportunity to really hammer home where we stand.

I want to make sure I’m representing you properly on Wednesday. So please can you take 3 minutes to let me know what you’d like me to say, via a short survey:

Do you think FOI rules should be extended to cover private companies who are hired to run public services? Click here to vote now.

I’ll be up in front of a group of Lords, ex-MPs and media experts who are sussing out what people think of the government’s plan to water down FOI laws. That’s where we come in. The more voices, comments and experiences I can take in with me on Wednesday, the more weight we’ll have to influence them.

So what do you think? Why is it important we know how the government is spending public money? Should they be able to hold back some information? Should the rules cover private companies who are hired to run our public services?

Whatever your views, I’d really appreciate it if you can fill this quick survey out this afternoon, so I can start preparing for Wednesday.

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