Ken Livingstone, the Freedom of Information Act and the Shredder

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Why is the Mayor being so arrogant and secretive ?

Surely, if there is "nothing to hide", he has "nothing to fear" ?

The Sunday Times reports that:

"The Sunday Times March 20, 2005

Livingstone admits to a 'shredder week'
Andrew Porter, Deputy Political Editor

KEN LIVINGSTONE, the London mayor, has admitted that his office had a "shredding week" to destroy documents ahead of new disclosure rules under the Freedom of Information Act.

The admission, made during mayor’s question time at the London assembly, has prompted a complaint to Richard Thomas, the information commissioner.

Livingstone had been challenged by Sally Hamwee, a Liberal Democrat member, over his office’s inadequate replies to requests for papers.

He responded by asking his opponents to be "more precise" if there is "anything particularly juicy you want to get your hands on".

But he added: "There is almost nothing juicy in there; we never minute anything interesting. If there was, it was lost during shredding week just before January 1, 2005.

The comments have outraged his political opponents. They claim he has failed to release key documents on subjects including fare increases and salaries paid to top advisers and consultants."

"Graham Tope, leader of the Lib Dems in the assembly, has called on the information commissioner to ensure that the Labour mayor cannot hide behind "a wall of secrecy and silence".

He said: "Some of the key decisions since Livingstone took office have cost London taxpayers hundreds of millions yet we have been told very little about them."

"It is deeply worrying that the mayor has shown such arrogant contempt for freedom of information laws."

Livingstone's opponents wish to look at his claims in his re-election campaign last year that there were unlikely to be above-inflation price rises in public transport, which is not now going to be the case. Opponents say he must have had meetings about the increases with Transport for London before the mayoral election last June."

2 Comments

According to the Evening Standard:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/17389393?source=Evening

"The Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly have reported Mr Livingstone to the Freedom of Information commissioner after comments he made at a public meeting last month. The Mayor said he had received 257 applications for information this year but added: "There is almost nothing juicy in there - we never minute anything interesting. If there was, it was lost during shredding week just before 1 January 2005."

A spokeswoman for the Mayor accused his critics of " mischiefmaking" and failing to appreciate his sense of humour."

The Mayor of London should not be joking about serious issues like this.

If he was really "joking", then a public apology for causing a misunderstanding is in order.

I get more and more annoyed with government. But this is the attitude within government, I work in government, and be it the minister, mayor or secretary, they blatently act unethically and get away with it. example:
http://www.bureaucracybads.com/story.php?id=55436

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