Highway Code - something to hide?



T

Tony Raven

Guest
Well I just got the response to my revised FoI request to the DSA for
the internal documents relating to the recent Highway Code for cyclists
clauses.

"I am writing to advise you that the Driving Standards Agency does hold
the information that is relevant to your request dated 9 May but I am
sorry to inform you that it has been decided not to disclose this
information.

The information you requested is being withheld in reliance on the
exemption in Section 35(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
because release of this information could seriously impact on the policy
making process between officials and Ministers. The attached annex A to
this letter sets out the exemption in full.

In applying this exemption we have had to balance the public interest in
withholding the information against the public interest in disclosure.
The key public interest factors for and against disclosure are set out
in the attached annex to this letter."

I feel an appeal to the Information Commissioner coming on! I wonder
what they have to hide?

--
Tony

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there
is no good evidence either way."
- Bertrand Russell
 
> I feel an appeal to the Information Commissioner coming on! I wonder
> what they have to hide?


I suspect they don't want to set a precedent - I presume that all similar
requests (about whatever bit of policy making) would be declined for the
same reasons. Course, if similar FOI requests have worked in the past then
that would help in the appeal.
 
On Jun 18, 8:12 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:
> Well I just got the response to my revised FoI request to the DSA for
> the internal documents relating to the recent Highway Code for cyclists
> clauses.
>


I got a similar response to my request for the legal advice they
had received which indicated that 'whenever possible' gave greater
clarity that 'when practicable'. It would have been nice to know what
the clarity was .....

Strikes me that any information a government department has is
going to potentially be used in the formulation of policy, and that
the get out clause can virtually always be applied :-(

--
Dan
 
Mark wrote on 18/06/2007 20:18 +0100:
>> I feel an appeal to the Information Commissioner coming on! I wonder
>> what they have to hide?

>
> I suspect they don't want to set a precedent - I presume that all similar
> requests (about whatever bit of policy making) would be declined for the
> same reasons. Course, if similar FOI requests have worked in the past then
> that would help in the appeal.


I think it would be hard to hold their line. Its hardly major policy
stuff, its clearly of great public interest as to how the wording was
arrived at that had to be withdrawn. Its probably quite embarrassing
but that is not a reason and the purpose is that there should be
transparency on decision making. We shall see. I like a challenge!

--
Tony

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there
is no good evidence either way."
- Bertrand Russell
 
[email protected] twisted the electrons to say:
> Strikes me that any information a government department has is
> going to potentially be used in the formulation of policy, and that
> the get out clause can virtually always be applied :-(


Well of course, this way the government gets to point at their nice shiny
Freedom of Information Act and is thus "seen to be doing something",
without actually *having* to do anything ...

Cynical? Moi?
--
These opinions might not even be mine ...
Let alone connected with my employer ...
 
Tony Raven wrote:
> Well I just got the response to my revised FoI request to the DSA for
> the internal documents relating to the recent Highway Code for cyclists
> clauses.
>
> "I am writing to advise you that the Driving Standards Agency does hold
> the information that is relevant to your request dated 9 May but I am
> sorry to inform you that it has been decided not to disclose this
> information.


> I feel an appeal to the Information Commissioner coming on! I wonder
> what they have to hide?


If the Information Commissioner tells them to give you
these documents, the government can override that decision.

When our current rulers brought this act in, it was
advertised as being a very good thing. Yet recently they
have been trying to curtail its powers with regards to MPs
and the like.
If you asked for a document about the previous tory
rulers, you would probably get it sent recorded delivery
the next day.

However you won't lose anything by appealing, and IMHO
their refusal to supply all of these documents is newsworthy.


Martin.
 
Martin Dann wrote on 18/06/2007 22:51 +0100:
>
> However you won't lose anything by appealing, and IMHO their refusal to
> supply all of these documents is newsworthy.
>


That was my thoughts for down the line especially as first time round
they declined on it taking more than three days to gather for a project
that was still in progress. First I have to go through their appeals
procedure though before the Information Commissioner will take it on.


--
Tony

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there
is no good evidence either way."
- Bertrand Russell
 
On Jun 18, 8:35 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:

> Its probably quite embarrassing but that is not a reason and
> the purpose is that there should be transparency on decision
> making. We shall see. I like a challenge!


Well it may not be a valid reason but I'd be astonished if it were not
the actual reason. If you're up for the challenge then go for it. I
somehow doubt you'll get to see those internal documents though.

--
Dave...
 
dkahn400 wrote on 19/06/2007 14:32 +0100:
> On Jun 18, 8:35 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> Its probably quite embarrassing but that is not a reason and
>> the purpose is that there should be transparency on decision
>> making. We shall see. I like a challenge!

>
> Well it may not be a valid reason but I'd be astonished if it were not
> the actual reason. If you're up for the challenge then go for it. I
> somehow doubt you'll get to see those internal documents though.
>


Fiver says I will.


--
Tony

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there
is no good evidence either way."
- Bertrand Russell
 
On Jun 19, 8:13 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:
> dkahn400 wrote on 19/06/2007 14:32 +0100:
>
> > On Jun 18, 8:35 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> >> Its probably quite embarrassing but that is not a reason and
> >> the purpose is that there should be transparency on decision
> >> making. We shall see. I like a challenge!

>
> > Well it may not be a valid reason but I'd be astonished if it were not
> > the actual reason. If you're up for the challenge then go for it. I
> > somehow doubt you'll get to see those internal documents though.

>
> Fiver says I will.


You're on!

I hope I lose; it will be well worth a fiver. Anyone else up for
"Challenge Tony"?

--
Dave...
 
dkahn400 wrote:

> You're on!
>
> I hope I lose; it will be well worth a fiver. Anyone else up for
> "Challenge Tony"?


Yeah, okay. Not particularly in either hope or expectation of wining,
but if Tony needs any more reasons to be bloodymindedly persistent about
succeeding I'm happy to provide 5 of them. If I win (and I hope I
don't...), the money can go straight to the Cyclists Defence Fund.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
"dkahn400" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On Jun 19, 8:13 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:
>> dkahn400 wrote on 19/06/2007 14:32 +0100:
>>
>> > On Jun 18, 8:35 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:

>>
>> >> Its probably quite embarrassing but that is not a reason and
>> >> the purpose is that there should be transparency on decision
>> >> making. We shall see. I like a challenge!

>>
>> > Well it may not be a valid reason but I'd be astonished if it were not
>> > the actual reason. If you're up for the challenge then go for it. I
>> > somehow doubt you'll get to see those internal documents though.

>>
>> Fiver says I will.

>
> You're on!
>
> I hope I lose; it will be well worth a fiver. Anyone else up for
> "Challenge Tony"?


Yup, count me in for a fiver too. Bloody cheap at the price!
 
burt wrote on 20/06/2007 18:15 +0100:
>
>>>
>>> Fiver says I will.

>>
>> You're on!
>>
>> I hope I lose; it will be well worth a fiver. Anyone else up for
>> "Challenge Tony"?

>
> Yup, count me in for a fiver too. Bloody cheap at the price!


With supportive friends like you lot......

--
Tony

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there
is no good evidence either way."
- Bertrand Russell
 
I'm in too. Tony knows his stuff and a fiver here is a glass of wine, justice is cheap after all!



burt said:
"dkahn400" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On Jun 19, 8:13 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:
>> dkahn400 wrote on 19/06/2007 14:32 +0100:
>>
>> > On Jun 18, 8:35 pm, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:

>>
>> >> Its probably quite embarrassing but that is not a reason and
>> >> the purpose is that there should be transparency on decision
>> >> making. We shall see. I like a challenge!

>>
>> > Well it may not be a valid reason but I'd be astonished if it were not
>> > the actual reason. If you're up for the challenge then go for it. I
>> > somehow doubt you'll get to see those internal documents though.

>>
>> Fiver says I will.

>
> You're on!
>
> I hope I lose; it will be well worth a fiver. Anyone else up for
> "Challenge Tony"?


Yup, count me in for a fiver too. Bloody cheap at the price!