On Balance, The Public Interest Is……

in favour of non -disclosure.

Well, that’s a bloody surprise…….NOT.

Today I received my final response from the Home Office in relation to my request regarding Risk and Impact Assessments re the further cuts to Police Budgets.  I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to see one, but I did think I’d just get an outright Refusal.

What I got was this:-

After careful consideration we have decided that the pieces of advice to Ministers, relevant to your request, are exempt from disclosure under section 35 (1)(a) of the Act, which provides that information can be withheld if it is likely to prejudice the policy making process and the delivery of effective government.

and

The advantages of releasing the advice to  Ministers are that it would help the public to better understand how Ministers came to their decisions.  

The disadvantages of releasing the information are that officials would feel constrained in their advice to Ministers.

and

Therefore, we have determined that on balance, the public interest is in favour of non-disclosure.

So if I have interpreted this correctly, it’s not in the Public Interest for you/us to understand how Government came to this decision, and we’re better off not being told.

Well, I’m glad I’ve got that one sorted then.

#CutsHaveConsequences

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6 thoughts on “On Balance, The Public Interest Is……

  1. On balance, we the great UK establishment think, after enormous internal debate in our club last night, that the interests of the public pale into insignificance compared to the interests of a few shy “officials [who might] feel constrained in their advice to Ministers”. Poor, poor officials, I wonder who pays them? It must be such a dogs life being in terror of transparency. We SO feel for them..

    • And today I decided to send them the following:-

      I am requesting an Internal Review because I feel that the the
      idea that “officials would feel constrained in their advice to
      Ministers, if they were aware that their advice is likely to be
      released into the public domain” is quite frankly laughable.
      Officials giving such advice should surely be more robust than
      that. The Public Interest factor in relation to cuts to the Police
      Service is immense. Public Safety in light of the current Terrorist
      Threats, Crime Reduction and Prevention and the myriad functions
      Police officers perform that don’t seem to be the responsibility of
      anybody else are all factors which I would say mitigate in the
      favour of Disclosure. The public deserve to be informed in matters
      as serious as this. It is for these reasons that I am requesting an
      Internal Review.

      Another month of my life wasted waiting for the inevitable refusal, but why oh why should they get away unchallenged???

  2. Translated as-“Impact and risk assessments, Mr Angry? Well, we haven’t carried them out, but what we WILL tell you, is that we’ve made the decision, so there. Now keep your bloody nose out of things that concern you (and every other member of the public)”

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