Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 10:41:03 -0400From: [log in to unmask]: [log in to unmask]: The new E-Petition
Local Government Ombudsman Watch
Invitation to sign E-Petition
London, 8 April 2008.
Please consider signing Keith Edmunds' new petition on the Government's E-Petitions website at this link:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to remove the absolute exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act enjoyed by the Local Government Ombudsman under Articles 32 and 44 of the Local Government Act 1974.
The following statement is also included in Keith's petition:
The statutory prohibitions referred to above are an anachronism that allows the Local Government Ombudsman to refuse the release of facts to complainants that have been obtained from Councils, during an investigation of a complaint. This is contrary to both natural law, and entitlement to full disclosure in the normal judicial process. Consequently refusal to provide information under these absolute exemptions, to a complainant, is a breach of the complainant's human rights. In any case, this information can be obtained from the Councils, as they have no absolute exemption whatsoever under the Freedom of Information Act. The Local Government Ombudsman's absolute exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act, therefore, are both anachronistic and redundant. The removal of these absolute exemptions would put a stop to the practices detailed below: ODPM: Local Government and the Regions Committee: The Role and effectiveness of the Local Government Ombudsman for England - Eleventh Report of session 2004-2005, published 7 April 2005. It would also promote open investigations with a consequent improvement in Council efficiency and service delivery.The petition runs until 3 July 2008. Please consider also forwarding it to friends and relatives who might support it, which can be done by clicking on the 'forward e-mail' link below.
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There is some phenomenal work being done by colleagues in the background, as a visit to the Forum will demonstrate, and I am also aware of impressive projects going on that are shared with me in confidence but do not get aired on the Forum.
At some point, I shall send round an e-bulletin about the recent Ipsos-MORI survey results.
I have been trying to keep the LGOWatch threads together for five years now, and it would be marvellous if a steering group could be set up at some point to take over driving the campaign forward. I'll send out an e-bulletin about that also at some point, as soon as I have the time to do so.
Local Government Ombudsman Watch
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