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ACPO to be subject to FoI?

The fact that the Association of Chief Police Officers is allowed to operate as a private limited company, thus making it exempt from the Freedom of Information Act,  is one of the more outrageous innovations of the kleptocrats that run the country.

There is however, the merest hint that this may be about to change. According to a government minister, some private organisations are to be brought into the scope of the FoI Act. Of course, we know from bitter experience that just because the government announces something, doesn't mean it will happen, so we will have to watch this one closely.

It is a solution of a sort, I suppose, but I'm not sure it's the right one. I can see no obvious rationale for keeping ACPO in the private sector.  Is there any rationale?


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Reader Comments (4)

ACPO may not be under the FOI, but any document recieved by any ACPO rank from ACPO which has bearing on their work can be requested from the force under FOI.

I.e. all advice given by ACPO to any force, (meaning where the forces senior ranks get to gether to stitch us all up with egregious interpretations of PACE and SOCA powers) can be requested under FOI from the forces.
May 13, 2009 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen
The Carbon Trust are protected from scrutiny on the same basis. They were brought in by the previous management of one of our businesses (which we bought out of administration) to carry out an energy audit, which was completely useless ("don't forget to turn off the lights" and that sort of thing). They thus gained a lot of information about the technology and operation. Shortly afterwards, they launched a new business within their "Ventures" subsidiary, whose business model was almost identical to ours, claiming that they needed to do it to "kickstart" the market (because private-sector innovators always find it helpful to be faced by a government-backed competitor). Their business, of course, has the benefit of public support and profile and access to all sorts of data obtained confidentially (which they claim are protected by Chinese walls). We are not the only business to have been faced with this sort of copycat behaviour by them. But if you want to get any information, to test whether their Chinese walls really do function and these are just extraordinary coincidences, you hit a brickwall, because of their exemption from the FoI Act, because of their status as a limited company. The Carbon Trust are the most toxic organisation to the environment sector in the country. Only academics, consultants, civil servants and politicians like them. Business hates them. They undermine what they are supposed to support.

This Government has completely confused and corrupted the roles of public and private, and destroyed accountability. The better solution than bringing these organisations under the FoI Act, is to bin this government and then bin most of the quangos, other NDPBs, Executive Agencies, etc that this government has set up. The Carbon Trust and the RDAs should be the first to go.
May 13, 2009 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruno Prior
Wow. Have you written about this, Bruno?
May 14, 2009 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterBishop Hill
What is even worse about the non-accountable ACPO, is that it receives taxpayers money.
May 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon Gregory

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