FOI Reveals Sexual Harassment and Corruption in Brussels

juncker

A well-timed Freedom of Information request into the European Commission’s internal disciplinary committee has revealed the extent of misconduct cases investigated in the last year. No names are disclosed naturally, but this is the sort of thing that goes on in Brussels:

  • Staff rebuked for sexual harassment
  • The abuse of diplomatic status to smuggle in duty free for a friend
  • Trying to dodge tax by supply of a fake document
  • ‘Passive’ corruption
  •  Collusion in a rent scam
  • A staff member operating as an industry insider and changing reports
  • The use of a de facto ‘company car’ from an outside interest
  • Employment of family members as a quid pro quo
  • Moonlighting
  • A person AWOL for most of the year (while running their own business)
  • Sleeping off campus

Despite all this, only 16 members of staff received cautions. Surprise, surprise…

9 Stories Grayling Wants to Keep Secret

The Tory mask has slipped on Freedom of Information reform, as Chris Grayling confirms he wants to ban journalists from using FoI to hold the government to account. Grayling chillingly told the House:

“The Freedom of Information Act is something this government is committed to but we want to make sure it works well and fairly. It cannot be abused. It cannot be misused. It is on occasions misused by those who use it effectively as a research tool to generate stories for the media. That isn’t acceptable.”

Eh? The whole point of FoI is so journalists can use it “as a research tool” to expose government waste and wrongdoing…

Here are just a few recent stories that would not have appeared on Guido if Grayling had his way:

Openly targeting journalists who use FoI “effectively as a research tool” is a concerning attack on press freedom…

Hughes Signals FoI Expansion to Public/Private Money

Guido still has to pinch himself when he remembers that Simon Hughes is a Justice Minister, but credit where credit is due. The LibDem told the Commons today:

“We do intend to extend FoI further as soon as it will be practical. We intend to publish a revised code of practice to make sure that those private companies that carry out public functions have freedom of information requirements in their contracts, and go further than that, and we hope that will be in place by the end of this year.”

Let the games begin.  

FOI Payments Get Pickled

Eric Pickles has decreed that councils can no longer charge for FoIs.  One of the most frustrating answers to truth-seekers, of which Guido counts himself amongst, is that the information is too expensive to obtain. Always taken with a pinch of salt.

So to your keyboards co-conspirators. Though this is a good move, wouldn’t it just be simpler to put all the information on-line in the first place?



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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