jm + foi   6

Ken Foxe's Beginner’s Guide to FOI
This guide is designed to be read by members of the public or journalists looking to dip their toes into the world of Freedom of Information in Ireland. It is not designed to be an authoritative guide to FOI, a history book, or an academic text … it is simply a useful introduction to the first steps, the language, and the things you need to know before you start.
foia  foi  government  ireland  ken-foxe 
4 weeks ago by jm
FOI is better than tea and biscuits
Good post on the 'FOI costs too much' talking point.
I realise if you’re a councillor, tea and biscuits sounds much more appealing than transparency and being held accountable and actually having to answer to voters, but those things are what you signed up to when you stood for election.
foi  open-data  politics  government  funding 
march 2014 by jm
We're sending out the wrong signals in bid to lure the big data bucks - Independent.ie
Simon McGarr on Ireland's looming data-protection train-crash.
Last week, during the debate of his proposals to increase fees for making a Freedom of Information request, Brendan Howlin was asked how one of his amendments would affect citizens looking for data from the State's electronic databases. His reply was to cheerfully admit he didn't even understand the question. "I have no idea what an SQL code is. Does anyone know what an SQL code is?"

Unlike the minister, it probably isn't your job to know that SQL is the computer language that underpins the data industry. The amendment he had originally proposed would have effectively allowed civil servants to pretend that their computer files were made of paper when deciding whether a request was reasonable. His answer showed how the Government could have proposed such an absurd idea in the first place.

Like it or not – fair or not – these are not the signals a country that wanted to build a long-term data industry would choose to send out. They are the sort of signals that Ireland used to send out about Financial Regulation. I think it's agreed, that approach didn't work out so well.
foi  ireland  brendan-howlin  technology  illiteracy  sql  civil-service  government  data-protection  privacy  regulation  dpa 
december 2013 by jm
Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland
TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime. We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights. The legislation was gutted in 2003 and it is being gutted again. More generally the number of requests from journalists from all news organisations in Ireland will fall as a result of these amendments, and the resulting efforts to shine a light on the administration of the State will certainly deteriorate. And secrecy will prevail.
ireland  politics  foi  information  secrecy  law 
november 2013 by jm
The Irish State wishes to uninvent computers with new FOI Bill
Mark Coughlan noticed this:
The FOI body shall take reasonable steps to search for and extract the records to which the request relates, having due regard to the steps that would be considered reasonable if the records were held in paper format.


In other words, pretend that computerised database technology, extant since the 1960s, does not exist. Genius (via Simon McGarr)
funny  irish  ireland  foi  open-data  freedom  computerisation  punch-cards  paper  databases 
august 2013 by jm
FOI docs regarding lobbying of Sean Sherlock on the copyright SI
Truly amazing outcome from Mark Tighe's FOI request regarding lobbying on the copyright SI. It turns out that (a) IRMA want all Irish ISPs to enact "3 strikes", and view the SI as a way to force this; but (b) Eircom are of the opinion that "3 strikes" is now illegal and unenforceable under EU and Irish law. Despite knowing this, Sherlock then went ahead and signed the SI into law *anyway*, just to avoid the hassle of IRMA's members bringing the government to court. Which they did anyway, regardless. What an utter shambles
sopaireland  sean-sherlock  irma  emi  copyright  ireland  law  eircom  lobbying  foi 
march 2012 by jm

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