EXCLUSIVE: 8 page briefing note leads to Wirral’s councillors agreeing to further FOI discussions behind closed doors
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Councillors discuss Wirral Council’s response to Freedom of Information Act requests at a meeting of the Transformation and Resources Policy and Performance Committee on the 3rd December 2015
Yesterday saw councillors discuss freedom of information requests and how Wirral Council handles them in response to this Lib Dem motion. As a number of the ICO decision notices are in response to my requests, I will declare an interest before writing any further.
Interestingly, the day before the Transformation and Resources Policy and Performance Committee met, Surjit Tour had written an eight page "briefing note" which was referred to by councillors during the debate.
The Conservative amendment to the motion was withdrawn and the Labour amendment to have a task and finish group of councillors meeting to discuss FOI behind closed doors (again) on the subject (in the spirit of openness and transparency of course!) was agreed.
You can watch the video of councillors discussing this item above.
However what will probably make more interesting reading is the briefing note itself which I reproduce below (it’s not published with the papers for the committee or indeed anywhere else). It’s a bit hard to summarise eight pages, but it’s basically eight pages of justification by officers that they’re doing their best they can on FOI (with the promise of improvements) and that it isn’t as bad as the bleak picture as painted by Lib Dem politicians. If the thumbnails are hard to read, they should each link to a more high resolution version of each page.