In recent weeks this blog has relied upon Freedom of Information legislation to gain access to documents that have helped to expose the truth about matters concerning the Met Office in relation to its forecasts and Board decision making.
It is essential that as members of the public we are able to scrutinise the work of people working in public organisations and monitor how our money is spent.
But disturbing news from the European Union suggest plans are afoot to increase the number of restrictions that prevent public access to EU documents. This is limited in its scope – for now. The concern is that as with so many things, such a change could be the thin end of the wedge and that the administration in this country could become tempted to restrict public access to documentation and records.
A supreme irony of this European Commission proposal that is working its way to the European Parliament has been shown up in the EUobserver piece:
However, in the meantime, two groups involved have even been refused access to documents relating to these changes to access-to-documents legislation.
If this legislation is passed then we will be paying a great deal more money to fund an entity that will tell us ever less about its activities. It would only be a matter of time before the ne’er do goods in Westminster are encouraged to follow suit. That could mean in the future that someone seeking to do what Katabasis and myself have done in recent weeks could simply have their request declined and the truth can remain concealed.
That would only serve the interests of those who are supposed to serve us.