Justice CommitteeWritten evidence from Patricia David

Q. Does the Freedom of Information Act work effectively?

A. My experience shows that it is only as effective as the Council involved allows it to be

Q. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Freedom of Information Act?

A. The strengths are that the Council is called upon to be accountable to their local Tax Paying Population and answer questions as to the way in which their money is spent and Council’s priorities. The weaknesses are that Council’s will find a way of not responding if it does not suit their convenience, purposes or interests to do so.

Q. Is the Freedom of Information Act operating in the way that it was intended to?

A. I can only answer from experience in Scarborough of our own Borough Council. It would seem that it doesn’t judging by the number of complaints of others and my own experience as attached.

January 2012

Prepared 25th July 2012