Tuesday, December 04, 2007

NHS Chiefs attack FOI Commissioner - FOI lets the public know too much

NHS Lothian Chief Executive James Barbour not too happy FOI is doing its duty ..

The Edinburgh News reports :

NHS leaders hit back at Information boss

NHS Lothian has hit out at the Information Commissioner after releasing the PFI agreement to build the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Chief executive James Barbour has written a stinging letter to Paul Dunion, claiming that comments in the press "led to a misrepresentation of NHS Lothian's actions".

Mr Dunion had claimed NHS Lothian failed to provide justification for withholding the information, and that it had incorrectly claimed the cost of providing it would be excessive.

Prof Barbour cites three different pieces of legal advice saying the information should not have been disclosed after a freedom of information request from May Docherty in January 2005. He wrote: "There were also suggestions in the media that NHS Lothian had delayed in complying with this request. In fact, the review took over two years and from July 5, 2005 until August 11, 2006 we heard nothing from [your office] . . . If you had directed NHS Lothian to disclose the contract at any point during this period of delay, then Ms Docherty would have had the information . . . in a timely manner."

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