One day before the prescribed deadline, the Department for Transport responded to our FOI request of 2 June 2010 (see also our post of 06 June 2010) by providing us with the 1976 NMI report (a version made public today) and advising that
“the Department does not hold a copy of the first draft of the report, nor any subsequent minutes of meeting discussing the document.”
Well, imagine what would happen if they did…
Frankly, the FOI Act is not worth the paper it is written on, for any government office can, when cornered, claim that they don’t hold the documents that they don’t want the public to see.
The FOI Act does not provide for such eventualities, as it assumes a level of straightforwardness on the part of our public servants, which, nowadays, may no longer exist.
(More to come)