5 December 2011

I'm sorry I haven't a clue - a Radio 4 panel game (featuring Robert Rams)

Mr Mustard is a great admirer of the Radio 4 panel game "I'm sorry I haven't a clue". Sadly the same can't be said of his appreciation of Councillor Robert Rams.

This is what Rams wrote in his blog on 1 December:

"Barnet has nothing to hide, so I’m very keen that we make as much information about the council as easy to access as possible and the new website is the ideal vehicle to deliver on this transparency agenda"
Let us see if this is true. First up, in response to a Freedom of Information request, a page of Barnet Council's recycling services contract with May Gurney:
click to enlarge, or turn your screen off for the same effect!
and then Mr Mustard asked another London council that he knew used May Gurney, which turned out to be Hackney

look at all that lovely detail
so full marks to Hackney Council who sent Mr Mustard the complete unexpurgated contract quite quickly.

Barnet Council, on the other hand, sent part of the contract with lots of crossings out ( the technical word used is "redactions" ) and then on review ( which is a sort of appeal ) sent more schedules which had been missing from the first reply and undid a few of the crossings out. Not enough to make sense of anything though.

So there you have it Robert, absolute proof that Barnet Council are not open and transparent.

Mr Mustard was about to call at the office of the Information Commissioner (again) where he is always made welcome and so far has always been supported to ask that the entire contract be supplied without any use of felt tipped pen. Arguing the toss will cause a lot of work for the Freedom of Information officers ( work which I know Robert that you are keen to avoid ) so if you trip down the corridor to the Governance office ( or email or telephone them ) and ask one of the friendly officers there to send Mr Mustard the entire unadulterated May Gurney recycling contract in the post then we will both have achieved our objectives ( and Mr Mustard will say on this blog what a good job you have done - he might even add something friendly on yours ).

Yours openly

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. Hmm. It is true to say that the arcane rituals of the LBBarnet are very often like a game of Mornington Crescent, Mr Mustard. I think also that whoever redacted the May Gurney document must be a keen admirer of the work of Mark Rothko. Of course Rothko's vision of the world was pretty bleak: a fitting style for One Barnet, perhaps.


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