Freedom of Information UK headlines for the week ending 2nd November.

UK Freedom of information headlines – week ending 2nd November

A round up of all the most important Freedom of Information news, and best uses for the week ending 2nd November 2012. Brought to you by @FOIdirectory. Follow us on Twitter for updates and news about FOI, plus a brand new website coming soon.

Storified by FOI Directory · Fri, Nov 02 2012 09:55:18

1. The latest section in the Michael Gove freedom of information schedule is that the Department for Education spent £13,000 on legal advice trying to protect his private emails from the FOI act. 
A ridiculous amount of tax-payers’ money considering the information has to be disclosed after a ruling by the  Information Commissioner. Gove must have somethings in his private email which he really doesn’t want people to see. 
DfE spent £13k on legal advice after FOI for Gove’s private emailsThe ICO recently decided that the data amounts to departmental business and should be revealed By Derek du Preez | Computerworld UK | Pub…
2. Football shirts, concert tickets, motorcycles and cars were all provided to the Metropolitan Police force as they were given £23m in gifts and donations over the last five years. 
The Freedom of Information request from the BBC flushed out this information and, as stated in the story:  

“Donations and sponsorship over £50,000 must be referred to the deputy mayor for policing and crime for approval.

Wouldn’t it be better if, like councils, this information was routinely published as open data?

Met Police got £23m from sponsorsThe Metropolitan Police has received donations and sponsorship worth £22.7m from dozens of organisations over the past five years, the BB…
3. Forget turbulence, the latest worry for nervous flyers will now be if the pilot is awake or not when flying the plane. 
The FOI request discovered that three pilots have fallen asleep while in command of the plane, two while flying and one while on ground. New EU laws now mean pilots can be awake for up to 22 hours while at work. 
How passenger plane was left with no-one at the controls after BOTH pilots fell asleepThe pilots were alone at the controls of the aircraft Under new rules imposed last month, they can now be awake for 22 hours while on the…
4. A simple but effective request from York Press here showing almost 400 police officers in North Yorkshire made no arrests last year. 
And 260 officers made 5 arrests or fewer. 
At the other end of the scale 11 officers arrested more than 100 people. 
383 police officers made no arrests last year383 North Yorkshire police officers made no arrests last year 10:45am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News By Jennifer Bell, Crime reporter…
5. Needles, swabs, screws, scalpel blades – and even a pair of forceps have been found inside patients after they went under the knife in Scotland a FOI request has found. 
This has led to the NHS trusts forking out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to patients who have had things left inside them. 
NHS pays out after leaving medical objects inside Scot patients | Deadline NewsHEALTH chiefs have paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation – after leaving medical objects inside Scots patients after s…
6. Children as young as 10 have been found carrying weapons in Cambridgeshire. More than 20 have been stopped since 2006. 
As well as knives and ninja ‘death stars’ they have been found with a hammer and one a youngster carried a snooker ball stuffed in a sock. 
School children ‘as young as ten’ bring deadly weapons into class in CambridgeshireSome children as young as ten were arrested after being found carrying deadly weapons (Picture: Alamy) The official figures show that mor…
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South Staffordshire Council openly show #FOI requests numbers and how many are responded to on time. Nice touch. Directory

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare since ever since.