Annus Miserablis…

Greetings Fab FOI watchers and welcome back to the colemanexperience!

As we enter the New Year we find ourselves reflecting on past battles with those mendacious brigands at WCC…

…the highs and lows of holding a crumbling Local Authority to account and the associated thrills of watching a flagship council sink deeper and deeper into the quagmire.

Folks, if more proof were needed that WC is not quite the lean, mean transparency machine it likes to portray itself as, then a quick rundown of how it dealt with FOI requests in 2011 should do the trick.

This was the year that brought us refusals, half-truths, missed deadlines, non-responses and a blatant disregard for the law that would shame even the Dame of Deceit herself, Shirley Porter.

Who could possibly forget the 8 month wait for a damning report into alleged fraud and misappropriation in Corporate Property?

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/corporate_property_fraud

And what about the startling discovery that WC share a payment system with her Maj with money being taken from children’s services to pay for posh limos?!

Strange but true…

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/heritage_cars_ltd

Things took a turn for the worst wih the infamous Molly Moggs request when WC released emails showing housing staff cracking sick jokes at the expense of vulnerable clients:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/molly_moggs_homefinder_scheme

and the riddle of the Icelandic banks fiasco was predictably unresolved…

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/landsbanki_islands_hf

Next came the bizarre case of payments made to the shady sounding A N Contract Services…and the unsigned and wrongly dated contract provided by WC…curiouser and curiouser…

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a_n_contract_services_ltd_2

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/an_contract_services_ltd

We were also so shocked by the vitriolic response from WC to our Friends in High place request that we asked Eric Pickles for help – unfortunately he hasn’t bothered to answer us yet (probably too busy dealing with our guru Derek Tickles)…

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/friends_in_high_places

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/aggressive_response_to_armchair

The year came to an end with mystery payments made to Kit Malthouse and Co and the House of Commons still not accounted for, but the fights for facts is far from over:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/metropolitan_police_authority_pa

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/house_of_commons

Quite why WC have been so furtive in response to FOI’s in anyone’s guess.

Maybe they’ve got lots to hide!

Rest assured though we won’t be giving up our transparency quest and we can’t wait for the fun and frolics of 2012 to begin…

Kindest regards

B. Coleman and the gang

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