Today saw announcements on two areas of major interest to journalists. One, the report of the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information, is good news. There were expectations that the commission was primed to weaken FoI; it hasn’t, and in fact it recommends ways to strengthen it, including speeding and shortening the appeals process.
The government’s response is also cheering, saying that charges for FoI will not be introduced, as “We believe that transparency can help save taxpayers’ money, by driving out waste and inefficiency”. Well, quite.
On the Investigatory Powers Bill, it’s too early to say. Some of the recommendations in the three parliamentary reports on the draft IP bill have been adopted, including better protection for journalists, but police have also gained further powers.
Continue reading “Good news from government on FoI, too early to say on IP bill”
ComputerWeekly.com has published my article on Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s problems bringing in eHospital, a £200m IT system based around software from Epic and hardware from HP. While the trust initially reported all was going well, eHospital has recently been fingered by Monitor and the Care Quality Commission as contributing to the trust’s problems.
I spoke to a number of people with knowledge of eHospital, including this former IT employee of the trust who spoke on condition of anonymity: Continue reading “Cambridge’s eHospital problems and Scotland’s IT projects”
Following my article earlier this week on the manifestos and implications for NHS professionals, I have looked at how they might combine to change tech policy, on issues including surveillance, business and IT, government IT, immigration and the EU (both of some interest to the tech industry), employment law and the whole ‘actually having a government’ issue.
My conclusion: Continue reading “For The Register: what the general election could mean for tech policy”
A woman who complained 16 years ago of being abused by charity personnel in the 1970s now wants an inquiry
For Society Guardian, Saba Salman and I write about one woman’s experience of trying to report claims of 1970s sexual abuse to the Salvation Army and the police. The full article is below.
Continue reading “Why did the Salvation Army fail to act on my claims of sexual abuse?”
My big journalism project this year was co-editing ‘Ring of steel’ for MATTER, on police use of ANPR, published in August. It is now available to read for free on Medium, where you can also read further commentary by me on the subject. In ‘Ring of steel’, writer James Bridle explored the subject widely, partly through drawing on the wealth of material released by Devon and Cornwall Police in its successful defence of secrecy over the location of its 45 automatic numberplate recognition cameras. The main points had first appeared in the Guardian news article I co-wrote in August 2012, but the MATTER article allowed the evidence to be explored fully. Continue reading “2013: ANPR, Scotland’s IT, NHS whistleblowers, ID cards… and Thatcher”