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Spat between Chief Minister and Dr Glover


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9 minutes ago, Rhumsaa said:

how can you have full understanding unless you ask questions and get more information?

but then you're moving towards very specific examples rather than generalisations so the discussion point becomes fuzzy

Wikipedia?  I wouldn't expect government or the civil service to have to waste time answering FOI requests where information was already in the public domain.  Similarly, I don't think it's the job of government or the civil service to interpret FOI questions to work out what the questioner probably meant to ask, if they've actually asked something stupid.  I don't really want to spell out exactly what I was once asked to do with hip replacements, but the straightforward, correct answer was 'all of them', because it was clear the questioner didn't understand the concepts they were asking about.  Should I have responded 'All of them, but if you really meant to ask about x, the answer is y, however if you didn't mean that...'

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Ouch, this thread is back. Not unexpected I suppose. 

Have you never heard the term whistle-blowing? Dr G. tried every avenue and was well aware of what was at risk on her island. She isn't doing this for publicity, she's been offered far better gigs tha

With respect, you are. Without @rachomics on island PCR testing for covid would not have happened when it did, if at all. Of course, Rizwan Khan and Steve Doyle were vital too - sorry don’t know Dr Sh

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1 minute ago, wrighty said:

Wikipedia?  I wouldn't expect government or the civil service to have to waste time answering FOI requests where information was already in the public domain.  Similarly, I don't think it's the job of government or the civil service to interpret FOI questions to work out what the questioner probably meant to ask, if they've actually asked something stupid.  I don't really want to spell out exactly what I was once asked to do with hip replacements, but the straightforward, correct answer was 'all of them', because it was clear the questioner didn't understand the concepts they were asking about.  Should I have responded 'All of them, but if you really meant to ask about x, the answer is y, however if you didn't mean that...'

Like I said, you're going down the very specific rabbit hole which is unhelpful when talking about a broad system

Equally, how I would like an FOI request to go (and have experienced in one case) is where the question asked is not worded very well a conversation is had with the questioner to ascertain what they're after and request it be re-worded to assist.

Now the person asking might choose not to alter the question but that would hopefully be an isolated case.

With regards to things that are public domain already - the IOM Government website is utterly terrible and a pain to use. Pointing people in the direction of public domain information is an easy win for IOMG as they can evidence their transparency but it's also a learning opportunity to see if there's a better way to make that information more accessible or educate people on how to obtain it.

People not being of a high enough knowledge or intelligence base to ask the "right" questions shouldn't mean they are disenfranchised from asking the questions they do have 

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3 hours ago, Rhumsaa said:

In principal I agree with you, however in practice I suspect most FOI requests are treated as inconveniences and the people requesting them as troublemakers

I'm sure you're both right - and the response does seem to vary between (and within) Departments.  A lot of the requests are badly thought-through and badly written but some replies try to find out what the requester really wants to know, while others are as unhelpful as possible.

How Departments deal with FoI requests (and Tynwald questions - especially written ones) is actually a good way of assessing their efficiency.  Those who are quick and helpful and have a good grasp of the data they work with are the better-run ones.

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12 minutes ago, Rhumsaa said:

Equally, how I would like an FOI request to go (and have experienced in one case) is where the question asked is not worded very well a conversation is had with the questioner to ascertain what they're after and request it be re-worded to assist.

I agree with that.  In my case though I'm usually 3 or 4 rungs down the ladder of people passing the question on (questioner to government to minister to CEO to manager to me) that I don't really have the opportunity to make that call, or even know who's asking the question to be able to assist them.

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1 minute ago, Roger Mexico said:

I'm sure you're both right - and the response does seem to vary between (and within) Departments.  A lot of the requests are badly thought-through and badly written but some replies try to find out what the requester really wants to know, while others are as unhelpful as possible.

Yes! I was trying to get to this but you have put it across far more eloquently than I was managing. Thank you.

1 minute ago, wrighty said:

I agree with that.  In my case though I'm usually 3 or 4 rungs down the ladder of people passing the question on (questioner to government to minister to CEO to manager to me) that I don't really have the opportunity to make that call, or even know who's asking the question to be able to assist them.

Which I would imagine in your department is more difficult as even with the most helpful and reasonable FOI co-ordinator going the knowledge gap between them and the specialists that the umbrella of that department go down to makes a centralised conversation very difficult. It's all back to communication and layers.

5 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

How Departments deal with FoI requests (and Tynwald questions - especially written ones) is actually a good way of assessing their efficiency.  Those who are quick and helpful and have a good grasp of the data they work with are the better-run ones.

Efficiency and I'd also add openness.

Not something I have had direct involvement in but I do keep an eye on is all the marina FOI's, the differences in response to effectively the same queries across multiple departments is as telling about the departments in itself than the actual information received.

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1 hour ago, wrighty said:

Wikipedia?  I wouldn't expect government or the civil service to have to waste time answering FOI requests where information was already in the public domain.  Similarly, I don't think it's the job of government or the civil service to interpret FOI questions to work out what the questioner probably meant to ask, if they've actually asked something stupid.  I don't really want to spell out exactly what I was once asked to do with hip replacements, but the straightforward, correct answer was 'all of them', because it was clear the questioner didn't understand the concepts they were asking about.  Should I have responded 'All of them, but if you really meant to ask about x, the answer is y, however if you didn't mean that...'

In broad terms IOMG doesn't help itself with it's online presence. In this day and age a governments online presence should be the main gateway to information on it's activities and services provided.

Finding information online about even the most mundane things can be friggin' hard work. We're not talking 'secret' stuff here just basic information and processes. The website is a mess and needs simplifying. 

How the heck IOM gets to be the 5th most likely country to step foot again on the moon whilst it can't even inform it's own inhabitants on how and where to find stuff is beyond me.

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1 hour ago, Rhumsaa said:

Not something I have had direct involvement in but I do keep an eye on is all the marina FOI's,

Early this year I made an FoI request for a copy of the "viable" plan that had been submitted. I got a response that said that, naturally,  I could not have a copy for the usual reasons - commercial confidentiality etc.

But the FoI response has not appeared in their on-line list.

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2 minutes ago, Two-lane said:

Early this year I made an FoI request for a copy of the "viable" plan that had been submitted. I got a response that said that, naturally,  I could not have a copy for the usual reasons - commercial confidentiality etc.

But the FoI response has not appeared in their on-line list.

Haven't they had some issues with the publishing of FOI's?

I would expect it to have been published though

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The issue of providing basic information on line by the Government was raised in the HoK recently. The DHSC sites are a mess frankly, with old stuff still shown and new stuff not entered. That is a problem obtaining even rudimentary information on which then to base FOI requests on. 

In addition, policies and procedures are held steadfastly by the DHSC  and not routinely shared on their websites. Its as if the public are not encouraged or deemed entitled to know how the systems work and the processes followed. The arrogance I determine from some of this is embedded in several aspects of the health service. 

Take the recently published complaints for example - the categories they are listed under tend to be vague. Usually people's complaints take place against organisational changes and / or failings which may have an effect on the circumstance of the complaint.- ie short staff, staff sickness, locus, equipment shortages or failures, etc. In addition the information on Datix is not published (yeah, go on, if it was people wouldn't use it honestly -yawn). There is also no published evidence to show that Information from complaints is either shared or used for any learning points across the organisation.

Frankly, the issue of information sharing, engagement with the public and sharing policies and procedures by our health and social services denotes to me fear, defensive practices, arrogance, mutual back covering and communication disorganisation for a purpose.

Of course, if you are 'in the know' then it is much easier to 'phone a friend'. 

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3 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

In broad terms IOMG doesn't help itself with it's online presence. In this day and age a governments online presence should be the main gateway to information on it's activities and services provided.

Finding information online about even the most mundane things can be friggin' hard work. We're not talking 'secret' stuff here just basic information and processes. The website is a mess and needs simplifying. 

How the heck IOM gets to be the 5th most likely country to step foot again on the moon whilst it can't even inform it's own inhabitants on how and where to find stuff is beyond me.

Bravo sir!

 

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9 hours ago, quilp said:

He is implying just that. I wonder which past or present politico the Voice of Reason is? The whole post smacks of an old-school aloof and superior attitude.

I was just saying that the answer to a particular question may not be in the public domain for no particular or sinister reason. You have the option to ask in the form of a FOI request. 
Should it not be celebrated that you have that option rather than your request be ignored or denied ( subject to issues of confidentiality)

Not sure how that indicates an old school aloof or superior attitude!

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15 minutes ago, Derek Flint said:

All online apparently.  No doubt to the relief of all those politicians who spend the time trying to avoid being photo-bombed by the strange little man with the terrible shirts.

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