Letter to Kenneth Clarke regarding Freedom of Information Requests
21st August 2012
Dear Kenneth Clarke,
I hope you are able to expedite two Freedom of Information (FOI) requests I made to the Ministry of Justice, and which are now long overdue (over two months and still no response). You are ideally placed to do this because you are the Secretary of State responsible.
My requests relate to the Framework agreement for the supply of Interpreting and Translation Services with Applied Language Solutions. One request was made on June 16th, and on July 26th I received an update from Leslie Muir in which they hoped to provide me with a reply the next week. That was about 4 weeks ago and still no reply. Given that the information is readily available to MoJ I can think of no legitimate reason why the information has not been released, and I am rapidly coming to the conclusion it is being deliberately withheld.
With the rapid approach of the deadline for submissions to the Justice Select committee investigating the placement of the contract with ALS, I can well imagine that MoJ would wish to delay the release of data. In this respect, the MoJ is not only breaking the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, but also trying to frustrate the workings of Parliament.
I am conscious that you have personally invested a lot of political capital in implementing the Framework Agreement, and that you have a vested interest in doing whatever you can to frustrate critics. I'm sure you need no reminding that the interests and concerns of your constituents should not be subjugated to party political interests.