There are a number of people who aren’t very happy about the questions I’ve been asking Invest NI. Senior staff in INI have dispatched messages to me through third parties and Linkedin tells me my profile was being regularly viewed last week by staff in their Boston and San Francisco offices (well, I can’t blame them for looking out of curiosity). But, seriously, the last eight days have been very stressful. I’m looking forward to writing about it next month and telling you all exactly what happened. For now, I’ve got to keep quiet.
The questions I’ve asked are fair, although a source tells me “they’ll be trying to figure out how to not give you this information”. That’s my worry. The UK Freedom of Information Act 2000 has a number of exemptions that can be used to withhold information, including the “catch all” Section 40, generally used when a government department or body doesn’t want to release embarrassing data and can’t think of a good reason not to. However, if I have to take this to the Information Commissioner’s office, I will. I won’t be going away until I get the information I need. The Public has a right and a need to know it. Luckily for me, a Knight in shining armour showed up this week and I’ve been promised all the legal help I require, should Invest refuse to hand it over (or threaten to make life difficult. Ahem ahem).