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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Information

There are some interesting snippets on the brilliant new mySociety website Whatdotheyknow.com

It collates together FOI responses in a searchable form and allows people to make new FOI requests. There are some interesting EU-related requests.

In response to a question about how many EU citizens are claiming Job Seekers Allowance in the UK the DWP replied:

We are not able to provide information on the amount of benefits paid to EU nationals. The country of origin or nationality at birth of benefit claimants is not recorded on the data extracts from our administrative systems which are available for analysis.

Hmm. That's odd.

Another person requested information on his local council's involvement in an EU-wide road pricing initiative. It turned up the Council's response to an EU questionaire:

We are conducting this questionnaire as part of an EC-funded project to promote and support road pricing schemes in Europe’s cities. The project builds upon the EC’s previous round of road pricing projects – PRoGRESS, CUPID and EUROPRICE – and involves many of the experts and cities from those projects. Where the CURACAO differs from previous projects is in its focus on the delivery of products and events that will enable cities to overcome the barriers to road pricing implementation.

Never mind that about a gazillion people have already said they don't want it.

How much do you think it would cost the EU to put up two road signs telling people to slow down? Couple of grand? Try £176404.73. That's 88 grand a pop. Ouch!

And what have FCO types been muttering about down at Wilton Park? Lots of stuff about the EU, and some other intriguing-sounding conferences like: "Al Qaeda: Challenging the Brand."

Anyway there's all manner of other curious stuff on there. Go have a look.

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