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Saturday, May 12, 2012

"No General Duty Not To Lie To The Public Wxists" - Dalgety Bay FoI Response

   Some time ago I did 2 FoI's about Dalgety Bay - one to the civil service masters in Edinburgh & one to SEPA.

   This is the reply to the first of these. Thank you for your email to the Central Enquiry Unit dated 31 March 2012 which included the following points Numbers eg (1) added.
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(1)‘…[Is there] a general duty on government-funded departments and quangos not to deliberately seek to frighten people by lying?’

(2)‘…how many people in [SEPA] have been fired…?’

(3)‘…SEPA appear to have…repeatedly lied about the Dalgety Bay “radium”…something that could not happen except on the authority of the highest management…’

(3)‘…when is it intended to wind up… [SEPA]?’
Your enquiry has been passed to the Radioactive Waste Team who have responsibility for monitoring the Dalgety Bay situation on behalf of Scottish Ministers. With regard to your enquiry I have completed a review of information available to the Scottish Government on these points and can provide responses as follows. Please note that the numbering for the responses follows the numbering used above.
(1) I can confirm that no such specifically worded general duty exists. Employees belonging to the organisations relevant to this enquiry work within the Scottish Civil Service Code of Conduct and the SEPA Code of Conduct. Both of these documents are available on the organisational websites as linked.
(2) The information you seek is not held by the Scottish Government. For this reason we are refusing this part of your request under the exception at regulation 17(1)(b) of the FOISA....

(3) Ministers currently have no plans to abolish SEPA

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  I must admit to a little surprise that there is not even a nominal duty on such civil servants, or presumably any civil servants, not to lie to the public. I didn't think they wouldn't do it but thought it would at least be officially not allowed.

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