Thursday, September 14, 2006

Corporate Communications

I attended the weekly Corporate Comms meeting this morning. It offered an opportunity to meet the team and to find out a little about what they are working on. After that, I had bit more of an in-depth meeting with a couple of the more senior members of the Corporate Communications team. We went over different things (publications processes, different projects that we would each like to talk about – a wide-ranging meeting that delved into some aspects of the company’s corporate communication function and just glossed over others).

One thing that I did learn is that we are no subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This struck me as odd (and frankly, a little wrong). I understand that the company, as a member-funded not-for-profit, like any other organisation that is not public, does not have to comply with FoI requests. I work in R&D, however, which is funded entirely by the government and managed on their behalf by my employer. Because the company that is managing it on their behalf (my employer) is not a public organisation, we are not required to comply with FoI requests. This seems a slippery slope to me and a bit of a loop-hole that unscrupulous individuals in government could use to spend public money, sheltered from public scrutiny. I will have to investigate this a little further to confirm whether it is indeed the case that we do not have to comply with the FoI.

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