Submission to the Consultation on Changres to the Freeedom of Information Act.

17th August 2015

Michael Odulaja
Fees Policy Team,
Ministry of Justice
4.38, 4th Floor,
102 Petty France,
London SW1H 9AJ

I note with some concern that the Freedom of Information Commissioner is included in the proposals for fees for appeals on page 29 of the Consultation Document.

The reason for my concern lies in the fact that I was forced to frequently appeal decisions in respect of information in the public interest regarding serious matters of health and information withheld deliberately by government agencies who used false statements in blatant attempts to pervert justice.
In fact, were it not for the Freedom of Information Act it is very likely that I would never have discovered the deliberate attempts to damage not only my health but also that of the population by using deception to hide vital information from all interested parties.
If fees had been in place at that time it would have been easy for those officials involved to deliberately block access to that information, as they did, forcing appeals which I, as a disabled person, could never have afforded and so the deception would have been successful.
As it was, despite eventually obtaining the information required it came to my possession too late to prevent the perversion of justice due to blatant delaying tactics.
As a result justice was and still is denied to me. The deliberate delaying tactics had been successful.

I should add that I had the greatest respect for the legal profession and the courts but my experiences over the last 23 years have very much changed my view.
The weakest in society are now denied access to justice - no matter what claims are made to the contrary.
Perjury, Fraud and Perversion of Justice are now not merely condoned but they are encouraged by authority if they support current policy.
I have reported to the Police, to the courts, to judges, to MPs and even to the Lord Chancellor’s office.
The Police identified a dozen criminal offences in writing, but refused to investigate.
The courts said that it was a matter for the Police but a judge would have to instigate an investigation.
The Judges ignored the information.
The Lord Chancellor’s office declared that perjury and perversion of justice are still serious criminal offences and that the Police should be involved.
My MP stated categorically that the Police do not have to enforce any laws.
The Police suggested that they could not act on Fraud unless it was first reported to Action Fraud who would provide a crime number.
Those responsible for investigating fraud simply said that
These people are obviously very well protected” and refused to get involved.

Despite my disability and official attempts to deny a proven diagnosis supported by GPs, specialists and scientific evidence from experts in the UK and overseas I was forced by gross deception and false official reports to go before several appeals, reviews, Tribunals, Commissioner hearings and even to Judicial Review at some considerable cost and adverse effects on my health. I could not obtain proper legal representation at any point. In fact one solicitor, so horrified at the facts, volunteered to act as a witness to one Tribunal, was threatened with prosecution for taking notes and was then silenced.
Such is the power of officially sanctioned deception - as reported to the National Audit Office and others only to find no action taken.
All involved have been given incontrovertible evidence of the corrupt practices involved but none dare do anything about it. Judges in the High Court ignored it.

Were it not for the Freedom of Information Act I would never have discovered illegal acts done by my employer, false statements used by his staff and by officials of government, false safety information provided by officials and the chemical industry and a host of other vital facts that were being deliberately hidden in the efforts to pervert justice.
It is no surprise to me that Government now wants to make it even more difficult for the public to discover uncomfortable truths, even though they know that the public is powerless to do anything with the information so obtained. Our attempts to obtain true justice are slowly but surely being made impossible - a situation reminiscent of the tactics used by Nazi Germany.

I offer the following comments on these parts of the consultation document but suggest that Justice and Truth should not be sacrificed for a political financial target.

Question 14: Do you agree with the proposed fees for all proceedings in the General Regulatory Chamber:
specifically £100 to start proceedings with a determination on the papers; and a further fee of £500 for a hearing? Please give reasons.

I do not agree with the introduction of fees for proceedings under the Freedom of Information Act in the General Regulatory Chamber, especially as in my experience those responsible for enforcing the law all too frequently choose to ignore vital evidence presented to them in such proceedings in order to maintain their pre-determined position.
Many, if not most, Freedom of Information requests are made in the public interest and fees may deter people from attempting to obtain information that could be vital for public health, the environment and for Justice. Often successful refusal to release information will effectively protect those who have committed criminal deception that endangers life.

Question 15: Are there any proceedings in the General Regulatory Chamber that should be exempt from fees? Please give reasons.
Freedom of Information should be exempt from fees, which would deter those seeking the truth. Government agencies are always at an advantage and the public find themselves in the disadvantageous position of paying both to fight wrongful decisions of government and paying through taxes the very people who are fighting against them.
I might add that in my experience the Information Commissioner, as with other Commissioners, rarely, if ever, actually enforce the law to its fullest extent and any criticism of authority is always neutralised by the right of that authority to have any reports altered to their advantage before those making complaints ever see those reports.
In my experience this gives the authorities the opportunity to re-inforce their deception unchallenged.

If the courts really do intend to ensure access to Justice for all then they must not allow the government to restrict access to vital information and to the courts in this way.
Justice must not only be done but it must be seen to be done - and in these times that I am afraid is a very rare thing indeed.

As I wrote to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau “Corruption is now not merely condoned but it is encouraged if it supports current policy"
From one who once had the greatest respect for our legal system I now regard it as a complete sham designed to enrich those involved in running the show at the expense of those wronged.

Yours sincerely,

Dated 17/08/2015    Updated 20/02/2016

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