Skip to main content

Buy Freedom ... Former FoI chief Kevin Dunion gives lessons to authorities

A FORMER anti-privacy tsar is coining it in by training public bodies in how to deal with requests for data.

Ex-Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion, 58, offers £1,620 classes to council, police, NHS and other state staff.

They're taught how to deal with Freedom of Information requests including what can be censored or withheld.

Ex-journalist Bill Chisholm has petitioned Holyrood to overhaul FoI law amid fears the process is too complex.

He said: "The average citizen would need a degree or at least a certificate in Freedom of Information practice to navigate the multiple legal strands.

"While no such course or qualification is available to members of the general public, the same cannot be said for so-called FOI practitioners in the public sector."

Dunion  who promotes the schemes, run by Act Now Training in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire  insisted: "My commitment to increasing the public's right to know is well-established.

"The point of this training is to ensure authorities do provide people with information to which they are entitled."

Nats MSP Chic Brodie, far right, who plans to raise concerns about such courses at Holyrood, said: "There would be an advantage in giving new training to the public."

Dunion stood down as the nation's info chief in 2012. He held the post twice and served a total of nine years.

First published by the Scottish Sun on May 18, 2014


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For 22 years PC Karen Harper proudly served the public ... But after complaining about bullying she was targeted in a sinister 'black op' ... Karen was innocent but her carer was destroyed ... The brave whistleblower today breaks her silence to accuse Police Scotland of acting like the Mafia ... And she slams the Scottish Government for creating the toxic culture in policing

An innocent police officer claims she was forced from her job after colleagues waged a secret ‘black op’ to fit her up.
Karen Harper, 50, was allegedly bullied over flexible working hours following the death of her mother.
When she complained about a sergeant she says Police Scotland ordered a ‘fishing expedition’ in a sinister bid to criminalise her and trash her reputation.
Whistleblower Karen — cleared of any wrongdoing — today breaks her silence six months after the end of her unblemished 22-year police career through ill health.
She compares Police Scotland’s senior ranks to the Mafia and criticises politicians and regulators for failing to hold them to account.
She said: “These people destroyed my career and stole three years of my life. The biggest issue is the lack of trust.
“Integrity in policing is essential, especially at the very top but these people are protected. It’s like taking on the Mafia.
“This breeds resentment in the ranks and tarnishes the reputation of the majority of …

EXCLUSIVE: Margaret Fleming ... big read on Scotland's most intriguing missing person case

A COUPLE at the centre of a major police investigation into missing woman Margaret Fleming have spoken for the first time about the mystery in a bid to clear their names.
Despite intensive year-long enquiries, detectives have not traced a single person who has seen Margaret since 1999 - other than her ‘carers’ Eddie Cairney and Avril Jones.
In an exclusive interview, Cairney and Jones explain how Margaret came into their lives as a troubled teenager with learning difficulties and make a series of astonishing claims about her life and disappearance.
The couple, who live in a squalid cottage with stunning views across the Firth of Clyde at Inverkip, dispute Police Scotland’s assertion that no-one else has seen Margaret in the past 18 years.
They claim to know that Margaret is alive and is hiding from the police due to her involvement in drug dealing.
Even more incredibly, they claim that she was inside the house the night police raided it last October.
Cairney said: “We’ve been told repeatedl…

My daughter watched in terror as a hitman threw acid in my face ... In this horrifying and gripping account, a leading investigative journalist tells how a gangland hit trapped him in the nightmare of Scotland's broken justice system

PROPPED up in bed with a book and cup of tea, my slow start to the Christmas holidays was disturbed by the chime of the doorbell. As my ten-year-old daughter dozed upstairs, I opened the front door to the unremarkable sight of a postman who produced a Royal Mail delivery card with a mumbled instruction for me to sign.
Bare-footed and in pyjamas, I began to scrawl my name when a shock of liquid splashed onto my face and right eye. The postman lunged into the hall with a knife in hand, but in the melee he dropped the blade.

My instincts took over and I wrestled him back outside where we crashed down hard onto the driveway. My daughter appeared, momentarily froze in confused terror, then dashed to neighbours who called 999.

By now, I was on top and jabbed punches as the 'postman' struggled to escape by shedding his Royal Mail jacket and bag.

My face was stinging from the liquid and I felt it burning my flesh close to my eye. I later learned it was sulphuric acid and I shouted at a be…

Scottish Police Federation boss Calum Steele launched a toxic Twitter tirade in defence of acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone ... He smeared ex-ACC Angela Wilson by hinting at corruption and branding her a 'buffoon' ... Police Scotland have now upheld Wilson's complaint against Steele ... Here we take a look at the latest scandal to engulf the force and the murky legal games behind the scenes

BEFORE a newspaper publishes a story, attempts are usually made to speak to the various people or organisations involved in order to allow them to respond.
It should be a straightforward, common sense process — but not always.
Sometimes people chose to play games. Lawyers are unleashed.
Take the Two Cal(l)ums — Calum Steele and his legal adviser Callum Anderson.
For the past decade, former Highland bobby PC Steele has enjoyed perks and status as general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF).
PC Steele often shares the benefit of his wisdom on Twitter.
When the BBC quizzed Police Scotland’s acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone about allegations of sexually assaulting a junior female colleague at a police college, eyebrows were raised.
Former ACC Angela Wilson publicly questioned whether Livingstone was a suitable person to lead the crisis-stricken national force despite being cleared of the alleged crime.
Steele turned to Twitter where he branded Wilson ‘one of the most incompet…

#SCOTLAND THE FREEBIE ... Los Angeles-based social media influencers enjoy five-star freebie trips to Scotland paid for by taxpayers ... But do Twitter, YouTube and Instagram posts breach ASA and FTC advertising rules?

AMERICAN social media stars were given Government-funded, all expense paid trips to Scotland in exchange for gushing online reviews.
Four online ‘influencers’ were gifted the freebie visits and put up in five-star accommodation across the country.
But the Twitter, Instagram and YouTube posts they published were not marked as advertising, in a likely breach of US Federal Trade Commission laws.
Mary Engle, head of the FTC's advertising practices division, said: "Under FTC law, advertising should be identifiable as advertising, in whatever medium it appears.
"This means a social media post that's a promotional message rather than an independent opinion should be clearly presented as such, for example through a prominent disclosure that it is sponsored advertising.
"We issued guidance for advertisers and endorsers outlining when, why and how they must disclose their relationship so that consumers are not misled into thinking that sponsored posts are independent.”
The Scot…

Buried ceramic animals, a condemned 'eco' classroom, rope structure set on fire and a community centre built from junk ... Architect Lee Ivett linked to a series of bizarre projects in some of our poorest communities ... Best selling book Poverty Safari puts spotlight on Scotland's 'poverty industry'

SCOTLAND’S ‘poverty industry’ is under the spotlight thanks to rapper Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey’s best-selling book Poverty Safari.
McGarvey - raised in Glasgow’s Pollok - criticises well-meaning experts who descend on deprived communities with big ideas about how to fix deep-rooted social problems.
Tapping into public funds, their creative projects make little difference to the people who live there.
Reporter Russell Findlay looks at an architect behind a series of bizarre taxpayer-funded schemes in some of Scotland’s poorest areas.
>>>
LEE Ivett is no ordinary architect. Working from his Glasgow-based studio Baxendale, he is described as an ‘urbanist with a track record of developing transformational long term projects’.
Using edgy but vague buzzwords, one architectural website continues: “His mode of practice is intensely generative, developing low-budget socially-focused projects from scratch largely for marginalised communities within Scotland and beyond as a means of identifying…

Crown Office prosecutors DROP case of £400m collapsed hedge fund boss Gregory King ... The lawyer and three other men were reported to prosecutors after a fraud probe into Heather Capital ... But £28.4m claim against suspended sheriff Peter Watson and some past and present Levy & McRae partners continues

CROWN prosecutors will take no action against four men following a fraud probe into a collapsed £400 million finance firm.
Lawyer Gregory King, 49, and three others were reported to the Crown by detectives who investigated his hedge fund Heather Capital which was based in the Isle of Man.
Heather, launched by King in 2005, attracted investors from around the world and loaned money to fund property deals.
Following its 2010 collapse, Heather’s liquidator Paul Duffy claimed that around £90million was unaccounted for and a police fraud probe resulted in the four men being reported to the Crown Office in April 2013.
An Isle of Man court judgement likened Heather to a ‘Ponzi’ scheme, made famous by US financier Bernie Madoff who was jailed for 150 years in 2009.
The other three reported by police were lawyer Andrew Sobolewski, of Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Andrew Millar, of ­Cambuslang, near Glasgow, and Scott ­Carmichael, of Thorntonhall, near Glasgow.
Last year there was criticism of the Cr…

Cops probe 'Irish Mafia' fight nights ... Ex-lawyer's ring links to Dublin bloodbath gang ... Business 'twinned' with crime clan gym

A BOXING gym at the centre of a bloodbath gang war has a foothold in Scotland after hooking up with a former corporate lawyer.
Sam Kynoch, 29, brags about his ties to the MGM base in Spain, which is run by Daniel Kinahan — heir to a £500million Irish crime empire.
The ex-solicitor's MGM Scotland describes itself as the 'sister business' of the Marbella gym and he is gearing up to promote fights in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
But police will monitor the shows after hitmen with AK-47s blasted a Kinahan gang enforcer to death nine days ago at a boxing weigh-in in Dublin.
Labour justice spokesman Graeme Pearson MSP said: "Given the apparent association between these organisations, one would hope the authorities were focusing on any implications for Scotland."
The former elite cop commander added: "I am sure the police will look very closely at this relationship."
Boxing coach Kinahan, 37, was the suspected target of the Irish shooting.
He is the son of Christy 'Dap…

National Crime Agency officers and MI5 spooks target Costa del Sol kingpin as potential Daniel v Lyons peacemaker … Extraordinary bid to end 17-year drug war being waged across central Scotland .... But factions reject plea to stop tit-for-tat bloodshed

A MAJOR criminal based in Spain has been approached by security services in a desperate bid to end the Daniel v Lyons drugs war.
The wealthy expat, who is in his 60s and was once jailed over a heroin haul in Glasgow, was asked to broker a truce between the warring families.
Both gangs - the most prominent of Scotland's 22 high level organised crime groups - have been told the approach may have come from Britain's domestic security service MI5.
The National Crime Agency (NCA), described as Britain's FBI, is understood to have been involved in the extraordinary move to end Scotland's deadliest criminal feud.
One source said: “The expat criminal was in London on business when he was approached by either the security services or the NCA.
“He was asked to use his influence by relaying the message to both sides that the bloodshed in Scotland had to end.
“Unfortunately, it seems not to have had the desired effect. There has been so much violence that neither side seems willing to b…

TAXI BLAZE THREAT RAP OF COCAINE GANGSTER … ex-Royal Regiment of Scotland lance corporal accused of terrorising Glasgow Private Hire taxi firm staff … thug faces jail over firearms

A FORMER soldier who supplied British Army explosives to the Daniel crime clan was accused of threatening to torch the HQ of Scotland's biggest cab firm.
Martyn Fitzsimmons, 37, allegedly terrorised staff at Glasgow Private Hire (GPH), which is owned by Paisley businessman Stevie Malcolm, 54.
The former lance corporal in the Royal Regiment of Scotland is said to have made the threat in a call to the firm's office in the city's east end in March.
Fitzsimmons faces a lengthy jail term as a senior member of a cocaine gang which police say was "at the top of the chain" in Scotland.
He and eight other men pled guilty to a string of charges involving guns, drugs and violence and will be sentenced in January 2018.
The ex-squaddie was accused of making the call to Malcolm's office along with the attempted murder of Lyons mob thug Ross Monaghan outside a primary school in Penilee, Glasgow, in January.
But in a deal with prosecutors, his not guilty plea to both charges was a…