Research by The Times has revealed that Theresa May’s government is holding back key papers on its spending that should be available for public scrutiny, breaking a key Tory promise. Now, some people want to know what the Tories are hiding.
Government departments have to publish details on their spending. But The Times revealed [paywall] that they have not published 92 out of the 202 papers they should have.
This includes lists of civil service staff who may be moving to business appointments. Nine out of 22 departments have failed to publish these lists. These are a requirement to help control the “revolving door” between Whitehall and business. In 2015, for instance, a number of former ministers were found to have accepted roles with companies and charities they met while in government. And in July 2017, the National Audit Office raised concerns about public servants using their roles to secure private sector jobs.
In addition, only three departments reported on the gender pay gap between male and female officials; and 19 out of 22 departments were late to publish lists of civil servants in “off-payroll arrangements”.
The Times also revealed [paywall] that the two worst offenders were the government’s business and trade departments.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since doing this job, it’s how all the information about government… so much of it is locked away in a vault marked sort of ‘private for the eyes of ministers and officials only’…
I think this is ridiculous. It’s your money, your government, you should know what’s going on.
And in a letter to departments shortly afterwards, Cameron outlined a raft of new reporting requirements.
What is she hiding?
The government is doing all it can to hide their actions from the public. The question which people will naturally ask themselves is ‘What has Mrs May got to hide?’
A government spokesman, meanwhile, said [paywall]:
We are releasing more information than ever before. The World Wide Web Foundation recently ranked the UK government first on its global Open Data Barometer, putting the UK at the forefront of open government.
However, with the Tories’ reputation for mixing business with politics, the PM will need time to find her way back into the public’s trust.
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
Featured image via Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?