Friday, 2 September 2011

That's not my name

At last a summers evening and the chance to crank the walkman up to 11 for the train journey home . Oh and what a treat tonight as I packed a C90 with some the Ting Tings on. This got me tapping my foot and jigging slightly as the train headed out of Waterloo East.

Four letter word just to get me along
It's a difficulty and I'm biting on my tongue and uh
I keep stalling, and keeping me together
People around gotta find something to say now..

They call me Nicky
They call me Nicholas
They call me her
They call me Nick

That's not my name

It is as if it was written for our pal Nick Sheridan-Westlake. Such a nice name.

Funny thing names - It seems some people want to be known by one name whilst others call them something else entirely. For example I have heard Uncle Eric Pickles being called all sorts of things by his staff.

Now it seems DCLG are keen to block requests for information from the growing army of armchair auditors, especially one relating to their infamously costly (and hardly visited) barrier busting website – I am not including the link any longer as it just doubles their traffic.

DCLG have decided to block what appear to be legitimate requests from Amy Fisher and Mr Jones. Strangely they seem to have responded to Ms Fisher on various requests but decided to block her and question her identity when she started sniffing around the Barrier Busting website  (see:…. I wonder why? I am sure if you are a budding Armchair Auditor there may be things that you want to know how your hard earned taxes were spent on this website. If so get a request in, you never know what you may find out!

All a bit fishy that DCLG have so far just asked requestors to confirm their identity when they started asking questions are the Barrier Busting website but seem to be happy to respond to anything else unless it from me ;(

Also good news. It is reassuring to see this has been picked up the hard working indefatigable investigate journalist Ruth Keeling, at the Local Government Chronicle (see


  1. Sadly i can't read what Ruth said without a login.
    Isn't asking for ID against what the FOI legislation says? Surely they can't be flouting the legislation they promote so fervently! Makes you wonder what the Information Commissioner will think about this?

  2. hey, what happened to the text that anonymous posted here? Is Derek turning into a big publishing conglomerate's copyright lackey? For shame!

  3. Copyright LGC 2011
    "The Department for Communities & Local Government has told two users of the FoI website that they must prove their identity before their requests will be considered.

    Communities secretary Eric Pickles has called for an ‘army of armchair auditors’ to monitor public bodies in their use of taxpayers’ money, but his own staff have begun to block the efforts of some foot soldiers.

    ‘Derek Tickles’, who claims to be a DCLG employee, and ‘Travis Pickles’ have been blacklisted for “vexatious” requests about - among other things - the department’s Barrier Busting website.

    The refusal of Mr Tickles’ and Mr Pickles’ requests spurred copycat requests from users ‘Amy Fisher’ and ‘Mr Jones’, who have been asked for identification.

    Mr Jones claimed to live in Azerbaijan. The department told him to take ID to the nearest British Embassy.

    While ID is not required to make an FoI, DCLG does not have to answer requests where a pseudonym is suspected and can request proof of identity.

    At least two more requests for information have now been made in relation to the Barrier Busting project, including a request to see contract tender documents.

    The department’s efforts to block the requests have also resulted in a spate of requests from other users about the number of people blacklisted from making FoI requests and the number of requests refused as vexatious.

    Data from the Ministry of Justice for the first three months of 2011 shows DCLG refused nine requests as vexatious - 3% of all its requests and a bigger proportion than any other department.

    The nearest by the same measure was the Department of Energy & Climate Change where 0.8% of requests were judged vexatious.

    DCLG requests viewed as vexatious rose from four in 2010 to nine in the first quarter of 2011. Recent refusals to Mr Tickles and others have not yet been included in this year’s figures."