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The Day in FoIA: Israel set calorie ‘red line’ for Gaza Strip | Investigation into use of personal emails to avoid FoIA | Decline in Northamptonshire Police 999 response times |

Israel set calorie ‘red line’ for Gaza Strip

The Israeli authorities set a “red line” of minimum food needs for the Gaza Strip so that a punitive military blockade would not cause malnutrition, an Israeli NGO said in a report published Wednesday.

Gisha, which campaigns for Palestinian freedom of movement and trade, said that defense ministry documents dating from 2008 and obtained under a freedom of information suit showed that an average of 2,279 calories per person per day was deemed sufficient. Israel first imposed a blockade on Gaza in June 2006 after militants there snatched one of its soldiers. Read more.

Saudi Gazette | 18th October 2012

Whitehall investigation over ‘FoI avoidance’ in Nominet emails

The Head of the Civil Service has opened an investigation into allegations that officials in the Department for Business used personal email accounts in an attempt to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.

Sir Bob Kerslake’s office said it would examine evidence that emerged during a recent employment tribunal and was obtained by The Daily Telegraph.

It appears to show civil servants using private email accounts provided by Hotmail and Yahoo! to conduct official business, in the belief it would be exempt from demands for disclosure.

“It feels wonderful to work free from fear of FoI!!” wrote Geoff Smith, a Department for Business civil servant. Read more.

Christopher Williams | The Telegraph | 17th October 2012

Concern over 999 response by Northamptonshire Police raised

Concern over a drop in the proportion of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds by Northamptonshire Constabulary has been raised by candidates for the police and crime commissioner (PCC) post.

Elections will be held on 15 November to choose PCCs who will replace police authorities currently in charge of 41 forces in England and Wales.

PCCs will be responsible for setting priorities for their force, overseeing its budget and hiring the chief constable.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request revealed that in August 2011 more than 93% of 999 calls were answered within 10 seconds, but that percentage had fallen to just over 57% in August 2012. Read more.

Nic Rigby | BBC | 17th October 2012

Thames cable cars running at 10 per cent of capacity

The number of passengers using the cable-car link across the Thames has plummeted since the Olympics.

The £60 million Emirates Air Line between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks was opened on June 28 by Mayor Boris Johnson, who said it provided “a much needed river crossing”.

But it emerged today that the link, which was built to convey up to 2,500 passengers an hour, is now running at less than 10 per cent of capacity

Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request show that an average of 229 passengers an hour used the cable cars on September 10 — the day after the Paralympics ended. Read more.

Tony Bassett | London Evening Standard | 17th October 2012

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