US still paying compensation to Civil War veterans’ families
The US government is still paying compensation to relatives of the Civil War which ended 148 years ago.
Each year two surviving offspring of veterans who fought in the conflict receive cheques worth $879 (£581). The recipients, who have not been publicly named, live in Tennessee and North Carolina.
There are also 10 living recipients of benefits linked to their fathers who fought in the Spanish-American War of 1898, and the total cost of that conflict to the US taxpayer is currently around $50,000 a year.
The US government’s total compensation bill for veterans and survivors of all the wars since, including the First World War, Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, is now $40 billion a year.
The costs were uncovered by the Associated Press in an extensive investigation of payment records obtained under freedom of information laws. Read more.
Nick Allen | The Telegraph | 20th March 2013
Police officer ‘sad’ after victim survives car crash
The officer has since apologised for the internal email which appeared to show “disappointment” as Laura Thomas recovered in hospital.
The communication was shown to the Thomas family following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
When her father, Darren, lodged an official complaint about the email he received a statement from the officer, who has not been identified, saying that she had not meant to cause offence.
The letter said: “In the email I used to depict a sad face. This was to convey my sadness at not, at that time, fulfilling my professional development, and certainly not to depict any sadness to the fact that Miss Thomas was recovering.”
Police sources have said that officers may be required to demonstrate “certain competencies” when passing their exams for promotion, but they do not necessarily have to have direct experience of a specific situation such as a fatality. Read more.
Hayley Dixon | The Telegraph | 20th March 2013
Councillors raise concerns over ‘expensive’ Freedom of Information requests
Senior councillors have raised concerns at having to answer too many requests for information.
It was revealed during Boston Borough Council’s cabinet meeting today (Wednesday) that the council received 128 Freedom of Information requests between October 2012 to December 2012 an increase of 37 from 91 the previous year.
Councillor Raymond Singleton-McGuire said the council is trying to deal with requests as efficiently as possible and pointed to the fact it took an average of 9.5 days to respond to requests this quarter, with only one not responded to within the statutory time limit.
However, Coun Derek Richmond said he felt it was a big concern.
“It’s costing us a lot of money,” he said.
“Whilst people have a right to this information, it is often just some information..Read more.
The Boston Standard | 20th March 2013