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Freedom of Information round-up week ending 19th April 2013

A round-up of Freedom of Information stories in the media and developments to the FOI act in the United Kingdom from the week ending 19th April 2013. By www.foidirectory.co.uk / @foidirectory

Storified by FOI Directory· Fri, Apr 19 2013 06:50:35

The Electoral Commission has spent £50,000 on a giant cat. 
Catzilla’s laser eyes will vaporise your street if you do not register to vote, warns absurd website which cost taxpayers £54,000Electoral Commission used public money to develop the It’s Your Vote site Bizarre warnings used to encourage young people to register to …
Police report their own biscuits stolen 
Red-faced cops report theft of biscuit tin from… their own police stationRED-FACED cops were the victims of a crime in their own police station after a thief made off with the staff biscuit tin. The officers lo…
Transport for London spend thousands on surveys
TfL spends £150,000 on cable car opinion pollsTransport for London has spent more than £150,000 polling local businesses, residents and passengers for their views on the Thames cable …
Want to watch a DVD at Broadmoor Hospital? Now you know what they’ve got. 
Hospital where Britain’s most evil serial killers are held has a catalogue of DVDs with scenes of brutal violence and kinky sex18 certificate films are held at the top-security psychiatric hospital Some of the DVDs are confiscated when patients arrive But bosses s…
NHS staff rack up taxi bills in Blackpool
£6k bill to taxi NHS staff to work – Local Health – Blackpool GazetteHeath chiefs in Blackpool today came under fire for spending more than £6,000 on taxis to chauffeur staff to work. NHS Blackpool paid out…
Manchester United’s Old Trafford isn’t as full as they say. 
Revealed: Manchester United’s Old Trafford empty-seat statsPolice figures reveal discrepancy of thousands, reports Paul Britton Manchester derby Crowds at Old Trafford are much lower than the offi…
In the blogging world. 
This week FOI man has highlighted the forthcoming changes to FOI and how we should all deal with them
" Game, Dataset and Match FOI ManFOI Man highlights forthcoming changes to FOI and provides some hints and tips for public authorities on how to deal with them. Last year…
There’s been an interesting discussion surrounding how sports journalists can use FOI. 
How useful is FOI for sports journalists?foi, storify, sports journalists, freedom of information, andy dickinson,
Also on the website this week we’ve launched a section on ‘unreported FOI’ requests, which have been made using What Do They Know. The series will feature short posts accompanied by graphic visualisations. 
Unreported FOIDon’t miss Thousands of Scottish school leavers ‘lost’ in jobs and training scheme, FOI reveals Electoral Commission spends £54,000 showi…

I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.