Response 1044678420

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About You

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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Organisation

Questions

1. Do you agree that freedom of information legislation should be extended to Registered Social Landlords, as proposed in this consultation paper?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

2. Freedom of Information can be extended to organisations that undertake ‘functions of a public nature’. You may wish to provide comments on how you consider that RSLs undertake functions of a public nature, for example, with reference to the factors referred to earlier in the consultation paper.

Please enter comments:
RSL's replaced local authorities as the main social housing provider following introduction of the right to buy. RSL's housing stock has historically been largely, if not 100%, funded by the taxpayer. They have effectively been a 'proxy' local authority housing department for all this time. Although RSL's have been subject to Environmental Information Regulations for the past couple of years, yet I've found them to be extremely hostile to EIRs and ignore or look for any excuse, or technicality, to get out of providing information. Though most say they are open and transparent, I generally find the opposite to be true. Bringing RSL's under FOISA legislation would bring clarity and certainty for tenants and the wider public. It would encourage an authentic culture of openness and transparency which would be positive and beneficial for all concerned.

3. The proposed order would be expected to come into force on 1 April 2018. Do you consider this a reasonable timescale, allowing for preparation for inclusion?

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Ticked Yes
No
If not, you may wish to indicate what timescale you feel would be more appropriate and why.
Sooner the better.

4. We would welcome comments on the draft partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment provided at Annex A.

Comments:
I believe RSL's lack of transparency often conceals incompetence, negligence and inefficiency. Resistance to FOISA is in part a desire to be able to continue to cover this up. Though there will be costs associated with full compliance, in the long term complete transparency will lead to better management and efficiency. I do not believe RSL tenants should be second class citizens as compared to local authority tenants. It is completely unreasonable to discriminate in this way.

5. We would welcome comments on how these proposals might impact on ‘Equality Groups’ i.e. in respect of age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexuality, children’s rights etc. Comments will inform the Equalities Impact Assessment and Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment to be completed following consultation.

Comments
Openness, honesty and transparency (Glasnost) will benefit all.