Information Commissioner Pledges 'Fierce' Approach To 'Slowcoach' Public Officials

"Christopher Graham, Britain's new Information Commissioner, has pledged to prosecute public officials who fail to comply with openness laws in his first newspaper interview. Mr Graham said he would take a ""fierce"" approach to overly-secretive authorities. He warned that some public bodies were still ""dragging their feet"" in complying with the Freedom of Information Act, and said that even Cabinet minutes should not routinely have their release blocked. In a recent unpublicised case, Mr Graham broke new ground when he threatened a public body, the London Development Agency, with contempt of court proceedings for failing to disclose information under an FOI request. ""This will send a shock-wave through the system,"" he said. In his first newspaper interview, to mark his first six months in the job, Mr Graham told The Sunday Telegraph: ""Shining the spotlight of publicity across a public service is how you find out where money is being wasted."" At the same time he is urging the