“The rule ought to be quite simple – if you take taxpayers’ money, then you take on the responsibility to account for its use. That means the Freedom of Information Act should travel with taxpayers’ cash, ensuring that it is always under the protection of transparency whether it is spent by a company, a charity or a quango.
Having received multiple requests on the issue, the government itself has refused to release information on the scandal — in a process known to Whitehall mandarins as as ‘covering Matt Hancock’s arse’:
- Refusing to release a 2014 audit of Kids Company, paid for by the Cabinet Office, which showed that the charity was in serious financial trouble
- Refusing to disclose the grant agreement signed-off by Tory minister Matt Hancock, which accompanied cash handed over to Kids Company in spite of concerns raised by the auditors (and civil servants)
Scrapbook suspects as much money is wasted trying to exhaust the patience of applicants and contrive far-fetched exemptions than actually complying with the Act.
Don’t count on bungling execs at charities and public contractors behaving any differently.