Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More transparency, less complacency wanted from PCC

The NUJ's Parliamentary Group is to take up the campaign to have the Press Complaints Commission designated a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. Plans to extend the range of organisations covered by the Act are currently under review and the NUJ and Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom are urging the Government to ensure greater transparency at the PCC.

It was an interesting time to be discussing the issue in Parliament given the earlier victory in the FOI case over MPs expenses which the NUJ welcomed and then the furore over Nick Robinson's blog.

That was one of a number of decisions made at a meeting of the Parliamentary Group I attended yesterday. Other issues discussed were BBC job losses, ITV and the future of public service broadcasting, the outcome of the Marc Vallee case and how to ensure the police/pres guidelines are more effectively implemented and the forthcoming Employment Bill.

Prior to going to Parliament I met with the Trustees of NUJ Extra and had a constructive discussion about future funding of the charity. I hope the discussions will result in an agreement which will offer protection to the fund whilst addressing the union's need to curb expenditure.

I also met with Lena Calvert, the union's Equality Officer to assess our progress in meeting TUC policy on disability issues. Our progress has been good and we have scheduled in some staff training and a further audit to identify those areas which need to still be addressed.

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