Social Audit Ltd
P O Box 111 London NW1 8XG
Telephone/Fax 44 (0)171 586 7771
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Mrs. D.A Leakey, Information Pharmacist
Medicines Control Agency
Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane
London SW8 5NQ

2 July 1999

Dear Mrs Leakey,

Thank you for your letter of 30 June, ref ICE 1984. I confirm I have heard from Mrs Thyer, though her letter is now the subject of a formal complaint as it gave no indication of any thought about the public interest, though I had emphasised in my letters to you, Dr Jones and Mr Alder that my code request was based on this.

Thank you for trying to get me reinstated on to the Current Problems mailing list, and for passing on Dr Herxheimer's code request to Dr Lee.

It was good to learn the Agency uses paper of a high environmental standard, not that this addresses the questions I asked. Perhaps you could let me know specifically which EC standards you were referring to - then I might be able to establish, for example, what if any proportion of the paper used might be recycled, also the standards of management of the forests you referred to. All forests are managed, but the question is how? Are they, for example, certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council or accredited under the UK Woodlands Assurance Scheme?

However, the question I asked was specifically whether the MCA ever uses A5 paper - ie is there any way of avoiding the use of a full-size A4 sheets to communicate a sentence or two? I also asked whether the Agency has any sort of environmental policy? I would be grateful for a reply, comforting as it was to learn that the paper the Agency does waste exceeds the EC standards you rely on.

It really is very difficult to know what to make of your response to my question about the email addresses of Agency staff, but it certainly looks as if I've touched a nerve. I note the Agency does not hold "a single list" - but I requested "a copy of any list of email addresses of MCA staff". I repeat that request, also my request for "a copy of any policy document which might explain any reluctance to disclose them". It is of course good to know that you "will certainly bear my suggestion in mind" - but it's hardly mine. Nearly two years ago, the Prime Minister set a target of at least 25% electronic service delivery to the public by 2002 and, given that investment in central government IT is running at about 2 billion a year, it seemed a fair question to ask. You might, incidentally, be interested in the Who's Who entries in the Cabinet Office Central IT unit (http://www.citu.gov.uk/publications/consultfeb99.htm). That's the kind of list I'm looking for.

Thank you for attention and I shall look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar

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List of correspondence with MCA/CSM