Points of View 9th July 2015

Stop FOI restrictions | Campaign for Freedom of Information

by Tim Hughes

Tim is coordinator of the UK Open Government Network.

From the Campaign for Freedom of Information:

“The Government is likely to be considering three sets of new restrictions to the FOI Act. These are likely to involve:

(1) preventing the disclosure of government policy discussions
(2) strengthening the ministerial veto
(3) making it easier for authorities to refuse FOI requests on cost grounds

The Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, referred to the first of these proposals in the House of Commons in June 2015. The Prime Minister referred to the second in March 2015 after the Supreme Court had ruled that the use of the veto to block the release of Prince Charles’ correspondence with ministers had been unlawful.

Current ministers have not directly suggested that they are considering the third option. However, the coalition government made clear that it was considering this and Tony Blair’s government published draft regulations to this effect. So it’s likely that similar proposals will also be brought forward”

Read the full briefing >>

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