Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Brexit bodies told how to evade FoI requests

The government apparently advised public bodies how to evade Freedom of Information  (FoI) questions relating to preparations for a no-deal Brexit, according to a leaked document. It said bodies should “neither confirm nor deny” having plans in place, because one organisation giving information could undermine government negotiations.

Read more.

Note: there are “qualified exemptions” to the FoI act that mean information may not have to be released. This will be on a case-by-case judgment and if appealed, the Information Commissioner may or may not agree.

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FoI now applies to homes ombudsman and others

The requirement to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act has been extended to the Housing Ombudsman, the Surveillance Camera Commission and several other bodies. See the full list of new entries here (scroll down a short way).

For information about all types of organisation subject to the act, click on the FoI wiki.

Court says Minister’s diary must be made public

A reporter’s battle to see the diary of former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley went all the way to the Court of Appeal – which ordered the government to reveal nearly all of it. It covered the period when the minister was working on a major shake-up of the NHS. The case highlights several reasons why Freedom of Information is considered important to journalism and the public interest. Read more

Battle over Freedom of Information

Talk of reining-in Britain’s Freedom of Information laws has met with a fierce reaction. Critics say they encourage lazy journalism but the counter argument is that they allow the media to uncover information that deserves to be in the public domain. Local authorities complain about the cost. Some key links: