PM U-Turn on FOI Fees and on Extending FOI Scope to Private Companies

Prime Minister abolishes draft fees regulations and announces consultation on extending scope of FOIA to certain private companies. The Prime Minster promised “new rights to access public information where previously it had been withheld”. 

Gordon Brown (in a speech on 25th October) has abandoned the previous Lord Chancellor’s controversial proposal to limit freedom of information requests through a revised and extended fees regime. This is following resounding opposition to the proposal from respondents to earlier consultations.

The Prime Minister has further announced that he will seek to extend the scope of the FOIA so as to catch all private companies and organisations which carry out a public function within the FOIA regime.  This is subject to a 3-month public consultation, which closes in February. He also announced a review of the “30-year rule” restricting the release of Government papers. 

These announcements were not surprisingly met with widespread praise from the media and civil rights and pro-FOI commentators, but no doubt business organisations will oppose the extension of the scope of the regime. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s