see no need to change the FOI Fees Regulations"
Beith MP, Chair Constitutional Affairs Committee (Lib
at the new proposals, I fear that they will introduce new layers
of procedural and, indeed,
Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner
would be ironic if one advance of which Tony Blair can justifiably
be proud, as he desperately searches for
a legacy, should be snuffed out just as it is spluttering into
life. He should abandon these regulations forthwith."
is at least one legacy of which Tony Blair could be proud: his
of the Freedom of
Information Act...How sadly significant that even before he has
left office it looks as if that reform is going to be utterly
Freedom of Information Act, which came into effect in 2005, was...a
rare and courageous piece of legislation...But less than two
years into its life, ministers seem to have taken fright."
act - itself a compromise - is generally working to the benefit
It would be an act of folly
to emasculate one of the initiatives of which New Labour can
feel justifiably proud."
years on, seven years after introducing an information bill
and after just two years of, on the whole,
successful implementation of the Freedom of Information Act,
the government wants to rein in its wild child."
is an insult to the public intelligence and a negation
of one of the Labour government's most important reforms."
are better targets for penny-pinching than the cheap and effective
Freedom of Information Act, but watering it down might make official
lives a bit easier."
regulations represent a direct attack on the spirit of the law,
once heralded by Labour as the end of the culture of Whitehall
fundamental reason for wanting freedom of information has not
yet entered the bloodstream of the Government.
That is the truth of the matter."
Wright MP, Chair Public Administration Committee (Lab)
will effectively be able to stop any request that they feel is
inconvenient. It will be...a charter for public servants who
want to be obstructive."
Bellingham MP (Con)
change the rules that allow public authorities to refuse FOI
requests on costs grounds would be mean-spirited and certainly
unworthy of my party, and of my Government, of whom I am immensely
Touhig MP (Lab)
the government really hopes to save is not cash, but embarrassment."
Shepherd MP (Con)
idea of cutting a few million pounds by reducing the number of
requests is shameful...The sums involved are nugatory compared
with the political and democratic benefits flowing from the Act."
Fisher MP (Lab)
us be in no doubt as to what the proposal is. It is a method
of stopping any freedom of information request that is embarrassing
or difficult from getting off square one."
Baker MP (Lib Dem)
is difficult to see this as anything other than a deliberate
attempt to protect government from media and FOI scrutiny."
Fleet St Lawyers' Society
believe that the proposals...are fundamentally flawed."
Society of Editors
[proposals] could have a hugely detrimental effect upon use of
the FOI Act at local level."
seems to subvert the original intentions of the freedom of information
proposals risk weakening the power of the Act to promote
robust accountability and sound public decision making."
proposals would have a particularly damaging effect on a particular
class of request namely those that are complex, voluminous or
on matters of political sensitivity."
Friends of the Earth
a piece of chutzpah, this takes some beating."
these restrictions are passed then stories of genuine public
interest will not see the light of day."
is strikingly inconsistent about the government's case is that
is is based on the misapprehension that FoI requests are getting
in the way of efficient government..."
Francis, Kent Messenger
given the way that the Act is already heavily stacked against
the release of information, the Government is considering making
it even easier for public bodies to refuse requests."
Dale Birmingham Post
would be a terrible backward step if after just two years, ministers
succeed in putting up the shutters again."
Cambridge Evening News
the government's proposals are meant to kill off frivolous
use of the act, they are likely to kill off much serious research
in the process."
Duncan Tanner, University of Wales Bangor
is imperative that the UK implement best practice and set a good
example for other Commonwealth member states."
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative