Briefing on the future
of the Freedom of Information Act
2 pm Wednesday 18 January 2012
Campaign for Freedom of Information, 16 Baldwins Gardens, London EC1N 7RJ
The Freedom of Information Act is being reviewed by a parliamentary committee
which is likely to recommend changes to the law. This could be an important
opportunity to improve the Act. But there will also be significant pressure
for new restrictions from public authorities concerned about the cost of
dealing with FOI requests or lobbying for new exemptions.
If you would like
to contribute to the exercise, it is important to act quickly.
The deadline for submitting evidence to the committee is 3 February
The Campaign for Freedom of Information is holding a briefing meeting on January
18 at 2 pm for those who are considering giving evidence.
This ‘post legislative scrutiny’ of the Act is being carried
out by Justice select committee of the House of Commons. It has been prompted
by the Ministry of Justice which has published a memorandum highlighting
specific areas of concern, including:
· Increasing request volumes
· The cost to public authorities and impact on resources
· The difficulty in refusing vexatious requests
· The level of protection given to policy advice and cabinet papers
· The impact on public authorities with commercial functions
· Acknowledges delays can occur in conducting public interest tests and
carrying out internal reviews
· Discusses the possible extension of the Act to other bodies.
The memorandum says there is “limited evidence” about requesters’ views
on the Act. It is therefore important that the select committee
hears from requesters and we strongly encourage you to submit evidence about
If you would like to attend the Campaign’s briefing
meeting on January 18 please rsvp by email to email@example.com,
via Twitter @CampaignFOI or by telephoning the office on 020 7831
7477. We would be grateful if you could circulate details of the
or contacts you think may interested.