Shadow Justice Secretary says Labour will protect and extend FOI

In a speech at the Labour Party conference on 3 October, the Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP, said:

And it’s also time to address a blind spot in our Freedom of Information laws I’m proud Labour introduced FoI, however awkward it can be. Not only will the next Labour Government protect FoI, but we will seek to extend it. For the first time, FoI will cover the delivery of public services by private companies. This includes our prisons, our schools and our health service. Public private or voluntary, subjected to the same disinfecting transparency of FoI

The Campaign for Freedom of Information welcomed the announcement. In a statement it said:

As contracting out of public services expands, the public’s right to information shrinks. The Act only applies to information which a public authority holds about a contract or which it can compel a contractor to supply to it – which may be very little. And there’s no point complaining to the Information Commissioner about a contractor who behaves obstructively. The Commissioner has no jurisdiction over contractors at all. Labour’s commitment to address these issues is very welcome.

Read the speech in full here.

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