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Improving FOI

There are some areas where the Act is not working as well as it could. We have pressed for improvements to:

  • ensure FOI applies properly to contractors
  • introduce tighter time limits for responding to requests and have them enforced more effectively
  • extend the Act’s public interest test to the ‘absolute’ exemptions
  • require authorities which refuse requests on cost grounds to reveal their estimates of the the cost of answering
  • allow requesters to specify that they want access to actual copies of documents not just the information in them.
  • extend the 6 month time limit within which Information Commissioner can prosecute authorities which deliberately destroy requested records –  the government has now agreed to this.

For more information, see our evidence and supplementary evidence to the Justice select committee’s 2012 review of the FOI Act.


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