Archives for foi bill

The Blair Memoirs and FOI

That Tony Blair regrets introducing the Freedom of Information Act has been known for some time. But the force with which he reproaches himself in his new autobiography for doing so is truly remarkable: Read More

Chapter on the passage of the FOI Act

This chapter by Katherine Gundersen describes the passage of the FOI Act and early experience of its operation. It first appeared as part of as part of Unlocking Democracy: 20 years of Charter 88, published by Politico’s in December 2008.

FOI Bill: Lords Third Reading Briefing

Briefing for the Lords Third Reading Stage of the Freedom of Information Bill on 22nd November, containing notes on selected amendments which the Campaign supported. It also explains in more detail why the Campaign does not accept the claim made by the Liberal Democrat peers that their amendments to clause 2 effectively transform the bill’s class exemptions into ‘prejudice’ exemptions.

FOI Bill: Report Stage Briefing

Briefing for the Lords Report Stage of the Freedom of Information Bill on 14th and 15th November explaining why the Campaign is deeply disappointed at the agreement reached between the Liberal Democrats and the government. It also describes some of the key amendments.

Anger at Liberal Democrat decision to back flawed Information Bill

Campaigners today expressed “deep disappointment and anger” at the decision of the Liberal Democrats to back the government’s Freedom of Information Bill – and withdraw their support for real improvements.

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Freedom of Information Bill “fails to cure BSE secrecy problem”

The secrecy problem at the heart of the BSE crisis will continue to endanger public safety in future, because of the government’s deeply inadequate Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill, say campaigners.

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Lords committee stage: Collected briefings on FOI Bill

Complete set of detailed briefing papers for the Lords committee stage of the Freedom of Information Bill, which ended on 25 October 2000. For a short summary of the key issues see pages 1-5 of the first briefing paper.

FOI Bill: Guide to amendments for Lords committee stage

Guide to amendments tabled for the Lords committee stage of the Freedom of Information Bill, the first day of which will take place on 17 October.

Notes on Government amendments for Lords committee stage

Lords Committee Stage

Note on Government amendments

Revised 7 September 2000


The government’s amendments for the Lords committee stage of the FOI bill appeared on the Parliament internet site on July 31(*). The amendments themselves provide a number of modest improvements to the bill

But they fail to address the outstanding concerns raised about the bill, expressed in over 200 amendments tabled by peers of all parties. In particular, they do nothing to deal with the many class exemptions, which allow information to be withheld without evidence of harm. The only gesture is to remove ‘statistical information’ about decisions which have been taken from the policy formulation exemption. If anything this merely exacerbates concerns about the exemption, highlighting the fact that it permits the suppression of other factual information, including statistics about forthcoming decisions.

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“Minimal” amendments do little to improve flawed information bill

Ministers have rejected calls to improve the Freedom of Information Bill, and are proposing only a handful of minor changes for the bill’s repeatedly delayed committee stage in the House of Lords. The limited nature of the government’s amendments, published today, were criticised by the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

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