Archives for tribunal

Fees for FOI appeals

The Ministry of Justice is consulting on proposals that fees should be introduced for appeals to the Tribunal against Information Commissioner FOI decisions. The proposals would have serious implications for individual FOI requesters and the general public. However, figuring out precisely where these proposals can be found is a little tricky.
Read More

Please follow and like us:

Should some FOI tribunal cases be dealt with by a single judge?

The Campaign has responded to a consultation on behalf of the Senior President of Tribunals on the proposal to allow some Freedom of Information Act appeals against decisions of the Information Commissioner to be dealt with by a single judge sitting alone rather than, as at present, by a judge and two lay members.

Please follow and like us:

No strength in numbers

FOI requesters should not encourage others to apply for the same information in order to put pressure on the authority to release it. The tactic is likely to backfire leading to the request being refused as vexatious, as a recent tribunal case shows (Michael Sivier v Information Commissioner, EA/2013/0277).

Read More

Please follow and like us:

Court of Appeal ruling strengthens FOI Act

The Campaign for Freedom of Information welcomed today’s Court of Appeal ruling overturning the government’s veto of an Upper Tribunal decision ordering the release of Prince Charles’ correspondence with ministers.  The Guardian had applied for the correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act. The Upper Tribunal, which deals with high level FOI appeals, had ordered disclosure, but the Attorney General had vetoed the tribunal’s decision.
Read More

Please follow and like us:

Ombudsman prohibition does not apply to other authorities

The Tribunal has agreed with a submission from the Campaign that the Information Commissioner was wrong to find that NHS bodies are prohibited from releasing information which they have supplied to the Health Service Ombudsman.

The Tribunal allowed the Campaign to take part in an appeal on this issue, despite the Information Commissioner’s objections. It accepted the Campaign’s arguments that a statutory bar on disclosure applied only to the Ombudsman and not to those supplying information to the Ombudsman. The Tribunal’s decision is available here

Please follow and like us:

Does the public interest test include the benefit to the public overseas?

A short submission to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) on an aspect of the FOI Act’s public interest test. The submission argues that the public interest test can include the potential benefit from disclosure to the public in countries other than the UK and is not limited to the benefits to the UK public only, as the Information Commissioner has argued.

Please follow and like us:

Government should ‘live with’ Tribunal’s decision on disclosure of Iraq cabinet minutes

The government should accept today’s decision of the Information Tribunal and release the two sets of cabinet minutes from 2003 discussing the decision to go to war in Iraq, according to the Campaign for Freedom of Information. The Tribunal’s decision, made under the Freedom of Information Act, found that the balance of public interest favoured releasing the minutes.

Read More

Please follow and like us:

Policy advice released after months not decades

A version of this article by the Campaign’s director, Maurice Frankel, appeared in Press Gazette on 2 May 2008.

In the past, officials’ advice to ministers, and the discussions leading to it, have been confidential. You could see it after 30 years, but not before. The Freedom of Information Act has shattered that convention.

Read More

Please follow and like us:

Submission to the 30 year rule review

Response to the review of the 30 year rule that was set up by the Prime Minister. The response summarises the 7 Information Tribunal decisions to date dealing with advice or internal discussion and points out that in almost every case the Tribunal has held that disclosure should have taken place at the time of the request, a few years or months after the decision. It says that this material should now be proactively released after 15 years, though if necessary, the reduction could be brought in in two stages, starting with 20 years initially. This change would also mean that these exemptions could no longer be used to withhold information under the FOI Act once it was 15 (or 20) years old.

Please follow and like us:

Should policy discussions be kept under wraps?

This article by the Campaign’s director, Maurice Frankel, was published in The Independent on 28 March 2008.

Should policy discussions between officials be disclosed under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act? Or should they be withheld to reassure civil servants that they can speak frankly, safe from the press and public’s prying eyes?

These issues were central to two recent High Court cases. Each involved the Government challenging rulings by the Information Tribunal that such material should be disclosed.

Read More

Please follow and like us: