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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: freedom of information

Closing the stable door after another horse has bolted: The Information Rights Tribunal confirms the persuasiveness of other public authority decisions on disclosure of similar commercially confidential information

The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (“FtT“) has published an interesting decision on the disclosure of commercially confidential information.  In John Eustace v The Information Commissioner, Southampton City Council (the “Council“) was ordered to disclose commercial information relating to the revenue stream it received from bus stop advertising, in part because other local authorities had been

Open Government National Action Plan aims to increase transparency in government over the course of 2016-2018

Following a Conservative manifesto commitment in 2015 to increase transparency in government, the Cabinet Office has published the UK Open Government National Action Plan 2016-2018. This is the third National Action Plan (“NAP“) since the United Kingdom co-founded the Open Government Partnership in 2011, which now includes 69 countries. The new NAP makes 13 commitments

Freedom of Information Act 2000 is “generally working well”: The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information reports positive change in public sector culture

The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information (the “Commission“) has published its report on the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA“).  After extensive written responses to a call for evidence and two days of oral evidence, the report has surprised commentators by not recommending any major changes to the existing freedom of information regime to

The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information issues call for evidence

The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information has recently issued a call for evidence as part of a review which may herald comprehensive changes to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA“). The Commission, established amid concerns that the current regime does not adequately protect sensitive information (see our previous blog post), will consider how

Cabinet Office Announces Commission to Review Freedom of Information Legislation

The Cabinet Office has recently announced that a cross-party commission is to look into the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) in light of apparent concerns that sensitive information is not being sufficiently protected. FOIA was introduced under the last Labour Government, coming fully into force on 1 January 2005, and allows a private citizen

FOIA: new research exemption comes into force

On 1 October, a new exemption (the “New Exemption“) relating to continuing programmes of research came into force under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA“).  Its intention is to protect information pertaining to on-going research from premature disclosure. Section 22A FOIA – inserted by the Intellectual Property Act 2014 (“IPA“) – provides that information

Government policy on transparency comes back to haunt the Cabinet Office

In February 2010, the then Labour Government announced its intention to reduce the period in which Cabinet Office papers were considered confidential from 30 years to 20 years.  It therefore included an appropriate amendment to the Public Records Act 1958 in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.  This was one of the last policies

Health Secretary defies order to disclose advice on National Health Service reform risks

In defiance of the First-tier Tribunal’s decision that the Department of Health should disclose a transition risk register advising on the risks of implementing the proposed reforms of the NHS, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has invoked a rarely-used ministerial veto and refused to publish the register. In doing so, Mr Lansley stated that while