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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information Code of Practice Consultation

The Government is consulting (link below) on various revisions to the Code of Practice for public authorities on their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act“). The revisions, which are intended to reflect developments in good practice, include the following: additional guidance on fundamental principles, such as how to define “information” and

High Court concerned by executive veto, but Black Spider remains in the shadows

The High Court has expressed concern over the “constitutional aberration” that allows the government to block disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, but upheld the application of this veto to the so-called “Black Spider” letters sent by Prince Charles to various government departments. The case is interesting both for its position within the wider

Freedom of Information in the private sector?

The Confederation of British Industry (“CBI“) has revealed that it is developing “transparency guidelines” that will apply to private companies that provide services to the NHS (the “Guidelines“). The CBI’s public service strategy board, which includes managers and directors from some of the UK’s most high-profile outsourcing firms, will be responsible for drawing up the

Justice Minister seeks to reduce public authorities’ FOIA burden

Helen Grant, the Justice Minister, has indicated that the Government is considering measures to reduce the burden that requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) place on public authorities. This follows the Government’s response to the Justice Committee’s post-legislative report on the operation of FOIA, which was reported on this blog in December.

DWP in FOIA disclosure

The Information Commissioner (the “Commissioner“) has again rejected an attempt to rely on the commercial prejudice exemption, highlighting the risks which private companies should consider when engaging with the public sector as a result of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA“). It also demonstrates the need for private companies to liaise closely with public authorities

Is use of the FOI ministerial veto becoming “routine”?

We reported in this blog earlier this year on the decision of Andrew Lansley, the (then) Health Secretary, to exercise the ministerial veto to prevent disclosure of a NHS reform transition risk register, which disclosure had been ordered by the First-tier Tribunal.  At the time we described the ministerial veto (under s.53 of the Freedom

FOIA finally receives some support

The Justice Committee has this week published its report on the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA“),[1] with the media leaping on its criticism of Tony Blair’s failure to provide it with oral evidence.  Contrary to Mr Blair’s suggestion in his book that FOIA has proved to be “antithetical to sensible government“, the Committee concludes that FOIA