Blair promises consultation on Freedom of Information restrictions

The Campaign for Freedom of Information issued a formal response to the Government’s proposed new restrictions on the FOI act on Monday.

In a letter to ministers published today, Maurice Frankel, director
of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, said: "We are particularly
alarmed at the speed with which the proposals appear to be moving
towards implementation … there is no reason why the issue should be
dealt with in such haste." (Guardian)

It looks like there has since been some movement over the original plan to go ahead without any formal consultation:

at the Newspaper Conference Annual Lunch, for regional press political
editors and their guests, Tony Blair said: "We will certainly consult
you and others very widely on it." (HoldThe

Steve Wood at the Freedom of Information and Open Government blog suggests we should wait and see whether the shift is confirmed by the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

Meanwhile, the petition against the changes on the Downing Street website has now got some 72 signatures. Among those supporting the petition are a number of journalists including Andrew Grant-Adamson and the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade, who had this to say:

Every journalist should sign, and you’ll find the petition here. If these restrictions are passed then stories of genuine public interest will not see the light of day. The FoI Act is already weak; it must not be allowed to become weaker still. (Greenslade)







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