Sector viewpoint on Freedom of Information review

NCVO has an article on key points for voluntary organisations from the final report of the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information. The headings give some indication:

  • No charges for FOI requests
  • More proactive data release
  • External Reviews – statutory time limit
  • No extension to charities – unless the contract is worth over £5 million

On the latter point, as extensions of the Act were not included in its terms of reference, the Commission only gives an opinion that in future FOI should apply to all providers of public services, where the contract is worth at least £5 million. » Continue reading news item ... “Sector viewpoint on Freedom of Information review”

Comment on Freedom of Information law

The commission set up by the government to review Freedom of Information legislation is calling for evidence on aspects of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – anyone can respond.

Issues include the Cabinet veto and the practical operation of the Act, ‘deliberative space’, the balance between transparency and the burden of the Act on public authorities more generally.

Consultation runs to 20th November, see official consultation page. » Continue reading news item ... “Comment on Freedom of Information law”

Further extension to freedom of information in Scotland

The Scottish Government is launching a consultation on proposals to extend Freedom of Information legislation to bodies involved with a range of security, care and educational functions. Those being considered for inclusion at this stage include contractors operating private prisons, providers of secure accommodation for children, grant-aided schools and independent special schools.

This move to extend FOI follows an earlier extension in April last year which brought a range of local authority arm’s length trusts delivering leisure, culture and sporting services into the legislation’s scope. » Continue reading news item ... “Further extension to freedom of information in Scotland”

Charity inquiry effectiveness v. transparency

The Charity Commission has welcomed a Supreme Court judgment dismissing all grounds of an appeal brought by a journalist who had requested information about concluded statutory inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act. The Commission says that they “have to balance the need for transparency with the need to conduct effective inquiries in the public interest that uncover mismanagement and wrongdoing in charities”.

However, Civil Society Media reports that it could face a further challenge on the matter http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/17195/ » Continue reading news item ... “Charity inquiry effectiveness v. transparency”