Friday, July 30, 2004 - lifting the lid

"The introduction of the Freedom of Information Act is still months away, but it is already worrying those involved in public sector projects. Jon Robins reports.....the ICO anticipates around 2,500 complaints from the public concerning requests having been resisted by public authorities. Life is going to be hectic at the ICO, as there will be only 75 staff dealing with the FOIA caseload in January (presently there are 40). If either party is not happy with the decision of the ICO, they can appeal to the Information Tribunal and then possibly to the High Court on "

Also contains interesting insights into the commercial in confidence abolsute exemption: "Martin Soames, a media litigation partner at DLA, predicts “massive problems” with the confidence exemption, which he says is at odds with the courts’ view. An explicitly confidential agreement may not block a public interest claim, he points out. The Jockey Club discovered this last year when it tried to stop Panorama from broadcasting information contained in documents that it had obtained from the club’s former head of security. The court accepted that the information was confidential, but allowed publication because the exposure of the club’s failings was deemed in the public interest."

Full article: 26.07/04

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