Friday, December 17, 2004

Freedom of Information Act Awareness Guidance No 26

Freedom of Information Act Awareness Guidance No 26: Communications with Her Majesty and the Awarding of Honours

The guidance from the IC is hardly encouraging for the requester: "It has been suggested by those with experience of royal matters that in practice very little additional information will become available under FOI; it will be a case of codifying and establishing more formal guidelines for the existing arrangements public authorities already have in place for dealing with information relating to royal communications.". The guidance is factually correct in the interpretation of the aspects of the Act relating to the S37 but the tone feels very deferential. I think there will be much information that will be "in the public interest" to release that this guidance doesn't seem to pick up on. Surely it will be in the public interest to know what attempt Prince Charles has made to intervene on education policy, I would argue that this information needs to be in public domain to further debate on the role of the monarchy. My argument would that if the Royals don't want this information to become public than perhaps they shouldn't intervene in political areas?

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