Monday, January 15, 2007

Freedom of Information Bill - 2nd reading

The following private members bill will have its 2nd reading in the HoC on the 19th January.

Freedom of Information (amendment)
David Maclean presented a Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to exempt from its provisions the House of Commons and House of Lords and correspondence between Members of Parliament and public authorities: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 19 January, and to be printed. [Bill 39]

1 comment:

Peter HOAR said...

Steve, Have you examined this bill ?

Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2007 Bill 39 Second Reading 19th January.

This bill has now ( 18th Jan) been published here -

The Bill appears to have two distinctly separate intentions --

1. To make all correspondence between MPs and public authorities “Exempt Information” by inserting a new (additional) Section 37A to Part II. - (The list of Exempt Information) viz - Sect 1 (3) of the Bill.

2. To totally exempt the House of Commons and the House of Lords from the FOI Act, by removing both Houses from the list of public authorities subject to the Act. - Schedule 1 (Public Authorities ) Part 1 General - Paras 2 The House of Commons and Para 3 The House of Lords. Viz - Sect 1 (2) of the Bill – “…delete paragraphs 2 and 3.”

I do understand both Houses are already exempt in respect of the provisions of Section 36 - “Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs.” Now, if I have misunderstood the intention of this bill please tell me so. I did ask Mr Maclean, but was merely referred to the bill as published, so I have to do my best with what I have got. I will refrain from more comment until this is clarified, but the second reading is on Friday 19th. If it passes, assuming I have not got this wrong, all FOI requests to both Houses of Parliament will then be rejected as being totally exempt under the Act. - Peter HOAR