Concerns raised about Freedom of Information Act review

20 July 2015

The Green Party’s Justice Spokesperson has raised concerns that the Cabinet Office has launched a cross-party review of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Act was introduced in 2000 to enable people to gain access to information held by the government and public authorities.

Some members of the "independent panel", which will be reviewing Freedom of Information laws, have already made clear their intentions to further restrict information available to the public.

The launch of the review was announced on the same day that information came to light that Royal Air Force pilots have participated in bombing raids in Syria, despite MPs voting against military action in 2013. This information only came to light due to a Freedom of Information request from the Human Rights organization, Reprieve.

Green Party Justice Spokesperson, Charley Pattison said: "Transparent and accountable decision-making is essential to a successful democracy. Freedom of Information requests have often been the strongest weapon used against corruption in government. 

The FoI Act already contains adequate protections for sensitive information; any further restrictions will most likely be to protect politicians rather than the public."

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