Ministry of Justice
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More Opportunity to Comment on Draft Freedom of Information Fees Regulations

More Opportunity to Comment on Draft Freedom of Information Fees Regulations

DEPARTMENT FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS News Release (033/07) issued by The Government News Network on 29 March 2007

There is to be a further opportunity to comment on the proposals to amend the Freedom of Information (FoI) fee regulations, the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) announced today.

Following a consultation on 14 December 2006, the Government is issuing a supplementary paper to consult on the principle of amending the 2004 regulations, specifically on whether they should be amended to deal with requests that impose a disproportionate burden on public authority resources. Further comments on the draft regulations contained in the consultation paper of 14 December 2006 have also been welcomed.

The supplementary paper is aimed at members of the public, public authorities, the media and campaign groups with an interest in the proposed changes.

Information Rights Minister Baroness Catherine Ashton said:

"The Freedom of Information Act has benefited the public enormously. We must continue to build on its success.

"It is entirely right a reasonable amount of money and time is spent dealing with requests for information. But public money is limited and it is the Government's responsibility to ensure it is not unduly diverted from supporting the delivery of frontline services.

"We would like to hear all views and ensure people have the opportunity to comment fully, so we have today published a supplementary paper on the consultation, inviting further comments."

An independent review of the impact of the FOI Act, commissioned by the DCA and published on 16 October last year found a small percentage of requests and requestors were placing disproportionately large burdens on public authority resources.

The supplementary paper is published today. Responses are invited by 21 June 2007.

Notes to Editors

1. The consultation paper can be found on the DCA website at: http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/dpr2007/cp2806.htm.

2. The independent review of the impact of the FoI Act, published on 16 October 2006, is available at: http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/reference/constitutionalAffairsCommittee.htm.

3. Further information about freedom of information can be found at: http://www.foi.gov.uk.

4. The Freedom of Information Act was passed on 30 November 2000 and covers over 100,000 public authorities.

5. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to the UK Government and to public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. See the Scottish Executive website for the Freedom of Information Act Scotland 2002: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/FOI.

6. For media inquiries contact Sandra Smith Hughes, DCA Press Office, on 020 7210.

http://www.dca.gov.uk

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