DCA consultation on changes to FOI legislation

The BBC reports that Ministers are pressing ahead with plans to limit the Freedom of Information Act, which critics say is aimed at keeping embarrassing information secret.

The government currently answers requests which cost less than £600 to process - but the proposals would include officials' time in that limit. Critics say it will mean a massive reduction in information disclosed on cost grounds.

Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, has issued a consultation paper which proposes extending the £600 limit to include officials' time. It would also mean several requests by one company, organisation or individual - even if they are on different subjects - could be dealt with together.

Ministers to limit openness law (BBC website, 14 December 2006)

Draft Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2007 Consultation Paper (Department for Constitutional Affairs website)