Businesses must disclose what they tell ministers when lobbying

Secret deals between industry players and politicians have long been part of government business. Now they will be subject to scrutiny.

Last week the Information Tribunal ruled in favour of greater disclosure and ordered the Government to release records of meetings between the CBI employers' group and the former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The decision, upholding a previous ruling by the Information Commissioner, was a victory for the environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth.

In a ruling published on 1 May, the tribunal ordered that nearly all of the disputed information had to be released because there is a strong public interest in understanding how lobbyists influence government.

Freedom Of Information: Businesses must disclose what they tell ministers (The Independent, 9 May 2008)