Two sides to freedom – Legal Week

Posted July 26th, 2007 in freedom of information, special report by sally

“It is now two-and-a-half years since the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) came fully into force, and it is now very much in the media spotlight. Should a breakdown of MPs’ travel expenses be accessible to the general public? To what extent should the formulation of government policy take place in a ‘safe space’ free from public scrutiny? Should the BBC be required to disclose an internal report examining whether it was biased in its reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? All of these issues have been considered recently by the Information Commissioner and by the Information Tribunal (which hears appeals from the Commissioner’s decisions). They have also been the subject of wider debate among politicians and in the media. They raise an issue that lies at the very heart of FOIA: at what point does a requirement for openess and transparency by public authorities begin to threaten the effective operation of those same authorities?”

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Legal Week, 26th July 2007