Freedom of Information government debate (24th January 2013 - 1.30pm)

24/01/13 Reverse order Timestamp format


  1. Good morning, coverage here will begin at 1.30pm when the debate starts.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  2. I'm having some technical difficulties in a well know (tac paying) hot beverage establishment but the live blog will be running shortly.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  3. A summary of the government's response is being read to the MPs that have turned up to the debate.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  4. The debate is supposed to last for three hours, although with the number of MPs that are in attendance it might not take so long.

    Richard Taylor @RTaylorUK
    Just ~4 MPs have turned up to debate the Gov's response to post-legislative scrutiny of #FOI #Live now http://t.co/eo4Alok2
    MB Matthew Burgess
  5. The use of the government veto of FOI requests is being discussed at first.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  6. There will always be criticism of any minister who tried to use the veto, a "severe challenge" will be met, says the scrutiny committee chairman.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  7. Alan Beith, is the chair of the scrutiny committee, who is speaking first.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  8. He says criticism caused by the FOI act is a price worth paying for the openness it creates.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  9. Section 12, the cost limits of the act, says the government disagrees with the committees proposal that redaction should be included in the time taken to process a request.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  10. He says if the government makes changes to the stop users who make 'industrial' request could damage local journalis.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  11. Alan Beith: For unusual and frivolous request including questions "asking about ghosts,"  should be easy to answer when data is not available.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  12. On time limits, he says, they should be introduced for public interest exemption tests and internal reviews.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  13. On University research he says there is an ongoing problem with pre-publication of research done by universities. He is grateful the subject the government has accepted the decision to introduce a new exemption.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  14. The committee thinks the Information Commissioner's role should be a government office.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  15. FOI Directory @FOIdirectory
    Explosion of internet use has had a huge impact on #FOI, Alan Beith. http://t.co/LfmzEmft
    MB Matthew Burgess
  16. Alan Beith: The Freedom of Information act been a significant enhancement of our democracy which is working well.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  17. Elfyn Llwyd on FOI now: When it did inf act come it proved to be a landmark piece of legislation. It has revolutionised the way members of the public have been able to communicate with public authorities.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  18. Before the provisions came into force information on decision making was obtainable through official documents and leaked information which made its way into the press.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  19. MP Elfyn Llwyd: says that internet searches have meant that publication schemes have not worked as people can search for it themselves.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  20. Elfyn Llwyd, because of the internet the public now expect more information easily.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  21. Elfyn Llwyd: evidence heard FOI is used by those in a political process rather than bringing new ones into it.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  22. Christopher Hope @christopherhope
    Well done to Sir Alan Beith, @RobertBuckland and Elfyn Llwyd for speaking up. I wonder why MPs are happy to let Govt get away with it? #FOI
    MB Matthew Burgess
  23. The debate has been suspended until 2.30pm.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  24. Unfortunately, the liveblog is also going to stop at this time as well (due to a meeting).

    MB Matthew Burgess
  25. Come back to the website tomorrow morning for a full report on the debate.

    MB Matthew Burgess
  26. The rest of the debate can be watched here: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=12257

    MB Matthew Burgess