The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 May 2007

A situation not unknown in the States

As of 2005, the United Kingdom has a Freedom of Information act similar to the American FOIA passed in 1966 and modified extensively since then. As with the Stateside version, the UK's FOI has a number of exemptions, including the sort of things one might expect to be protected under the Official Secrets Act.

And Parliament itself is about to be exempted from FOI rules: incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he will not block a bill granting the exemption to MPs. The Commons has already voted to send the measure on to the House of Lords.

David Maclean, a sponsor of the bill, explained why the exemption for Parliament was necessary: "To give an absolute guarantee that the correspondence of Members of Parliament, on behalf of our constituents and others, to a public authority remains confidential."

Opponent Norman Baker counters: "It is an effrontery for the House of Commons to make the deeply hypocritical move of exempting itself from a law that applies to every other public body in the country."

Oh, in case you were wondering, Congress is exempt from FOIA.

(Via Stuffem.)

Posted at 3:50 PM to Political Science Fiction


TrackBack: 5:08 PM, 20 May 2007
» FOIA Across the Atlantic from Sophistpundit
A look at the Freedom of Information Act, in America and in the UK, over at dustbury....[read more]