The UK’s troubled FOI regime is based on secrets and lies

14/06/2022 | Legal Cheek

London School of Economics law student Nhan Pham-Thanh examines the history of UK freedom of information, which he claims has ground to a halt under the current government. FOI is in decline under Boris Johnson. In April, over 100 journalists, politicians and campaigners signed an open letter to incoming information commissioner, John Edwards, calling for an end to government secrecy and better enforcement of freedom of information legislation. Looking beyond the failings of the current government, the author looks back across the history of FOI, born out of the highly secretive 20th century. Then onto tentative steps in the right direction with John Major's 1994 Code of Practice on Access to Government Information and up to the 2000 Act. The final remarks consider "how open government has never been fully accepted in Britain. FOI developments seem to be stuttered: always two steps forwards and one step back, regardless of who is in charge."

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Physical archives, records, information access, files, FOI,

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