Select Committee on Public Administration Second Report


Submitted by the Department for International Development

Thank you for your letter of 9 June seeking an explanation for the responses provided by the Secretary of State for International Development on seven Parliamentary Questions.

Question 62386: This reply falls within the exemptions in the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information relating to security. Provision of such information in respect of individuals would provide a clear indication of their level of access to classified material.

Questions 82685 and 82686: These replies fall within the exemptions of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information relating to the privacy of an individual and information given in confidence. References are requested on the basis that they will be confidential. It would breach the principle of privacy if we were to disclose the names of referees without first seeking their consent. Any such breach would also be likely to prejudice the willingness of individuals to supply references in the future. The principle of consent is also not incorporated in the Data Protection Act 1998 which came into force in March of this year.

Question 68424: This reply draws on the well established convention that no information is given about the contents of the Government's legislative programme in any particular session until after the Queen's Speech at the beginning of that Session.

Questions 71070, 71072 and 71055: These replies fall within exemption 2 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which covers internal discussion and advice, the disclosure of which would harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

3 July 2000

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