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Amendments to the Freedom of Information Bill

Freedom of Information Bill -
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lords

Here you can browse the Amendments to the Freedom of Information Bill to be moved in Committee in the House of Lords.

  
Before Clause 1
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .  The purpose of this Act is to facilitate public access to information held by public authorities.")Purpose of this Act.
  
Clause 2
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 2, line 16, at end insert--
    ("(  )  any Minister of the Crown, government department, local authority, government appointed task force, quasi-autonomous body, any body carrying out public administration at a national, regional or local level or any other body where either--
          (i)  more than half of its funding is received either from government or from bodies that in turn receive more than half of their funding from government, or
          (ii)  a majority of the members of the managing body of the body is appointed by Government or where it is subject to management supervision by another public authority; and")
 
  
After Clause 2
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     (" .  Public authorities must assist applicants in making requests for information.")Public authorities: assistance of applicants.
  
Clause 3
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 2, line 27, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall") 
     Page 3, line 3, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall") 
  
Clause 4
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 3, line 14, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall") 
     Page 3, line 26, at end insert ("and shall consult the Commissioner, and shall allow not less than 20 working days for those persons to respond") 
  
Clause 6
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 4, line 16, leave out paragraph (a) 
     Page 4, line 18, leave out ("or amending") 
  
After Clause 7
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .--(1)  When a request for information is received by a public authority and that information relates to a third party's commercial interests the public authority shall--
    (a)  without delay notify the third party of the request for information and the extent and nature of the information relating to the request and give the third party a reasonable opportunity to make representations regarding whether the information requested falls under an exemption as listed in Part II; and
    (b)  have due regard to any such representations before discharging the duty to confirm or deny and before communicating the information or giving a notice under section 15.
    (2)  For the purpose of subsection (1)--
    (a)  third party" means anyone other than the person making the request of any public authority; and
    (b)  information shall be taken as relating to a third party's interests if that person provided the information to the public authority, is identified in the information and is reasonably likely to be affected (at any time) by disclosure of the information or its existence.
    (3)  Where, after due regard has been given to any representation made in accordance with subsection (1), a public authority is to any extent not relying on a claim that information is exempt information in reaching its decision, the public authority must, without delay, give the third party a notice which--
    (a)  states that fact;
    (b)  specifies the exemption in question; and,
    (c)  states why the exemption does not apply.")
Third party commercial interests: request for information.
  
Clause 8
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 5, line 18, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall") 
     Page 5, line 19, leave out paragraph (a) and insert--
    ("(a)  that a fee may only be charged in prescribed cases and otherwise no fee is to be payable,")
 
     Page 5, line 23, at end insert (", and
    (  )  that any fee should not exceed 10 per cent. of the cost of complying with a request")
 
     Page 5, line 23, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  Regulations under subsection (3) shall provide that fees are set at a sufficiently low level in order to facilitate access by the public to information held by public authorities.")
 
  
Clause 9
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 5, line 27, after ("subsection") insert ("(1A) or ") 
     Page 5, line 29, at end insert--
 
    ("(1A)  Where the authority has notified a third party in accordance with section (Third party commercial interests: request for information) that it has received a request for information which relates to the third party's commercial interests, the third party shall have a period of 10 working days to make representations in accordance with that section, and that period of 10 days shall be disregarded in calculating for the purposes of subsection (1) the twentieth working day following the date of receipt.")
 
     Page 5, line 36, leave out subsection (3) 
  
Clause 10
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 6, line 15, at end insert ("including Braille and large print") 
  
Clause 11
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 6, line 36, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  The appropriate limit does not apply--
    (a)  where the applicant pays the costs, or
    (b)  where the public interest benefit in complying with the request for information exceeds the cost of complying.
    (  )  The applicant may appeal to the Commissioner against a failure to comply with an information request under this exemption, and the Commissioner may at his discretion consider the appeal or refuse it.
 
    (  )  The Commissioner may direct the public authority to comply with the request and the public authority may not appeal against this direction.")
 
     Page 6, line 42, at end insert (", except that the appropriate limit shall not exceed £500") 
     Page 7, line 5, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall") 
     Page 7, line 6, leave out from ("estimated") to end of line 7 and insert ("which shall be based on the marginal cost of locating the information and of related disbursements to the public authority") 
  
Clause 12
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 7, line 10, leave out subsection (2) 
  
Clause 13
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 7, line 17, leave out from ("authority") to end of line 36 and insert ("which is to any extent exempt or whose disclosure is not required by virtue of section 11") 
  
Clause 14
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 8, line 21, leave out paragraph (a) and insert--
    ("(a)  that a fee may only be charged in prescribed cases and otherwise no fee is to be payable")
 
     Page 8, line 25, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  Regulations under subsection (3) shall provide that fees are set at a sufficiently low level in order to facilitate access by the public to information held by public authorities.")
 
     Page 8, line 27, after ("authority") insert ("which shall be") 
  
Clause 16
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     The Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish gives notice of his intention to oppose the Question that Clause 16 stand part of the Bill. 
  
After Clause 16
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
 (Information Ombudsman and Parliamentary Information Committee 
     .--(1)  There shall be a joint committee of the House of Commons and House of Lords appointed, to be called the Parliamentary Information Committee.
 
    (2)  There shall be an officer of the House of Commons called the Information Ombudsman, who shall be appointed by the Parliamentary Information Committee.
 
    (3)  The Parliamentary Information Committee shall hold hearings at which candidates for the appointment as Information Ombudsman may appear; and the Information Ombudsman shall be appointed by the Parliamentary Information Committee for a non-renewable term of six years.
 
    (4)  In this Act the Information Ombudsman is known as "the Ombudsman".
 
    (5)  The Information Ombudsman shall lay annually before each House of Parliament a general report on the exercise of his functions under this Act, and in particular on how he has facilitated public access to the information held by public authorities, on material obstructions to his work, and on material failures to comply with his recommendations and directions by public authorities.
 
    (6)  The Ombudsman may from time to time lay before each House of Parliament such other reports with respect to those functions as he thinks fit.
 
    (7)  The Parliamentary Information Committee shall hold hearings into the appointment of and shall appoint the members of a tribunal, the Information Tribunal, which shall consist of not less than five members and which may include members of the House of Lords.
 
    (8)  The Lord Chancellor may appoint one further member of the Information Tribunal.")
Parliamentary Information Committee.
  
Clause 17
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 10, line 12, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
     Page 10, line 23, at end insert--
 
    ("(2A)  In the case of a local authority, a publication scheme must provide for the release of any agendas, minutes, background papers and reports at least three clear days before any local authority meeting to which they are to be presented.
 
    (2B)  For the purposes of subsection (2A)--
    (a)  the term "meeting" shall include (but not exclusively) meetings of any executive of a local authority, meetings of any committee or sub-committee of any executive, and meetings of any committee or sub-committee of the local authority,
    (b)  if the meeting is convened at shorter notice than three days, the agendas, minutes, background papers and reports shall be available as soon as possible before the commencement of the meeting,
    (c)  minutes shall include a summary of discussions, detailing (but not exclusively) substantive comments made by the participants, motions tabled and the way each participant voted on any division or vote,
    (2C)  Subsections (2A) and (2B) shall not apply to information which would be deemed "exempt" information under section 100I, of and Parts I, II and III of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.")
 
     Page 10, line 30, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
     Page 10, line 32, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
     Page 10, line 36, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
 
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