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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.

  
Clause 1
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 2, line 15, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  A public authority may not enquire as to the reasons why a person has made a request for information, or as to any actions that that person intends to take on receipt of the information.")
 
  
After Clause 2
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .  Public authorities shall, as far as practicable, assist all information applicants to understand the procedure for obtaining access to information under this Act and ensure that each information applicant understands their rights to contact the Commissioner if the information applicant is not satisfied with the information provided or the reason why the public authority will not provide the requested information.")Public authorities: assistance of applicants (No. 2).
  
Clause 13
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 8, line 9, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  In making any decision under subsection (3) or (4), the public authority shall, in particular, have regard to whether any matter in question is no longer under active consideration by that public authority.")
 
  
Clause 20
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 11, line 44, leave out paragraph (a) and insert--
    ("(a)  the information is held by the public authority and the public authority has made an irrevocable public commitment to publish the material and for the scheduled publication date to be within the next three months,")
 
  
Clause 21
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 12, line 16, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  A Minister of the Crown need not sign any certificate under subsection (2) if, in his opinion, no significant harm would be caused by the release of the information concerned.")
 
  
Clause 25
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 13, line 34, after ("to,") insert ("substantially") 
     Page 13, line 41, at beginning insert ("Except in respect of information provided to a public authority by the European Union, its member states, institutions, organisations, or related bodies,") 
  
Clause 27
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 14, line 40, after ("to,") insert ("substantially") 
  
Clause 28
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 15, line 5, leave out ("has at any time been") insert ("is currently being") 
  
Clause 29
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 16, line 19, after ("to,") insert ("substantially") 
     Page 16, line 45, leave out ("improper") and insert ("unlawful") 
     Page 17, line 1, leave out paragraph (d) 
     Page 17, line 6, leave out paragraphs (f) and (g) 
     Page 17, line 12, leave out paragraph (i) 
  
Clause 33
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 18, line 34, at beginning insert ("Subject to subsection (1A),") 
     Page 18, line 37, at end insert ("but only if the release of that information would materially detriment the frankness and candour of those communications") 
     Page 18, line 40, at end insert--
 
    ("(1A)  Subsection (1) only applies where the disclosure of that information would substantially prejudice the formulation or effective implementation of present or future government policy.")
 
  
Clause 35
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 21, line 9, at end insert ("on any living person") 
  
Clause 38
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 21, line 39, leave out paragraph (a) and insert--
    ("(a)  that the disclosure of information to a person would be likely to result in a public authority breaching its obligations to respect the private life of another person as set out in Article 8 of Part I of Schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998, and")
 
  
Clause 41
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 23, line 8, at end insert ("and there is no overriding public interest in complying with the request for information") 
     Page 23, line 11, at end insert ("except that, where the public interest in complying with the request for information exceeds the harm to the public interest that would arise from the authority releasing it, the information is not exempt)") 
  
Clause 43
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 23, line 28, leave out ("effects adverse") and insert ("substantial prejudice") 
     Page 23, line 30, after ("it") insert ("reasonably") 
     Page 23, line 32, at end insert ("substantially") 
  
After Clause 43
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .  Records of ministerial engagements can never be exempt information under sections 19, 20, 26, 27, 33, 34, 38 or 39.")Records of ministerial engagements.
  
Clause 44
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 24, line 36, after ("information,") insert--
    ("(  )  the occasions on which it is acceptable for public authorities to receive information on a confidential basis, and the basis on which that confidentiality shall be accepted and maintained,")
 
     Page 24, line 38, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  The code may include provisions as to how public authorities shall reach decisions under particular sections or subsections of any part of this Act.")
 
  
Clause 46
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 25, line 35, at beginning insert--
 
    ("(A1) The purpose of the Commissioner is to facilitate public access to the information held by public authorities except where disclosure of specific information is exempt under the Act.")
 
  
Clause 47
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Page 26, line 28, leave out ("give to the authority a recommendation (in this section referred to as a "practice recommendation")") and insert ("instruct the authority (in this section referred to as a "practice instruction")") 
     Page 26, line 44, at end insert--
 
    ("(  ) The public authority receiving a practice instruction from the Commissioner shall comply with the terms of the practice instruction within 90 days.")
 
  
Clause 48
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 27, line 2, leave out ("with respect to those functions") 
  
Before Clause 49
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .  The applicant may appeal to the Commissioner where a public body refuses to comply with a request for information under this Act and the Commissioner shall determine whether it is in the public interest to comply or not, and shall direct the public authority to comply where he finds that, on balance, it is in the public interest to disclose.")Application for decision by Commissioner: public interest.
  
Clause 49
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 27, line 8, at end insert ("and of any relevant codes of practice") 
     Page 27, line 8, at end insert ("or Part VI") 
     Page 27, line 33, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  A decision notice should be issued promptly, and in any event should not, without good cause, be issued later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of the application.")
 
  
Clause 56
 
  
BY THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL
 
     Page 31, line 26, leave out ("or the public authority") 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 31, line 27, after ("may") insert (", within five working days,") 
  
BY THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL
 
     Page 31, line 29, after ("may") insert ("not") 
  
Clause 57
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 32, line 2, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  Any appeal shall be determined not later than the twentieth working day following the notice of appeal.")
 
  
Clause 61
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 33, line 4, at end insert ("unless--
    (a)  the dates of creation of the records span more than two years; and
    (b)  the file or other assembly may reasonably be separated into older and more recent parts.")
 
  
Clause 62
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 33, line 7, after ("section") insert ("19, 20, 24, 25,") 
     Page 33, line 7, after ("26,") insert ("27,") 
     Page 33, line 7, after ("35(1)(a),") insert ("37, 39,") 
     Page 33, line 7, leave out ("or 41") and insert (", 41 or 43") 
     Page 33, line 15, at end insert ("the death of every person who might be subject to prosecution on the basis of the information, and in any event after") 
  
Clause 75
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 39, line 7, leave out ("any person to whom this subsection applies") and insert ("a person") 
     Page 39, line 9, after ("authority,") insert ("or does or omits to do any other thing,") 
     Page 39, line 12, leave out subsection (2) 
  
Clause 76
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 39, line 23, at end insert (", and no public authority shall be constrained to follow the procedures in this Act in complying fully with a request for information made to it") 
  
Clause 77
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 39, line 28, at end insert ("or substantial negligence") 
  
Schedule 3
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
     Page 62, line 3, after ("sub-paragraph,") insert--
    ("(  )  to require the decryption of any encrypted or encoded information, and the provision of any passwords necessary for access to protected information,
    (  )  to copy any information held in electronic format, or to seize the equipment containing that information if a copy cannot conveniently be made,")
 
     Page 62, line 9, at end insert ("(except in the case of an application under sub-paragraph (1)(b))") 
 
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