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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 Second Marshalled List of Amendments to the Freedom of Information Bill to be moved in Committee in the House of Lords.

 The amendments have been marshalled in accordance with the Instruction of 28th September 2000, as follows-- 
 Clauses 3 to 16
Schedule 2
Clauses 17 to 54
Schedule 3
Clauses 55 to 60
Schedule 4
Clauses 61 to 66
Schedule 5
Clauses 67 to 72
Schedule 6
Clauses 73 to 83
Schedule 7
Clauses 84 and 85
 
 [Amendments marked * are new or have been altered] 
Amendment
No.
 
  
Clause 13
 
  
BY THE LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
THE LORD GOODHART
 
97     Page 7, line 37, leave out from ("arise") to end of line 42 and insert (",  the public authority shall inform the applicant whether it holds the information unless it appears to the authority that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption in question outweighs the public interest in disclosing the fact that the authority does or does not hold information of the description specified in the request") 
98     Page 8, line 5, leave out subsection (5) 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
99     Page 8, line 8, leave out ("factual") 
  
BY THE LORD GOODHART
THE LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
 
100     Page 8, line 10, leave out subsection (6) 
  
BY THE LORD FALCONER OF THOROTON
 
     The Lord Falconer of Thoroton gives notice of his intention to oppose the Question that Clause 13 stand part of the Bill. 
  
Clause 14
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
101     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,")
 
102     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.")
 
103     Page 8, line 27, after ("authority") insert ("which shall be") 
  
BY THE LORD FALCONER OF THOROTON
 
     The Lord Falconer of Thoroton gives notice of his intention to oppose the Question that Clause 14 stand part of the Bill. 
  
After Clause 14
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
104     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .  An applicant may publish (whether in print or on the internet or by any other means) any information received by him as a result of a request for information, subject only to the payment of such fees as are specified.")Publication of information.
  
Clause 15
 
  
BY THE LORD FALCONER OF THOROTON
 
105     Page 8, line 39, leave out subsections (2) and (3) and insert--
 
    ("(2)  Where--
    (a)  in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as respects any information, relying on a claim--
          (i)  that the duty to confirm or deny is excluded only by a provision of Part II not specified in section (Effect of exemptions)(3), or
          (ii)  that the information is exempt information only by virtue of such a provision, and
    (b)  at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section (Decisions relating to certain transferred public records)(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section (Effect of exemptions),
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the application of that provision has yet been reached.
 
    (3)  A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section (Effect of exemptions) does not apply must, either in the notice under subsection (1) or in a separate notice given within such time as is reasonable in the circumstances, state the reasons for claiming--
    (a)  that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the authority holds the information, or
    (b)  that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.")
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
106     Page 9, line 17, leave out ("12") and insert ("12(1)") 
  
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
 
107     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.
  
Schedule 2
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
THE VISCOUNT ASTOR
 
108     Page 60, line 11, at end insert--
 
    ("(4)  For subsection (4) there is substituted--
        (4)  The Tribunal shall consist of--
      (a)  a chairman appointed by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the Advocate General for Scotland;
      (b)  such number of deputy chairmen so appointed as the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the Advocate General for Scotland may determine; and
      (c)  such number of other members appointed by the Secretary of State as he may determine taking into account the respective interests of each part of the United Kingdom."")
 
  
BY THE LORD GOODHART
THE LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
 
109     Page 60, line 42, leave out paragraph 19 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
     The Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish gives notice of his intention to oppose the Question that Schedule 2 be the second Schedule to the Bill. 
  
Clause 17
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
110     Page 10, line 12, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
111     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.")
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
112     Page 10, line 29, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  A publication scheme, and any associated manuals, instructions, guidelines or other documents intended to inform staff of the effects of this Act and on its operation, shall never be exempt information under Part II of this Act.")
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
113     Page 10, line 30, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
114     Page 10, line 32, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
115     Page 10, line 36, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
  
Clause 18
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
116     Page 10, line 40, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
117     Page 11, line 3, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
118     Page 11, line 5, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
119     Page 11, line 7, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
120     Page 11, line 9, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
121     Page 11, line 13, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
122     Page 11, line 17, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
123     Page 11, line 20, leave out ("Commissioner") and insert ("Ombudsman") 
  
After Clause 18
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
THE VISCOUNT ASTOR
 
124     Insert the following new Clause-- 
 ("MANUALs 
     .--(1)  A public authority to which this section applies shall maintain a list identifying any manuals, instructions, precedents, guidelines or similar materials used by it in connection with the performance of such of its functions as affect, or are likely to affect, the rights, privileges or other benefits, or obligations, penalties or other detriments, to which persons are or may become entitled, eligible, liable or subject.
 
    (2)  A public authority to which this section applies shall ensure that the list referred to in subsection (1) and a copy of every item which has been included in the list--
    (a)  is available for inspection by any person at the offices of the public authority;
    (b)  is supplied on request to any person on payment of a fee which may not exceed the marginal cost of making a copy of the item and posting (or otherwise supplying) it to that person; and
    (c)  is available on the Internet.
    (3)  A public authority is not required by this section to make available any exempt information unless the public interest in disclosure of that information outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption.
 
    (4)  The public authorities to which this section applies are--
    (a)  any public authority in respect of which an investigation may be made by--
          (i)  the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration;
          (ii)  the Welsh Administration Ombudsman;
          (iii)  the Assembly Ombudsman for Northern Ireland;
          (iv)  a local authority; and
    (b)  any other public authority which has been notified in writing by the Information Commissioner that it is subject to the provisions of this section.")
Manuals.
  
Clause 19
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
125     Page 11, line 42, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  For the purposes of subsection (1), information is not reasonably accessible to the applicant if it is not available in a particular electronic form and the applicant reasonably requires information in that form.
 
    (  )  For the purposes of subsection (1), information is not reasonably accessible to the applicant if he is not free to publish that information (whether in part or on the internet or otherwise) subject only to a fee determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.")
 
  
Clause 20
 
  
BY THE LORD MACKAY OF ARDBRECKNISH
 
126     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,")
 
  
BY THE LORD GOODHART
THE LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
 
127     Page 11, line 44, leave out paragraph (a) and insert--
    ("(a)  the information is held by the public authority and the authority has made a public commitment to publish the material within the next three months,")
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
THE LORD GOODHART
THE LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
 
128     Page 12, line 6, leave out subsection (2) 
  
Clause 21
 
  
BY THE LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
THE LORD GOODHART
 
129     Page 12, line 12, at end insert (",  and its disclosure would prejudice the functions of any of those bodies") 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
130     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 22
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
131     Page 13, line 1, leave out subsection (2) 
  
Clause 23
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
132     Page 13, line 13, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  A certificate under section 21(2) or 22(3) can never itself be exempt information.")
 
  
Clause 24
 
  
BY THE LORD LUCAS
 
133     Page 13, line 30, leave out subsection (3) 
 
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