Freedom of Information Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, ACCESS TO INFORMATION HELD BY PUBLIC AUTHORITIES - continued

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The Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal
The Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal.     18. - (1) The Data Protection Commissioner shall be known instead as the Information Commissioner.
 
      (2) The Data Protection Tribunal shall be known instead as the Information Tribunal.
 
      (3) In this Act-
 
 
    (a) the Information Commissioner is referred to as "the Commissioner", and
 
    (b) the Information Tribunal is referred to as "the Tribunal".
      (4) Schedule 2 (which makes provision consequential on subsections (1) and (2) and amendments of the Data Protection Act 1998 relating to the extension by this Act of the functions of the Commissioner and the Tribunal) has effect.
 
      (5) If the person who held office as Data Protection Commissioner immediately before the day on which this Act is passed remains in office as Information Commissioner at the end of the period of two years beginning with that day, he shall vacate his office at the end of that period.
 
      (6) Subsection (5) does not prevent the re-appointment of a person whose appointment is terminated by that subsection.
 
      (7) In the application of paragraph 2(4)(b) and (5) of Schedule 5 to the Data Protection Act 1998 (Commissioner not to serve for more than fifteen years and not to be appointed, except in special circumstances, for a third or subsequent term) to anything done after the passing of this Act, there shall be left out of account any term of office served by virtue of an appointment made before the passing of this Act.
 
 
Publication schemes
Publication schemes.     19. - (1) It shall be the duty of every public authority-
 
 
    (a) to adopt and maintain a scheme which relates to the publication of information by the authority and is approved by the Commissioner (in this Act referred to as a "publication scheme"),
 
    (b) to publish information in accordance with its publication scheme, and
 
    (c) from time to time to review its publication scheme.
      (2) A publication scheme must-
 
 
    (a) specify classes of information which the public authority publishes or intends to publish,
 
    (b) specify the manner in which information of each class is, or is intended to be, published, and
 
    (c) specify whether the material is, or is intended to be, available to the public free of charge or on payment.
      (3) In adopting or reviewing a publication scheme, a public authority shall have regard to the public interest-
 
 
    (a) in allowing public access to information held by the authority, and
 
    (b) in the publication of reasons for decisions made by the authority.
      (4) A public authority shall publish its publication scheme in such manner as it thinks fit.
 
      (5) The Commissioner may, when approving a scheme, provide that his approval is to expire at the end of a specified period.
 
      (6) Where the Commissioner has approved the publication scheme of any public authority, he may at any time give notice to the public authority revoking his approval of the scheme as from the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which the notice is given.
 
      (7) Where the Commissioner-
 
 
    (a) refuses to approve a proposed publication scheme, or
 
    (b) revokes his approval of a publication scheme,
       he must give the public authority a statement of his reasons for doing so.
 
Model publication schemes.     20. - (1) The Commissioner may from time to time approve, in relation to public authorities falling within particular classes, model publication schemes prepared by him or by other persons.
 
      (2) Where a public authority falling within the class to which an approved model scheme relates adopts such a scheme without modification, no further approval of the Commissioner is required so long as the model scheme remains approved; and where such an authority adopts such a scheme with modifications, the approval of the Commissioner is required only in relation to the modifications.
 
      (3) The Commissioner may, when approving a model publication scheme, provide that his approval is to expire at the end of a specified period.
 
      (4) Where the Commissioner has approved a model publication scheme, he may at any time publish, in such manner as he thinks fit, a notice revoking his approval of the scheme as from the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which the notice is published.
 
      (5) Where the Commissioner refuses to approve a proposed model publication scheme on the application of any person, he must give the person who applied for approval of the scheme a statement of the reasons for his refusal.
 
      (6) Where the Commissioner refuses to approve any modifications under subsection (2), he must give the public authority a statement of the reasons for his refusal.
 
      (7) Where the Commissioner revokes his approval of a model publication scheme, he must include in the notice under subsection (4) a statement of his reasons for doing so.
 
 
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Prepared 15 November 2000