FOI in Parliament 13-21 October

21 October 2005
Written Answers – Deputy Prime Minister: Regional Housing Boards
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the regional housing boards will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 when they are merged with the regional chambers.
Yvette Cooper: …Regional Assemblies are voluntary bodies and not therefore subject to the *Freedom of Information* Act 2000. However, “Guidance on the General Principles of Designation of Voluntary Regional Assemblies”, issued by my Department in October 2004 states: “The Assembly should…

20 Oct 2005
Business of the House
David Chaytor: …has opened up the debate on Trident, is it not essential that we do not allow Conservative interpretations of what constitutes national security or commercial confidentiality to limit the spirit of *freedom of information* about Trident in which the debate must take place?

19 October 2005
Written Answers – Deputy Prime Minister: Departmental Websites
Jim Fitzpatrick: …answer given on 17 October 2005, Official Report, column 806W. Unique visitors to the ODPM website have more than doubled since its launch. The website also helps ODPM to fulfil its commitment to *Freedom of Information*, with more than 300 publications and nearly 300 press releases and statements uploaded to the website in 2004–05. ODPM is therefore continuing to develop the…

Written Answers – Northern Ireland: Freedom of Information
Angela Smith: It is not possible to identify precisely the number of officials who deal with *freedom of information* issues, since it is potentially part of every civil servant’s role to respond to *Freedom of Information* requests. However, one of the primary support functions of Information Management staff is to deal with these requests, plus requests made under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the…

18 October 2005
Identity Cards Bill (Programme) (No. 3)
William Cash: …to an enabling Bill. The enabling process changes the nature of the operation completely and will not allow proper debate. As the Minister well knows, the reality is that in the context of what the *Information Commissioner* said, this is about state surveillance. That is why I presented George Orwell’s book “1984” to the Home Secretary who, to his disgrace, is not here this afternoon…

14 October 2005
Police Cautions (Data Protection)
Paul Goggins: … To obtain greater clarity on the operation of the Data Protection Act 1998 in such a case, Hertfordshire police decided to approach the *Information Commissioner*, who referred the police to Home Office circulars 20/1988 and 55/1998…The Data Protection Act 1998 should not be seen as a barrier to disclosure. It permits disclosures where they are required for legitimate purposes, but does not permit those which would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The Act is complex and requires careful judgements to be made, but the starting point should always be to look for reasons to enable information to be shared rather than blocked.

13 October 2005
Written Answers – Constitutional Affairs: Freedom of Information Act
Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire, Con) : To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of improvements achieved by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 over the former Code of Practice on access to Government information.

Leave a Reply