FOI in Parliament: 24 October – 8 November 2005

8 November 2005
Written Answers – Transport: Central Railway
David Lidington (Aylesbury, Con) – To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library copies of the documents on the Central Railway project that were released by his Department to Central Railway plc following an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Derek Twigg – The documents will be placed in the Libraries of the House. (NB the Library is NOT accessible to the general public, so effectively these documents remain secret except for the perusal of MPs and their staff).

Written Answers – Deputy Prime Minister: IT Projects
David Laws (Yeovil, LDem) – To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many IT projects have been developed for his Department since 2001; and whether he has agreed to make public (a) in full and (b) in part Gateway reviews for these projects.
Jim Fitzpatrick – According to central records, 47 IT projects have either been completed or set in train since the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) was established in May 2002. Gateway reviews are conducted on a confidential basis for the Senior Responsible Owner and ODPM have not agreed for any report material to be made public. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 each request for the release of information contained in a Gateway Review is considered on a case-by-case basis.

7 November 2005
Written Answers – Transport: IT Projects
David Laws (Yeovil, LDem) – To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many IT projects have been developed for his Department since 2001; and whether he has agreed to make public (a) in full and (b) in part Gateway reviews for these projects.
Karen Buck – 235 IT projects have been developed for DfT from 29 May 2002, when the Department was formed. A Gateway review is conducted on a confidential basis for the senior responsible owner of each project. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 each request for the release of information contained in a Gateway Review is considered on a case-by-case basis. To date the Department has not received any requests for disclosure of Gateway reports under FOI.

3 Nov 2005
Westminster Hall Debates: House of Commons Commission (Annual Report)
Geoff Hoon: …issue towards the end of my remarks. Other challenges
during the period in question include the setting up within the House
services of the necessary mechanisms to respond to the requirements of
the *Freedom of Information* Act 2000, which came into force for the
House at the beginning of the year.

Written Answers – International Development: IT Projects
David Laws (Yeovil, LDem) – To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many IT projects have been developed for his Department since 2001; and whether he has agreed to make public Gateway reviews for these projects (a) in full and (b) in part.
Gareth Thomas – The exact number of IT projects of all sizes developed in DFID since 2001 cannot be determined without incurring a disproportionate cost. Three large current projects have been subject to the Gateway process, two assessed as medium risk and one as low risk. Gateway review reports have been produced for two of these projects and are confidential to the Senior Responsible Owners. Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000, each request for the release of information contained in a Gateway review is considered on a case-by-case basis. To date, DFID has received no FOI requests relating to Gateway reviews.

Written Answers: Education & Skills – IT Projects
David Laws (Yeovil, LDem) – To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many IT projects have been developed for her Department since 2001; and whether she has agreed to make public (a) in full and (b) in part the Gateway Reviews for these projects.
Maria Eagle – The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills. To respond to the question fully would involve an extensive internal and external information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold. However, to be helpful, current departmental records confirm that in excess of 72 DfES-led IT projects have gone through the Office for Government Commerce Gateway Review process since 2001. With regard to the release of Gateway Review Reports, as these are conducted on a confidential basis for the Senior Responsible Owner of the project concerned the information contained within the reports is not proactively or routinely released. However, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, requests for the release of information contained in Gateway Review reports are considered on a case-by-case basis. To date, the Department has received no such FOIA requests.

24 Oct 2005
Written Answers – Constitutional Affairs: Freedom of Information
Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury, Con) – To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations she has received from public bodies on their entitlement to withhold information requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if she will make a statement.
Harriet Harman: …Since the Freedom of Information Act came into force on 1 January, nearly 3,000 cases have been referred to the Clearing House.

Written Answers – Northern Ireland: Freedom of Information
Iris Robinson (Strangford, DU) – To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the costs which have resulted from requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Angela Smith (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office) – The information requested is not collected routinely and could be obtained at only disproportionate cost.

One Response to “FOI in Parliament: 24 October – 8 November 2005”

  1. Nick says:

    Your statement “NB the Library is NOT accessible to the general public, so effectively these documents remain secret except for the perusal of MPs and their staff)” is not actually correct.

    A member of the public can access documents within it by contacting the House of Commons Information Office (details here http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/g18.pdf). In the past I have asked for and received copies of documents referred to in PQs as being put in the Library.

    However, clearly it’s not the most accessible way to publish information!

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