I support freedom of information, but after more than a decade in operation, it is time that the process is reviewed.
The Government has established an independent, cross-party Commission to review the Freedom of Information Act and to make sure it is functioning as intended. The Commission will consider whether there is an appropriate public interest balance between transparency, accountability and the need for sensitive information to have robust protection, and whether the operation of the Act adequately recognises the need for a private space for policy development, implementation and frank advice. The Commission received over 30,000 submissions and has decided to hold two oral evidence sessions in January 2016. The Commission will now report as soon as possible after these sessions. I look forward to the Commission's conclusion and the Government's response in due course.
I am encouraged that my colleagues in Government are strengthening accountability and making public services work better for people. You may also be interested to know that the World Wide Web Foundation's Open Data Barometer and Open Knowledge's Global Open Data Index ranked the UK as the world's leading country on open government.
The North London Hospice is looking for at least two trustees to join its Board.
If you think you may have the experience necessary and are interested in more information, click here to download the full advert (pdf: 135k)