Is this freedom of information?

One month into the Government's `new era of openness', outrage grows at a catalogue of obfuscation and evasion in answer to requests for disclosure
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The Independent Online
Iraq war: legal advice

QPlease disclose the legal advice given by the Attorney General on the legality of the war with Iraq?

ANo. It is exempt as legally privileged information. (Attorney General)

Iraq war: legal discussions

QPlease disclose all ministerial and senior military officer correspondence on the subject of the legality of the war/conflict with Iraq.

ANo. There is no obligation under the Act to disclose this information. (Ministry of Defence)


QPlease disclose all the open evidence against the Belmarsh detainees.

ANo, this would be too costly. Some of the information might also be exempt. (Home Office)


Q Please disclose material concerning Stephen Byers' decision to declare Railtrack insolvent in autumn 2001.

AIt would not be possible to respond to this request within the appropriate cost limit. (Department for Transport)

David Kelly

QPlease disclose the minutes of the meeting of the BBC board of governors on the day of the publication of Lord Hutton's report on his inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly

AIt will take us until 9 March 2005 to balance the public interest against the possible harm of disclosure. (BBC)

Olympic bid

QPlease disclose the assessment of the original candidates to head the Olympic bid following interviews that led to the appointment of Barbara Cassani.

ANo. Interview notes have probably been disposed of. (Greater London Authority)

Primary schools

QHow many primary schools in England still have outside lavatories?

AThe department does not hold this information. (Department for Education and Skills)


Q Please provide minutes of meetings held between officials at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and executives of US gaming companies.

AWe need extra time to determine if this is in the public interest. (DCMS)


QPlease let us see papers relating to the DTI investigation into BAT.

AThe department holds such information, [but] the information itself is being withheld as it falls under the exemption in section 44 of the Act. (DTI)

Lord Irvine's flat

QPlease disclose documents relating to the redecoration of the Lord Chancellor's residence, including costings, since 1997.

ANo. The question is almost certain to exceed the appropriate cost limit. (Department for Constitutional Affairs)