Proposed curbs on Freedom of Information

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Indy Politics

Attempts to unearth government secrets using the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act will be severely curtailed under plans outlined yesterday.

FoI inquiries will be restricted not just on the basis of cost but also the time taken to deal with them, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, proposed in a consultation paper. The proposals would particularly affect MPs, journalists, campaign groups and researchers keen to discover Whitehall information.

At present, government departments usually have to answer requests that cost them less than £600 to process. But Lord Falconer proposes including the time taken to consider each request - a move which would massively increase the number of applications turned down on cost grounds.

The consultation process runs until 8 March and the paper is at www.dca.gov.uk

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