WHITEHALL: Access to official papers praised

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The Independent Online
The Government claims that its rules covering public access to official documents are working A survey suggests that since the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information came into force two years ago, only a very small number of complaints from members of the public have been upheld.

Complaints that access to documents was being blocked were lodged by 119 people, but in more than half of these cases, evidence to support the allegations was not forthcoming.

Such matters are investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration - the Ombudsman - and he has so far found only 17 instances of Whitehall obstruction.

Several of those complaints which were upheld concerned the the Valuation Office Agency, responsible for valuing property for the purposes of capital gains and council taxes.. David Walker

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