Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

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Home Positive Action Group Our Charter and Objectives Open and Accountable PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information Bill - Executive Summary

PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information Bill - Executive Summary

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Article Index
PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information Bill
Executive Summary
Draft Bill Clauses 5 to 10
Draft Bill: Clauses 11-14
Draft Bill: Clauses 18-22
Draft Bill: Clauses 27-31
Draft Bill: Clauses 34-42
Draft Bill:Clauses 43-47
Draft Bill: Clauses 48-50
Draft Bill: Clauses 53-67
All Pages

B) Executive Summary

1. The incorporation of exemptions from public scrutiny is the most controversial and critical aspect of any FOI legislation. We have serious concern about a fundamental concept within the Bill, that of the test of “prejudice” that enables public authorities to refuse providing information. It is used extensively in Part 4 (Qualified Exempt Information) and as commonly interpreted provides too low a threshold to justify rejecting requests. It goes to the heart of whether the legislation is truly open, fair and meaningful. 

The Scottish FOI Act adopts a more robust test, by using “prejudice substantially” and we strongly suggest that it be incorporated in this IOM legislation. Its use will significantly safe-guard the public interest when acces to information is requested.

2. The exclusion of the Council of Ministers as a public authority is a major weakness in the Bill and should be reconsidered. 

3. It is cleary intended that a system of fees be introduced to process requests. A request fee is not levied under the existing Code and should not be under this legislation, for straightforward requests. There should be no application fee for any request.  P A G deplores the fact that within the consultation document no indication of the level of fees has been given (cf. Jersey Report).



 

Comments   

 
0 #2 RE: PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information BillGuest 2011-11-01 20:34
I cannot accept that a Crown Dependency should have entirely separate legislation to the UK. The cost of modern governance is beyond that which our island could collect through fair taxation. Therefore, I propose that our Civil Service should be an extention of the UK operation, on some matters.
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0 #1 Peel Commissioners view of Draft FoI Billroy 2010-09-28 11:59
http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/Peel-board-critical-of-Freedom.6503601.jp
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