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Home Positive Action Group Our Charter and Objectives Open and Accountable PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information Bill - Draft Bill: Clauses 53-67

PAG Submission to Consultation on Freedom of Information Bill - Draft Bill: Clauses 53-67

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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

That has also been the position in the UK, but the UK Act was amended earlier this year to allow the 30 year period to gradually be reduced to 20 years. The Amendment has not yet been brought into force.

We strongly urge that the period be fixed at 20 years to enable the public to have access to what is recent historical information.

This would be consistent with paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 of the Bill which allows access to information relating to meetings of the Council of Ministers to be released after 20 years.

Clause 67 – record tampering

 (1) Subsection (2) applies if –

(a) a request for information has been made to a public authority; and

(b) the applicant is entitled to be supplied with the information under this Act  

(2) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence if he or she alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals a record held by the public authority, with the intention of preventing the authority from supplying the information to the applicant

Comment

It seems logical to extend (b) by adding ...”or the Data Protection Act”

An anomally may arise if this clause is confined to a public authority. It needs to include private bodies as well.

Schedule 3 – Powers of entry and Inspection

 8 The powers of inspection and seizure conferred by a warrant issued under this Schedule are not exercisable in respect of information which is

(a) absolutely exempt information; or

(b) qualified exempt information, in circumstances where a request for information has been refused.

Comment

Schedule 3 gives the Commissioner the power to seek a warrant to enter premises and seize material relevant to an authority’s failure to comply with the Act or commission of an offence under it.

The powers do not allow the Commissioner to seize any exempt information which the authority is refusing to disclose.

In the UK there is a warrant power, but the only information which cannot be seized is information which is claimed to fall under the exemptions dealing with security bodies or national security (Clauses 19 or 27) or information about the authority’s legal advice on compliance with the FOI Act.

The IOM Bill transforms this limited immunity into a right to withold any information whose disclosure the authority is resisting.

The Bill should reflect the UK position.


W Roger Tomlinson

Chair – P A G

September 2010 
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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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