Access to Government Information Bill - delayed yet again!

Tuesday, 06 July 2010 17:08 JEB
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Tynwald delay FOI yet againPositive Action Group regrets that the consultation document was not released as promised by the Chief Minister only 3 weeks ago.

During Tynwald questions:

The Hon. Member for Douglas East (Mr Robertshaw) to ask the Chief Minister:
In light of Recommendation 1 of the Report of the Select Committee on the Report of Redress for Mr and Mrs Spadoni, whether the Chief Minister will now declare a firm date when he intends to introduce an Access to Government Information Bill?

The Chief Minister (Mr Brown):

After a period of public consultation regarding the proposal for introducing such legislation, as identified in the Question, and after consideration of the views received, the Council of Ministers last month approved a Freedom of Information Bill. This is scheduled to go out for public consultation on Tuesday, 6th July, for a period of eight weeks, following which the Council of Ministers will consider the results of the consultation and agree any required changes to the draft Freedom of Information Bill, with a view to the First Reading of the Bill taking place in the House in October 2010, sir.

P A G wonders why this promise has not been honoured and hopes that a full explanation of the reasons will be given by the Chief Minister. This is not  the first occasion a deadline for introduction has lapsed, but this time the difference is that the target date was quite specific.This further delay gives the impression that the legislation is being reluctantly progressed by Government. Why?