The BBC’s Newsnight tonight reported that the Government is planning to introduce charges for FOI requests, perhaps involving a “range of tariffs”. At this stage we have no further details.
SaveFOI is obviously very concerned by this development, which appears to pre-judge the outcome of the ongoing post-legislative scrutiny of the Act being carried out by the Justice Select Committee. Charging for FOI requests would drastically curtail the ability of ordinary people as well as charities, journalists, businesses and others to hold public bodies to account. This seems a particularly strange move for a Government whose Prime Minister has said “We want to be the most open and transparent government in the world.”