Urgent Request for Comments

February 27, 2007

The Government has drafted amended FOI fees regulations which will allow public authorities to take into account more comprehensively the work involved in dealing with an FOI request. The Department of Constitutional Affairs is consulting on the amended regulations. A copy of the consultation paper can be found on: http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/dpr2007/cp2806.htm

The Summary to the consultation paper states: ‘On 16 October 2006 the Department for Constitutional Affairs published the independent review of the impact of the Freedom of Information Act. Following the conclusions of the review the Government announced it was minded to:

  • include reading time, consideration time and consultation time in the calculation of the appropriate limit (£600) above which requests could be refused on cost grounds; and

  • aggregate requests made by a person or persons apparently acting in concert to each public authority for the purpose of calculating the appropriate limit

The Government has now taken stock of responses to this announcement and proposes to lay new Regulations to give effect to these changes.’

SCL has decided to respond to the DCA’s consultation. The Privacy and Data Protection Group will prepare a response. Interested members are invited to a meeting of the Group on Thursday 1 March 2007 to discuss the response which has to be completed within a week (click here for full details). If you are unable to attend, you may wish to feed your views on the proposals to the named contact: Donna Salador at Charles Russell: donna.salador@charlesrussell.co.uk but you must do so as soon as possible and not later than 5 March.