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Friday, July 07, 2006

UK FOI- Rupert Murdoch and the Queen in the spotlight

It would be a full time job to try to keep up with important and interesting FOI developments overseas so we limit international coverage only to the very important, or very interesting to Australian readers categories.

We couldn't resist reporting that the UK Information Commissioner has overruled a Cabinet Office decision to refuse access to a request seeking dates of telephone discussions between Prime Minister Blair and media magnates (our once Australian) Rupert Murdoch and Richard Desmond of the Express. The Cabinet Office refused access on the basis that disclosure would be prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs. The Commissioner found that in this particular case the public interest required the disclosure of the requested information, provided that the Cabinet Office's records indicated that the discussions which had taken place were of an official nature. The Commissioner also concluded that when refusing the request for information the Cabinet Office should have provided a clearer explanation of both why it considered the information exempt and of its consideration of the public interest test. Full Transcript of Decision Notice FS50086128

And how about this, (our very own) Queen has had to ask for more money to fund three new staff positions to deal with consultations with government departments that have received FOI applications concerning matters in which the Royal Household has an interest.

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