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Thursday, August 16, 2007

UK Commissioner and public confidence in decision making

The UK Information Commissioner has made an interesting decision on access under the Freedom of Information Act to documents concerning a meeting between former Prime Minister Blair and a lobbying group of leading executives of multi national companies. While upholding a Cabinet Office decision to refuse access to some documents, the Commissioner ruled it was in the public interest to release background briefing materials in relation to the meeting.

The Commissioner's finding turned on his view that disclosure would "increase public confidence that decisions are properly made". See: Information Commissioner rules on Cabinet Office complaint.

It's been a long time here since we have seen that sort of factor cited as a determinative public interest.

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