250 responses on Government plan to water down FoI

The Government has received some 250 responses to the second consultation on its controversial plans to water down the Freedom of Information Act.

The second six-week consultation on the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations closes today.

The proposals would massively increase the number of FoI requests thrown out on cost grounds irrespective of the public interest.

According to the Newspaper Society the changes would ‘effectively neuter the act”.

Press Gazette’s Don’t Kill FoI campaign attracted unprecedented support from across the press with nearly every national and regional daily newspaper editor adding their support to a petition condemning the proposals.

The Governmeent has said that it will publish a formal response within the next few months.

Campaigners are hopeful that new Prime Minister Gordon Brown – himself a member of the NUJ – will throw out the proposed watering down of the FoI Act. Earlier this year Brown pledged to uphold press freedom when he spoke at a lunch organised by the Journalists’ Charity.

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