Freedom of Information could be extended to ITV and Sky

ITV and Sky could be brought under the Freedom of Information Act, according to the Information Commissioner.

Richard Thomas, speaking at the Society of Editors conference in Manchester, said that under a goverment consultation, launched by the Prime Minister 10 days ago in a speech on liberty, the two broadcasters could “in theory” be brought in.

He said: “We could move to cover broadcasters. Channel 4 are in, the BBC are in. But [ITV and Sky] are private broadcasters and there is a debate to be had about that.”

Thomas described the FoI act as a “success story” and said that there were 200,000 requests since the act became law on 1 January 2005, though he admitted that the current waiting time for answers to requests – often six months – was unnacceptable.

Thomas said that Gordon Brown’s speech on liberty had “sent a strong message to Whitehall and the rest of the public sector that [FoI] is now an important part of the consitutional settlement.”

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