Friday, 30 January 2009

Will this help

An independent panel, headed by the Mail editor Paul Dacre, has proposed cutting the 30 year rule in half, meaning that many - but not all - official papers will be released after 15 years.

The Independent's piece on this cites the attempt to secure release of the pre-Iraq war Cabinet Minutes from 2003, i.e. six years ago. Dacre says the freedom of information act:
is being applied in an "unsatisfactory and patchwork" manner and Britain now operates "one of the less liberal" regimens for accessing government records.
It is interesting to wonder how, if at all, a fifteen year rule would have affected the information tribunal ruling on the cabinet minutes. Would the tribunal have thought that releasing the papers nine years early was no big deal, or perhaps of so little help that it wasn't worth doing?

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