Journalists could have their attempts to hold the Government to account significantly curbed by proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Daily Telegraph has reported that one significant proposal is to prevent reporters, from the same media group, from making requests that cost more than £450 in the same three-month period.

Further changes would allow officials to put thinking time into costs.

Unsurprisingly, newspapers will find these proposals unhelpful given that information released through freedom of information requests has formed the basis of some of the biggest newspaper stories in recent years. Public bodies, including NHS trusts and PCTs, face a considerable number of FOIA requests each year, with a significant number being from members of the press. The Government has stated that such changes would “encourage the FOIA to be applied more consistently whilst ensuring that the FOIA regime offers value for money”.