The Government is consulting (link below) on various revisions to the Code of Practice for public authorities on their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act“). The revisions, which are intended to reflect developments in good practice, include the following:

  • additional guidance on fundamental principles, such as how to define “information” and “held” under the Act;
  • a requirement for greater transparency about public authorities’ compliance with the Act, which will compel public authorities to publish quarterly and annual compliance statistics;
  • a requirement for the publication of senior officials’ pay and benefits to increase the information about senior executive remuneration that is accessible to the public;
  • greater clarity on when and how vexatious and repeated requests for information can be refused; and
  • the merging of all Act guidance into a single Code of Practice.

All responses to the consultation should be submitted by no later than 5pm on 2 February 2017.

Please speak to a member of the Hogan Lovells Public Law and Policy team if you would like any more information, or if you would like to discuss submitting a response to the consultation.

Revised Draft Code of Practice: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/659606/FOI_Code_of_Practice_-_Draft.pdf

Consultation Paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/659607/FOI_Code_of_Practice_Consultation_Document.pdf