Headlines: July 23rd, 1998

Public service managers will need to consider their information management practices closely when the Government publishes its draft Freedom of Information Bill in September.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Dr David Clark, today said: “The Government’s commitment to a radical FOI Act is clear, and has already been set out in the White Paper Your Right to Know. FOI is a key part of the Government’s programme to modernise British politics through radical constitutional change”

The Bill will include recommendations on:

* proposals for integrating Freedom Of Information with privacy requirements under the Data Protection Act.

* commitment to publish the results of the government’s review of restrictions on disclosure in existing laws.

* confirmation of extensive powers of an Information Commissioner, including the power to test claims for exclusion from the FOI Act.

The Government’s proposals for a Freedom of Information Act are set out in the White Paper Your Right to Know: Freedom of Information, price £9.90, CM 3818, ISBN 0-10-138182-4. Your Right to Know was published on 11 December 1998. To order a copy please call The Stationery Office Publications Line on 0171 873 9090. Media copies are available from the Cabinet Office Press Office on 0171 270 0043/1272.