Headlines: September 3rd, 2004

A new electronic publication has been launched to help local authorities prepare for new duties to be imposed on them from January 1st 2005 under the Freedom of Information Act. “Information is Power” has been produced by the Local Government Information Unit.The e-guide explains the law governing access to information for the public and elected councillors. It aims to help councillors, local authority officers and members of the public navigate what it calls “the maze of laws” that exist in England and Wales. It also describes the changes that are in train.

LGIU Policy Officer Ramani Chelliah, the author of “Information is Power” said, “Active citizenship and strong local democracy require access to information to be as open as possible to the public and their elected representatives. This area is governed by a complex and changing web of legislation.”

The guide, available to be downloaded free at http://www.steerbriefing.org.uk/lgiu/Infop.pdf   has been written to be a concise account of legislation that already exists, including the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.