There are currently about 20 classes of exclusion in the Freedom of Information Act.  These range from national security, to commercial confidentiality, to excessive expense.  These classes of exclusion are far too widely drawn, and the exclusions should be reduced substantially.

Why is this idea important?

 

The current exclusions from the Freedom of Information Act are drawn far too widely.  The exclusions are used as an excuse to avoid the Freedom of Information Act, particularly by commercial and government departments.  The range of the exclusions is very varied – national security, which is necessary; commercial confidentiality which is drawn far too widely and permits companies (in particular) to avoid transparency; conceal wrongdoing; and act in a generally obstructive manner; and excessive expense, used mainly by government and local government departments to act as excuses for "jobsworths".

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