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Friday, 25 January 2013
Freedom of Information changes
The Government want to make it easier for officials to refuse to answer requests from the public and the media submitted under the Freedom of Information Act.
Helen Grant, the justice minister, said the Government was looking at stopping "industrial users" of the legislation who submitted multiple applications. She disclosed that the Government was looking at cutting the amount of time which civil servants were allowed to spend on answering requests, meaning that more would be turned down.
Currently, officials can refuse to comply with a request if it breaches a cost threshold of £600 to retrieve it in central government, the cost of 24 hours' work. The threshold for councils and other public bodies is £450, or 18 hours' work.