MPs from all the major parties have signed a motion to parliament asking them to protect the Freedom of Information Act from proposed changes.
Conservative MP Richard Shepard proposed the motion to parliament which has so far been supported by members from the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, the leader of the Green Party and also the Social Democratic and Labour Party.
The government is planning to reduce the overall “burden” and cost of the FOI Act by implementing new proposals which will make it easier to refuse requests. The motion says:
That this House notes that the Government is proposing to make it easier for public authorities to refuse Freedom of Information requests on cost grounds in order to prevent disproportionate use of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by some requesters.
The motion also states that the proposals to be introduced have already been rejected by the Justice Committee who conducted scrutiny into the Act.
It also points out that a tribunal ruling on ‘vexatious’ requests will ensure that the cost of Freedom of Information Act of public authorities is reduced and that the government’s objectives will be achieved without introducing new measures.
Along with the MPs the Campaign for Freedom of Information helped to draft the motion to parliament and is urging members of the public to ask their MPs to sign the motion to protect the Act.