The government has launched the next phase of its action plan to make it more open and transparent but… it failed to mention the Freedom of Information Action. 

In a speech launching the transparency scheme, which will run from 2016-18, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock praised open data and transparency but didn’t even acknowledge the FOI Act.

The closest he got to noting the legislation’s existence was when he reiterated the need to ensure that the advice given to ministers should be kept secret.

“Of course, we must protect a safe space in which frank and candid advice can be given to ministers, while making sure we publish more about our performance,” Hancock said in a speech at the start of the UK’s Open Government Partnership national action plan.

This is almost an exact copy of Justice Secretary Michael Gove’s comments about wanting to limit what can be accessed under the FOI Act.

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.