The government’s Freedom of Information Commission, which is reviewing the transparency law, has announced who will give oral evidence to it. 

In total 17 groups and individuals will speak to the five person Commission over two evidence sessions at the end of January.

Included in the list is the Campaign for Freedom of Information, the Information Commissioner, the National Police Chiefs Council (formerly ACPO), Liberty, council, university, and NHS representatives and a number of Lords.

The two sessions will take place in London on 20th and 25th January and be open for members of the public and press to attend. Although, there are fewer seats available during the second evidence session and they will not be streamed online.

Also included among the witnesses are members of the media. The Press Association and also the Society of Editors are due to share their views on why the FOI Act is important for journalists. The Tax Payers’ Alliance and campaign group 38 Degrees will also be defending the public right to know.

The oral evidence sessions follow more than 30,000 submissions of evidence to the Commission in November. The Commission does not yet have a date when it will publish its report but it has been said the work will be completed in February.

Both sessions will be held at First Floor, Portcullis House, Bridge Street, London SW1A 2LW at the following dates and times:

  • 20th January from 1pm to 4pm in the Attlee Suite
  • 25th January from 10am to 5pm in the Macmillan Room

The full list of those giving evidence can be found below: 

20 January 2016

Witnesses Time
Information Commissioner: Christopher Graham 1pm to 2pm
Rt Hon Lord McNally 2pm to 2:25pm
National Police Chiefs Council: Ian Readhead and Mark Wise 2:25pm to 2:50pm
38 Degrees: Blanche Shackleton 2:50pm to 3:15pm
Lord O’Donnell 3:15pm to 3:40pm

25 January 2016

Witnesses Time
Taxpayers’ Alliance: Jonathan Isaby 10am to 10:25am
Liberty: Sam Hawke 10:25am to 10:50am
Local Government Association: Councillor David Simmonds 10:50am to 11:15am
Universities UK: Nicola Dandridge 11:15am to 11:40am
Health and Safety Executive: Peter McNaught 11:40am to 12:05pm
NHS Providers: Chris Hopson 12:30pm to 12:55pm
Kent County Council: Caroline Dodge and Geoff Wild 12:55pm to 1:20pm
Society of Editors and the Press Association: Bob Satchwell and Peter Clifton 1:20pm to 2:10pm
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP 2:25pm to 2:40pm
The Rt Hon Lord Beith 2:40pm to 3:05pm
Professor Christopher Forsyth and Professor Richard Ekins 3:05pm to 3:30pm
Campaign for Freedom of Information: Maurice Frankel 3:30pm to 4:30pm
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.