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The Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Case Study Example

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 This study discusses the execution of the public’s right to information on matters of public concern in the United Kingdom The Freedom of Information Act 2000. The public authorities, in this respect, are encouraged to confer personally with the requesting parties…
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The Freedom of Information Act 2000
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Download file to see previous pages However, not all information may be divulged by public authorities. Those relating to matters of national security, for example, cannot be given, as well as those which can be properly classified as secret information even of foreign governments or international organizations. Prohibition in these areas is considered absolute and no amount of reconsideration may reverse the same. Other areas, on the other hand, are exempted, subject to some qualifications. In these aspects, the public authority concerned has to decide where the public interest would be subserved more: in maintaining the exemption or not. In case a request is denied, the requesting party may ask for reconsideration from the Information Commissioner who has the power to reverse the decision of the public authority who previously denied the request. This decision, however, may still be appealed to the Information Tribunal, a special tribunal especially created for the same. In relation thereto, the Government per se may interfere and override the decisions of the public authority, Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal. 
In short, every right has its own limitations. The national interest cannot be bargained away in exchange for the public's right to know. The Information Act 2000 recognizes this inherent right of every state, the government, in particular, to maintain some qualified information which may prove detrimental to the national interest. The public's right to know, although recognized, is inferior to the national interest, and cannot be placed above and beyond the so-called national interest since the latter affects the country as a whole.
Another important consideration is the prohibition on request for personal information, despite the fact that some of them are being kept and recorded by an agency of the government. Since this involves not just public information but mainly personal data of the state's constituents, requests for this kind of information are properly covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. Personal right of individuals and entities are considered beyond the ambit of the state's disposition. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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