Tom Brake’s bill to strengthen Freedom of Information

Today Tom Brake introduced a bill under the 10 minute rule to limit the powers of ministers to block freedom of information requests and extend the coverage of the Freedom of Information Act to contractors carrying out duties commissioned by the public sector.

Tom said

Strong FOI legislation is a good barometer for the health of any democracy, any attempt to dilute Freedom of Information legislation represents a threat to our democracy.

As we have seen with the activities of companies like G4S and Serco, and charities like Kids Company, a growing proportion of work, previously undertaken by the public sector and therefore subject to FOI, is now undertaken by other organisations not covered by FOI.

How many Medway Secure Training Centre scandals could be prevented if FOI had applied to private sector operators doing public sector work. We need to act on the recommendation by the Public Accounts Committee in 2014 and include these private contractors in scope.

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