Freedom of Information Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 14th November 2000.

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Photo of Baroness Whitaker Baroness Whitaker Labour 9:30 pm, 14th November 2000

My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Mackay, said, this amendment is indeed relevant to Amendment No. 43. However, it is particularly relevant for the following reason. My understanding of the explanation of the noble Lord, Lord Lester, of Amendment No. 43 is that it would send a signal to the public, and to the public service, that there is a public interest in the disclosure of the factual information behind decision making. In effect, it is a purpose clause and one that implies a strong presumption of entitlement to the factual information concerned. If that is the case--it would be helpful if my noble and learned friend the Minister would also confirm this--there is less need for the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish.