Freedom of Information

Wales written question – answered on 26th January 2005.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what categories of information are available under Freedom of Information legislation that have not been provided in written parliamentary answers by his Department in the last three years.

Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales), Department for Constitutional Affairs, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs) (also in Wales Office)

The Freedom of Information Act does not make specific categories of information available, but operates on the presumption that all information held by public authorities should be available, subject to the 24 exemptions of the Act.

Whether or not information is exempt under the Act requires the exercise of judgment in each case. The majority of the exemptions also require that the public interest in releasing the information should be weighed against the public interest in withholding it. If the public interest in disclosing the information outweigh the public interest in withholding it the information must be disclosed. The assessment of the public interest has to be made in all the circumstances of the case, on a case by case basis as far as each request is concerned.

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