The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information was established on 17 July 2015 by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matthew Hancock, to review the Freedom of Information Act 2000, with the following terms of reference:
The Commission will review the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to consider whether there is an appropriate public interest balance between transparency, accountability and the need for sensitive information to have robust protection, and whether the operation of the Act adequately recognises the need for a ‘safe space’ for policy development and implementation and frank advice. The Commission may also consider the balance between the need to maintain public access to information, and the burden of the Act on public authorities, and whether change is needed to moderate that while maintaining public access to information.
We received over 30,000 responses to our call for evidence, met numerous stakeholders, and heard ten hours of oral evidence. I would like to thank all of those who have participated in the process.