New FOI Exemption Comes Into Force Today

file2651343124575A new exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 comes into force today (1st October 2014).

One of the key recommendations of the House of Commons Justice Select Committee in its (July 2012) report into post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 was the introduction of a new exemption for research data. The Government accepted this recommendation in its official response late last year. (There is a brief analysis of the main recommendations of the Committee and how the Government has responded on our blog (http://tinyurl.com/pznfyex)).

Section 20 of the Intellectual Property Act 2014, which received Royal Assent on Wednesday 14 May, inserts a new qualified exemption.  Subsection 1(a) of new section 22A provides that information is exempt from disclosure if it relates to information obtained in the course of, or derived from, a programme of continuing research that is intended for future publication.  Subsection (1)(b) however, provides that the information will be exempt only if disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice a matter listed in that subsection.  Public authorities will not be required to confirm or deny that they hold section 22A information if, or to the extent that, compliance would, or would be likely to prejudice, any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1)(b). 

Any public authority can use this new exemption, not just universities. It mirrors the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, which has had a research data exemption (Section 27(2)) since its inception.

Ibrahim Hasan will be conducting full day FOI Update workshop on 9th October in Manchester. He is also running the BCS FOI Certificate course in November.

Author: actnowtraining

Act Now Training is Europe's leading provider of information governance training, serving government agencies, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and corporate law firms. Our associates have decades of information governance experience. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality training that is practical and makes the complex simple. Our extensive programme ranges from short webinars and one day workshops through to higher level practitioner certificate courses delivered online or in the classroom.

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