We have received a copy of the amendment to the FOI Bill, below. At the outset we are concerned about one particular section:
There shall be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection an amount to be called, and in this section referred to, as the overall ceiling limit; and different such amounts may be prescribed for those purposes in respect of different public bodies or prescribed bodies.
This is something that was not mentioned in the press release to journalists. The Department mentioned the ceiling, but did not mention that different ceilings could apply to different bodies. We have no idea how this will be applied, but the power will be with the Minister, we assume, to raise and lower ceilings for different public authorities. We have to ask: why?
We will further analyse the proposed amendments and update on this blog.