MPs to Review Operation of FOI : Submit Your Views Logo

MPs are about to review the first five years of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We’d like to encourage users of mySociety’s Freedom of Information website to share their views and experiences with the MPs who are to carry out the review.

The review is being conducted by the House of Commons’ Justice Select Committee.

The committee is currently inviting people to make submissions to it. The deadline for submissions is Friday 3 February 2012.

A memorandum from the Ministry of Justice has been prepared to brief the committee, that document notes, in paragraph 67:

Very little research has been published detailing the views of requesters of information.

Particularly in light of this we thought it would be worthwhile alerting our users to this review; if we could encourage our users to make submissions to the committee that might help ensure they receive balanced evidence: from outside, as well as within, the public sector.

While the committee is interested in any comments on the act’s operation, specific questions the committee has asked for comment on are:

  • Does the Freedom of Information Act work effectively?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Freedom of Information Act?
  • Is the Freedom of Information Act operating in the way that it was intended to?

Responses can be emailed to:

Details of how responses should be formatted and technical details relating to submission are available on the webpage announcing the call for submissions.


  1. It would be great if those who do submit evidence comment on the bodies receiving public funding (or fulfilling a public function) that are not yet covered. see here: addtofoi [broken link removed Aug 2013] for more details.

  2. WhatDoTheyKnow has submitted evidence to the committee in advance of its review.

    We have asked for permission to publish what we have submitted.

    Hopefully we’ll be able to either link to a copy the committee publishes, or publish our submission ourselves, shortly.

    Richard – volunteer

  3. An evidence session is to be held on at 10:30 on 21 February.

    Details of all those giving oral evidence have been published on the Justice Committee webpage as:

    Maurice Frankel, Campaign for FOI, Alexandra Runswick, Deputy Director, Unlock Democracy, Unit, and Alex Skene, Volunteer, WhatDoTheyKnow; Jim Amos, Honorary Senior Research Associate, and Ben Worthy, Research Associate, UCL Constitution Unit

    We don’t know the committee’s plans for taking further evidence, how many sessions there will be etc.

    Personally I’d expect the committee to have sessions with the Information Commissioner, representatives of central and local government, and others. It’s anyone’s guess as to how long the process will take and in what format its findings will be released.

    The best place to stay up to date is via the committee’s webpages at: