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Freedom of Information — Nosey Parker's Charter?

Phil Lee of Denton Wilde Sapte examines whether the Freedom of Information Act could be used as a tool by nosey parkers to access commercially sensitive information about taxpayers collected by HMRC
In January this year the controversial Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) came into full force ushering in a new regime of public sector openness and transparency. At the time newspapers were quick to report a flurry of stories about public authorities rapidly shredding sensitive documents prior to the Act's implementation date. For all its initial public support the Act has been criticised by proponents and opponents alike: proponents arguing that the Act does not go far enough giving wide-ranging exemptions from disclosure of publicly-held documents; opponents expressing concerns about the nature of material that might be...

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