SITPRO Simplifying International Trade

Background

In November 2000 the Freedom of Information Act received Royal Assent and became fully operational on 1 January 2005.

The Act applies to some 100,000 public authorities. The Act provides greater access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities and imposes obligations on them to disclose information, subject to a range of exemptions. The Act allows 20 working days to provide a response.

The Act was passed with the aim of fostering a culture of openness, transparency and accountability in Government. SITPRO Ltd is committed to comply with the obligations imposed by the Freedom of Information Act.

Main Features of the Freedom of Information Act

A general right of access to information held by public authorities in the course of carrying out their public functions, subject to certain conditions and exemptions.

In most cases where information is exempt from disclosure there is a duty on public authorities to disclose where, in the view of the public authority, the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption in question.

A new office of Information Commissioner and a new Information Tribunal, with wide powers to enforce the rights, have been created.

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