Graham: FoI is ‘saving public sector money’

The Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) is saving taxpayers’ money by embarrassing public officials who spend money unwisely, according to information commissioner Christopher Graham.

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By Joshua.Chambers

27 Sep 2013

Speaking to CSW, Graham said the Act is “saving billions of taxpayer pounds because it’s driving out bad practices. The blush test is saving a lot of money. And it’s also enabling policymakers, civil servants and citizens to get the best deal; it’s driving down cost. Yes, in records management obviously it’s quite costly, but I think the net effect is probably a saving.”

Graham’s comments come after Rowena Collins Rice, director general of the Attorney General’s Office, told CSW that the FoIA is “capable of being very expensive and burdensome”.

Graham also hit out at former cabinet secretary Lord O’Donnell for suggesting that FoI makes it more difficult to provide written advice to ministers, saying such comments make junior officials unduly worried.

CSW understands Graham is set to be reappointed to a new term, which will take him up to 2016.

Read the full interview here

See also: CSW's editorial on the Freedom of Information Act

Read the most recent articles written by Joshua.Chambers - Interview: Alison Munro

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