Decisions 17 May 2004

Monday 17 May at 5pm in Speaker's House

Present:

The Speaker
Sir Stuart Bell
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr Peter Hain
Mr Oliver Heald
Sir Archy Kirkwood

1.  Freedom of information

The Commission

  • confirmed that there should be an assumption that any information held by the Commission will be released in response to an FoI request unless a relevant exemption applies;
  • confirmed that, whenever it is applicable, the privilege exemption provided by s.34 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be invoked to protect the privileged status of Parliamentary proceedings;
  • agreed that advice to the Commission should not normally be disclosed;
  • asked for a draft of briefing material for Members and their staff to be brought to a future meeting.

2.  Hansard Society Exhibition: further consideration

The Commission approved the holding of the exhibition on the basis of the revised plans, and asked the Group on Information for the Public to keep in touch with further developments.

3.  Uncorrected transcripts on the Internet

On the basis that Select Committees would use their discretion to handle carefully any vulnerable or potentially litigious witnesses, the Commission agreed that uncorrected transcripts could be posted on the Internet without the agreement of the witnesses concerned; and asked for a progress report in six months’ time.

4.  Next meeting

The  next scheduled meeting of the Commission would be on Monday 14 June 2004, at 5.00 p.m.