Saturday, October 04, 2008

FOI Survey

The UCL Constitution Unit is to evaluate the impact of Freedom of Information (FOI) in the UK. FOI is intended to make government transparent, participatory, effective and responsive to its constituents. First, some brief information about the Project:

The primary aims of this project are:
  • to clarify the theoretical reasoning behind the introduction of FOI
  • to evaluate the performance of FOI against its policy objectives
  • to assess the impact of FOI on the working of the Whitehall model.

Preliminary research has identified six policy objectives which will be tested in the course of the research. We will investigate to what extent the following objectives of the UK FOI Act are being achieved:

  • Greater transparency
  • Increased accountability
  • Better public understanding of government decision making
  • More effective public participation in the political process
  • Increased public trust and confidence in government
  • Better quality of government decision making

At the same time, we will examine how the introduction of FOI has affected the Whitehall model, in particular five key characteristics of the model:

  • Civil service neutrality
  • Cabinet system
  • Ministerial accountability to Parliament
  • The culture of secrecy
  • Effective government.
More details of the survey can be found here.

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