Open House? The Impact of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on the UK Parliament

20 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2014

See all articles by Ben Worthy

Ben Worthy

University of London - Birkbeck College

Gabrielle Bourke

Independent

Date Written: March 3, 2011

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a two-year study into the impact of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on the UK parliament, looking at how MPs and peers have used the Act and how it has impacted upon parliament. This paper examines the latter, asking if FOI has made both Houses, MPs and peers more accountable and transparent, increased public understanding of parliament, public participation and trust. The findings represent some preliminary conclusions from our study.

FOI has made parliament more accountable and transparent. It has increased understanding on a low level, particularly parliamentary activities but has had no effect on participation and none on trust. Despite concerns, it has had no impact on privilege. The discussion of FOI is dominated by expenses and here a combination of resistance, an opaque system, parliamentary culture and its special governance structure meant the crisis was particularly severe. FOI has led to major changes in parliament, particularly with the creation of IPSA, as well as several lesser changes.

Note: processed, TOO OLD - vicki 11/5/14

Keywords: Freedom of Information, Parliament

Suggested Citation

Worthy, Ben and Bourke, Gabrielle, Open House? The Impact of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on the UK Parliament (March 3, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2518544

Ben Worthy

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

Gabrielle Bourke (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

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