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Exploring Parliament

Exploring Parliament (1st edn)

Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Louise Thompson
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date: 29 September 2023

p. 33331. Parliament and Freedom of Informationlocked

p. 33331. Parliament and Freedom of Informationlocked

  • Ben Worthy


This chapter considers the impact of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 on the UK Parliament. Since 2005, FOI 2000 has helped make both the House of Commons and the House of Lords more open and accountable. The most high-profile effect of the law came in 2009, when it played a part in exposing the abuse of the expense allowance system. Despite the scandal, it is not clear whether FOI has transformed the culture of the two Houses. Nevertheless, the law has indirectly sparked a series of other reforms, so that FOI now sits alongside a whole range of instruments intended to make Parliament more open and accessible. The chapter first provides an overview of what FOIs consist of, their application to legislatures and Westminster specifically, before analysing the extent of the impact of FOI 2000 on the UK Parliament.

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