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Free to distrust

The Freedom of Information Act will not increase public trust, and that's a good thing

By Alasdair Roberts   February 2005

The UK Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1st January, is described by the government as a remedy for flagging public confidence in government. Charlie Falconer says that FoI is “essential to the renewal of trust” in public institutions.

But if the Blair government is so sure about the tonic effect of FoI, why has it taken so long to put the law into place? After all, since Labour’s election in 1997, over 30 other countries have adopted similar laws. The likely answer is that the government suspects—rightly—that FoI will do nothing to boost public trust. On…

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