The UK Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 was passed with the intention of making government more transparent, accountable and effective. It has led to a number of high-profile stories, from MPs' expenses to Heathrow expansion and the Cabinet minutes on Iraq.
The authors ask: has FOI worked? This book is the first systematic evaluation of FOI anywhere in the world. It evaluates the performance of the Act against its objectives, and its impact on Whitehall. The book draws upon evidence from interviews with officials, plus FOI requesters and journalists as well as stories in the national press. Each chapter draws on case studies to make particular points and bring the study to life. It also compares developments in the UK to those in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.