§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds it is proposed that accident reports from Government Departments will be exempt from publication under the draft Freedom of Information Bill. 190W
§ Mr. Straw
The exemption was considered necessary to avoid the possibility of compromising future legal proceedings by giving a right of access to such information. The Bill as drafted requires the authority holding information falling within this class to consider disclosing it, pursuant to clause 14, in the exercise of any discretion it may have to do so. Our view was that it was appropriate to place responsibility for considering the disclosure of such information on the authority concerned.
When I appeared before the Select Committee on Public Administration on 22 June 1999, I accepted that there were arguments in favour of extending rights in this area and I undertook to reconsider the scope of this exemption.