Dear Freedom of Information officers of the House of Commons,
Please send me the text of the European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Bill 2012-13 recently introduced by Douglas Carswell MP.
Dear Mr Keegan,
Freedom of Information request F12-357
Thank you for your request for information as detailed in your message below.
Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 exempts information if it is held with a view to future publication.
Private Members’ Bills are published shortly before their second reading debate. This Bill is due to have its second reading on 26 October 2012 and has not yet been published. When it is it will be available on the parliament website via the following page (under the ‘latest bill’ heading):
While there is a public interest in providing access to information relating to Private Members' Bills such as that covered by your request, this interest is being met by the planned publication of the information. Therefore, the balance of the public interest rests with maintaining the exemption while this information is being prepared and finalised for publication.
You may, if dissatisfied with the treatment of your request, ask the House of Commons to conduct an internal review of this decision. Requests for internal review should be addressed to: Freedom of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, House of Commons London SW1 0AA or [House of Commons request email]. Please ensure that you specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you wish to make.
If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
Arianne Kitchener | IRIS Manager
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of Commons
I note the information I requested (the text of a private member's bill) has now been published on the Parliament website as you stated.
The text of the bill suggests that some people have had access to the text since June ("Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 20 June 2012"). Whether or not printing attends immediately upon such an order, I don't think that it is appropriate, in relation to formally-introduced legislation, for political insiders to have access to the detail whilst the public must wait for months, and FOIA exemptions should not be exercised with the effect of creating a situation of unequal access to legislative text between those might wish to campaign about the legislation in question.
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now