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2. Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the right to access recorded information held by the Registrar. The Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists is named in Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA, and is therefore a public authority to which FOIA applies. Section 19 of FOIA provides that every public authority must adopt and maintain a publication scheme, specifying the classes of information which the public authority intends to publish, the manner in which information of each class is to be published and whether the material is intended to be available to the public free of charge or on payment. Details of the approach I take to FOIA may be accessed via my website, which provides a link to gov.uk, with the generic scheme across government organisations.

In summary, anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on age, nationality or where someone lives, although the Registrar can refuse the request if the information falls within an exemption under FOIA or the costs are too high (if it will cost more than £450 to find and extract the information, following standard Civil Service guidelines).

My general approach would be to provide information about any aspect of my work (including emails, other correspondence and internal documents) unless the cost is too high, or it is not in the public interest to do so. I do not intend to charge a fee for doing so. In accordance with FOIA, I am required to set out my reasons for any decision I make in writing to the person who requested the information, and that person has the right to ask me to review my decision, and to subsequently appeal to the Information Commissioner. It would not be my intention to publish my response at this stage.

In the event of a criminal case, it is normally not possible to use the FOIA to obtain copies of the case papers as these would contain personal data or legally privileged information. Further information may be found at:

https://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/systems/foiaguidance.html#a09

An individual directly involved in the case can obtain some of the case papers by lodging a subject access request. Further information on this process is available via the following link: http://www.cps.gov.uk/foi/personal.html

In the event that I provide information under the provisions of FOIA, it would be my intention to also publish my response at the same time on my website, but not on the Register. In the event that the publication is as a result of intervention by the Information Commissioner, I would also publish that decision.