Right to information could cause chaos

Local authorities could face administrative turmoil when the
Freedom of Information Act comes into force next January.

Under the legislation, departments will have just 20 days to
respond to requests for information.

Information commissioner Richard Thomas told MPs he was concerned
about how prepared councils were for new laws.

He was supported by the findings of a recent survey of councils in
England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which found that training on
the act varied between councils.

Thomas was addressing the Department of Constitutional Affairs
select committee evidence session.

He also criticised the clarity of the Data Protection Act 1998,
saying his office had had to produce about 80 pieces of guidance on
how to interpret the legislation.

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