UK. Open Government. July 1993

1.1 Open Government is part of effective democracy. Citizens must have adequate access to the information and analysis on which government business is based. Ministers and public servants have a duty to explain their policies, decisions and actions to the public. Governments need, however, to keep some secrets, and to have a duty to protect proper privacy of whose for whom they deal.

4.3 The essential requirements to make the intensions set out in this White Paper stick are:
— a clear statement of principle on what kind of information will be available;
— a clear statement of the circumstances in which information can justifiably be withheld;
— detached, authoritative and independent supervision.

4.4 The Government proposes to develop a Code of Practice, and supporting means of delivery of information to the public, which will meet these objectives. A draft Code is set out for Consultation at Annex A.

9.14 Examples of records closed for longer than 30 years under the first criterion are those which:
— refers to possible plans of intervention in a foreign state;
— concern security or defense of UK Dependent Territory, where release could jeopardise the security of the territory concerned;
— comment on unresolved border or territorial dispute, not necessarily directly involving UK; or
— comment adversely on leaders of, or internal affair of, foreign states.

«Open Government»
Presented to Parliament by the Chancellor of The Duchy of Lancaster By Command of Her Majesty
July 1993
Cm 2290, LONDON : HMSO

File for download — Open Government Whitepaper 1993.pdf

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