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Freedom of Information Act

Volume 493: debated on Thursday 4 June 2009

6. How much has been spent from the House of Commons administration vote on completed administrative and legal challenges to decisions of the Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal and the courts made in respect of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. (277955)

Legal actions have incurred external costs to the administration estimate of £55,361 to date. The internal costs associated with legal challenges are absorbed within the cost of running the House administration and cannot be separately identified. The figure does not include costs charged to the Members’ estimate.

A number of my constituents have asked whether that sum might be paid back out of existing budgets of the House of Commons. Is that possible?

I am unclear what the hon. Gentleman means. To whom would it be paid back, and by whom? If the money were paid to the Treasury from the House of Commons administration estimate, then it would be going round in a circle. I cannot see what public interest would be served by such a transaction.