asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are in agreement with the
Charter for Open Government published by the Association of London Authorities to all local authorities.
The Government believe local authorities should conduct their business as openly as possible and to this end supported the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, which came into operation on 1st April this year. It would be inappropriate to comment on those aspects of the ALA Charter that go beyond the requirements of the 1985 Act in advance of consideration of the report of the Widdicombe Inquiry into the Conduct of Local Authority Business. The committee was asked to pay particular attention to matters of accountability, and to examine possible ways of strengthening local democracy. Its report is expected to be published later this month.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will adopt the principle of open access as set out in the Charter for Open Government published by the Association of London Authorities for internal documents held by the Department of the Environment.
The Government are firmly committed to making available as much information as possible about their activities, subject to necessary confidentiality.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will require British Nuclear Fuels Limited, the Central Electricity Generating Board and the Atomic Energy Authority to adopt the principles set out in the Association of London Authorities' Charter for Open Government?
Although the principles set out in the Association of London Authorities' Charter for Open Government are not directly applicable to BNF plc, the UKAEA and the CEGB, the Government believe that the nuclear industry should operate as openly as possible; and subject to considerations of both commercial confidentiality and, where relevant, national security, these organisations already make information on their activities generally available to the public. In particular, any proposals for new major projects are subject to full scrutiny through the public planning process.