I gave a paper at the last 11KBW information law seminar, on the new Government’s plans for information law. An updated version of the paper is now available here. It takes account of the Coalition’s programme, published on 20th May.
The new Government is putting forward a number of proposals for disclosing public sector information on a regular and routine basis, rather than on request: for more detail see this posting on the official website for the Prime Minister’s office. On 4th June 2010 the Government disclosed a considerable amount of information from the COINS database (standing for Combined Online Information System) relating to public spending in 2009/10. In total there are thought to be over 3 million separate items of information in the new release. See here for the raw data; and see here for a tool designed by the Guardian, intended to help navigate the newly released information. No doubt the COINS release will lead to a number of follow-up FOIA requests relating to specific items of expenditure; it will be interesting to see how those requests are handled by Government departments.