Legislative process

As is well known, Section 35 of FoIA creates a class-based exemption from disclosure designed to protect the effective formulation of Government policy; and Section 36 creates an exemption related to effective conduct of public affairs.  The scope of the Section 35 exemption is that information may be exempt if it relates to the formulation or development of Government policy.  However, the wide scope of the exemption is narrowed by the provision that once a decision as to Government policy has been taken statistical information used to provide an informed background to the decision is no longer exempt.  Moreover, in determining whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in its disclosure, regard must be had to the particular public interest in the disclosure of factual information that has been used, or is intended to be used, to provide an informed background to decision making. Continue reading