Whitehall plans to dodge rules on access to information

Obstruction in Whitehall seems set to restrict the impact of the 1990 EC Directive on public access to environmental information, which is due to be brought into force at the end of the year. An official from the Department of the Environment (DoE) has revealed that other Departments are likely to block requests for not only their own information but industrial data claimed to be commercially confidential.

Proposals to implement the EC Directive were issued by the Department of the Environment on 29 October (ENDS Report 213, p 30 ). Although the consultation ended on 30 November, the DoE is still hoping to have the regulations in force by the 31 December deadline.

The implications of the Directive have taken so

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