• Date/time: Wednesday 16 March, 18.00-19.30 (registration from 17.45)
  • Place: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London
  • Book your free place at this link

The UK’s coalition government has said it is committed to making Britain the most open administration in the world, pushing a series of open data innovations through the Open Government Partnership (OGP). On the other hand, there has been a rumble of discontent with the Freedom of Information regime, even before Tony Blair despaired that he ever introduced it. In parallel, the devolved administrations have begun to push their own FOI and open data agendas. These tensions have gathered pace since 2015 with judicial rulings, the formation of an Independent Commission on FOI and a powerful counter reaction from civil society and the media. This seminar brings together an expert panel to explore the advances, tensions and controversy and answer the question ‘where are we now with openness’?

Panel (to be confirmed): Maurice Frankel, Campaign for Freedom of Information; Ben Worthy, Birkbeck Department of Politics; Heather Brooke, investigative journalist and professor of journalism, City University London.


About this seminar series:The Openness and…” Seminar Series is a programme of seminars that explores the concept of openness – a defining feature of modern political discourse – in its various applications and contexts. It looks at openness from civil, legal, historical and technical perspectives, as well as from local and international perspectives. Efforts towards openness, such as mandatory reporting, freedom of information, whistleblowing, open data, information activism, public accounting etc. are all concerned with providing access to information. The series brings together specialists in diverse fields concerned with information collection, management, use, release and re-use to discuss the methods, politics and repercussions of access to information. The seminars are open to all and the conveners welcome input from the public as well as academics and practitioners. Contact details for the Information Law and Policy Centre at this link.