Govt to withdraw controversial resolution on access to cabinet documents

by October 3rd, 2019

The government says it’s withdrawing a resolution aimed at keeping cabinet documents secret for an additional fifty years.

There has been intense public debate since Tuesday, October 1 when the government tabled a resolution to extend the period of exemption for cabinet documents from 20 years to 70 years.  It says this became necessary as cabinet considered a request for the minutes of cabinet meetings in 1975 and 1976 under the Access to Information Act, which provides for the release of exempted documents after 20 years of their coming into existence.

In a statement Thursday the  OPM  says it notes the concerns raised by the public and at the next sitting of parliament the Joint Select Committee will be named to review the Access to Information Act, the Archives Act and the Official Secrets Act.

In withdrawing the interim measure of the order resolution, the government says the very important issues raised in the public debate will go straight to the joint select committee for consideration.

As a result, the request for cabinet documents before the authorities will be reconsidered.