Isle of Man freedom of information act consultation begins

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Isle of Man residents are being consulted about plans for freedom of information legislation.

A government spokesman said the new proposals are designed "to strike a balance between openness, confidentiality and affordability".

The consultation, which is available online, will run until 21 March.

Chief Minister Allan Bell said: "There will always be areas where legitimate confidentiality has to be protected."

A Freedom of Information Act was introduced in the UK in 2005.

The Isle of Man's version of the legislation would not apply to information pre-dating the start of the current government in October 2011.

It would only be available to Isle of Man residents and its introduction would be phased in across different departments, statutory boards, and the local authorities.

"The Council of Ministers remains committed to increasing openness and transparency, but it has a responsibility to do so within the context of what is practical and realistic given the challenges facing the public finances of our island," said Mr Bell.

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