58 exemptions sought to freedom of information act

Opposition “worried” about number of state-owned firms cabinet members want shielded from the public’s eye

Despite repeated claims to the contrary, revisions to the freedom of information act will make it more difficult to obtain certain types of public information, Jyllands-Posten reports.

Among the areas originally highlighted by the justice minister, Morten Bødskov, as benefitting from the changes, was state-owned firms. But a new internal report finds that six cabinet members are asking for a total of 58 state-owned firms, including DSB, the railway operator, to be granted exemptions from the law.

The Justice Ministry has not indicated whether it will grant the exemptions, but Bødskov denied that he had promised a greater level of access than the law made possible.

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The possibility of granting exemptions has been known all along, but received little attention amid the firestorm of criticism of the changes.

The opposition, which voted in favour of the law, said it was surprised by the number of firms cabinet members were seeking to shelter from the public’s eye.

“It’s worrisome, since the point wasn’t to grant more openness and then go back and make administrative decisions that reduced openness,” said Tom Behnke (K).