Office of Government Commerce statement on gateway reviews - 30 May 2007

The Office of Government Commerce, which runs gateway reviews of risky IT-related projects and programmes, has issued a statement on its decision to appeal to the High Court in an effort to keep the results of reviews secret.

The background to the High Court case is on this blog. The appeal means that the Office of Government Commerce does not have to publish the results of early gateway reviews into ID cards for at least another several months, while waiting for the case to be heard.

The OGC said today [30 May 2007]:

“OGC welcomes the Information Tribunal’s findings that OGC had correctly identified that the information requested fell within qualified exemptions from the duty to disclose automatically under the Freedom of Information Act.

“However, it does not agree with the Tribunal’s findings on where the public interest lies in relation to what information should be disclosed and what it is appropriate to withhold.

“So far the Gateway process has helped achieve over £2.5 billion in value for money savings. In the Government’s view, disclosure would seriously undermine the effectiveness of the Gateway process, as confidentiality is essential to the whole process.

“The Gateway process is a crucial management tool to improve the success of the government’s projects and programmes. In the Government’s view it is not in the public interest to put that effectiveness at risk through disclosure of the information contained in the two reports concerned in this case.”