I recently made a request to the government Press Office for some information. I was actually after a few facts regarding the funding of the St. Helena Broadcasting (Guarantee) Corporation, the SHGBC. Politically sensitive, maybe, but not exactly a matter of national security. Under the UK Freedom of Information Act this information would have been readily available. Indeed, I wouldn’t have needed to request it as it would have been published.
I was denied the information. When I asked why, I was told: “In response to your below enquiry, having taken legal advice, the substance of which is privileged and will not be disclosed. I must advise you that the material sought will not be disclosed. Refusal of disclosure is consistent with applying the principles of the
legislation, modified to reflect local circumstances.” UK
From this it is plain that the government Pres Office does not act in the spirit of Freedom of Information.