Freedom of Information Bill - continued        House of Commons

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Defamation.     78. Where any information communicated by a public authority to a person ("the applicant")-
    (a) under section 1, or
    (b) in pursuance of a decision under section 13,
  was supplied to the public authority by a third person, the publication to the applicant of any defamatory matter contained in the information shall be privileged unless the publication is shown to have been made with malice.
Scotland.     79. - (1) No order may be made under section 3(1) or 4 in relation to any of the bodies specified in subsection (2); and the power conferred by section 73(3) does not include power to make provision in relation to information held by any of those bodies.
      (2) The bodies referred to in subsection (1) are-
    (a) the Scottish Parliament,
    (b) any part of the Scottish Administration,
    (c) the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, or
    (d) any Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions (within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998).
Application to government departments, etc.     80. - (1) For the purposes of this Act each government department is to be treated as a person separate from any other government department, but this subsection does not enable a government department to claim for the purposes of section 39(1)(b) that the disclosure of any information by it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by any other government department.
      (2) A government department is not liable to prosecution under this Act, but section 75 and paragraph 12 of Schedule 3 apply to a person in the public service of the Crown as they apply to any other person.
      (3) The provisions specified in subsection (2) also apply to a person acting on behalf of either House of Parliament or on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly as they apply to any other person.
      (4) In this section "government department" includes the National Assembly for Wales.
Orders and regulations.     81. - (1) Any power of the Secretary of State to make an order or regulations under this Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.
      (2) No order shall be made under section 4, 43(1) or (2) or 74 unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
      (3) A statutory instrument containing-
    (a) an order under section 3(1) or 6(3) or (7), or
    (b) regulations under any provision of this Act,
  shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
      (4) An order under section 3(5) shall be laid before Parliament after being made.
      (5) If a draft of an order under section 4 would, apart from this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the Standing Orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, it shall proceed in that House as if it were not such an instrument.
Interpretation.     82. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
    "applicant", in relation to a request for information, means the person who made the request;
    "body" includes an unincorporated association;
    "the Commissioner" means the Information Commissioner;
    "decision notice" has the meaning given by section 50;
    "the duty to confirm or deny" has the meaning given by section 1(4);
    "enactment" includes an enactment contained in Northern Ireland legislation;
    "enforcement notice" has the meaning given by section 52;
    "exempt information" means information which is exempt information by virtue of any provision of Part II;
    "fees notice" has the meaning given by section 8(1);
    "government department" includes a Northern Ireland department, the Northern Ireland Court Service and any other body or authority exercising statutory functions on behalf of the Crown, but does not include-
      (a) any of the bodies specified in section 79(2),
      (b) the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service or the Government Communications Headquarters, or
      (c) the National Assembly for Wales;
    "information" means information recorded in any form;
    "information notice" has the meaning given by section 51;
    "Minister of the Crown" has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975;
    "the Northern Ireland Assembly" has the same meaning as "the Assembly" has in the Northern Ireland Act 1998;
    "Northern Ireland Minister" has the same meaning as "Minister" has in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, but until the day appointed for the commencement of Parts II and III of that Act means the head of a Northern Ireland department;
    "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State;
    "public authority" has the meaning given by section 2(1);
    "publication scheme" has the meaning given by section 17;
    "request for information" has the meaning given by section 7;
    "the special forces" means those units of the armed forces of the Crown the maintenance of whose capabilities is the responsibility of the Director of Special Forces or which are for the time being subject to the operational command of that Director;
    "subordinate legislation" has the meaning given by subsection (1) of section 21 of the Interpretation Act 1978, except that the definition of that term in that subsection shall have effect as if "Act" included Northern Ireland legislation;
    "the Tribunal" means the Information Tribunal.
Expenses.     83. There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament-
    (a) any increase attributable to this Act in the expenses of the Secretary of State in respect of the Commisssioner, the Tribunal or the members of the Tribunal,
    (b) any administrative expenses of the Secretary of State attributable to this Act,
    (c) any other expenses incurred in consequence of this Act by a Minister of the Crown or government department or by either House of Parliament, and
    (d) any increase attributable to this Act in the sums which under any other Act are payable out of money so provided.
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Prepared 11 February 2000