Dutch MP wants to limit freedom of information

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The Christian Democrats CDA want to prevent lawyers from having access to review discretionary decisions by the Immigration and Asylum Minister. According to MP Ad Koppejan, the Government Information Act gets in the way of ministerial discretion.

The MP was one of the two CDA dissidents, who wanted the minister to use his discretion to allow former unaccompanied underage asylum seeker Mauro Manuel to stay in the country. He hopes that in the future the minister will be able to use his discretionary powers more freely. However, when lawyers have access to review discretionary decisions – he says there is a chance that a decision will be used as a precedent. “We should therefore undo the possibility of using the Public Information Act," the MP says.

Fellow CDA MP Ger Koopmans, says this is one of the proposals to be considered by the party soon. Parliament is currently awaiting a letter from Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner on limiting the use of the Government Information Act, to discourage what Minister Donner sees as abuses of the freedom of information legislation.

The government recently came under criticism from the national ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer for hampering public access to government documents.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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