Meetings of the Government
28. (1) A head may refuse to grant an FOI request if the record concerned—
(a) has been, or is proposed to be, submitted to the Government for its consideration by a Minister of the Government or the Attorney General and was created for that purpose,
(b) is a record of the Government other than a record by which a decision of the Government is published to the general public by or on behalf of the Government, or
(c) contains information (including advice) for a member of the Government, the Attorney General, a Minister of State, the Secretary General to the Government for use by him or her solely for the purpose of the transaction of any business of the Government at a meeting of the Government.
(2) A head shall refuse to grant an FOI request if the record concerned—
(a) contains the whole or part of a statement made at a meeting of the Government or information that reveals, or from which may be inferred, the substance of the whole or part of such a statement, and
(b) is not a record—
(i) referred to in paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (1), or
(ii) by which a decision of the Government is published to the general public by or on behalf of the Government.
(3) Subject to this Act, subsection (1) does not apply to a record referred to in that subsection—
(a) if and in so far as it contains factual information relating to a decision of the Government that has been published to the general public, or
(b) if the record relates to a decision of the Government that was made more than 5 years before the receipt by the head concerned of the FOI request concerned.
(4) A decision to grant an FOI request in respect of a record to which paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) applies shall not be made unless, in so far as it is practicable to do so, the head concerned has, prior to the making of the decision, consulted in relation to the request with—
(a) the leader of each political party to which belonged a member of the Government that made any decision to which the record relates, and
(b) any member of the Government aforesaid who was not a member of a political party.
(5) Where an FOI request relates to a record to which subsection (1) applies, or would, if the record existed, apply, and the head concerned is satisfied that the disclosure of the existence or non-existence of the record would be contrary to the public interest, he or she shall refuse to grant the request and shall not disclose to the requester concerned whether or not the record exists.
(6) In this section—
“decision of the Government” includes the noting or approving by the Government of a record submitted to them;
“record” includes a preliminary or other draft of the whole or part of the material contained in the record;
‘‘Government’’ includes a committee of the Government, that is to say, a committee appointed by the Government whose membership consists of—
(a) members of the Government, or
(b) one or more members of the Government together with either or both of the following:
(i) one or more Ministers of State;
(ii) the Attorney General.