Foia Settlement Agreement
When secret deals involve government agencies as parties, not only is a potentially endemic problem concealed, but taxpayers` money is usually distributed to secure the deal. Gregory Beck, an attorney with washington-based Watchdog Public Citizen Group .C, said privacy rules are an integral part of confidentiality agreements, including companies concerned about preventing bad publicity from reaching consumers, as well as other lawyers. Beck noted that confidential comparisons also forced municipalities and other potential parties to replicate the discovery — a timely and costly process — if such information had otherwise been available through a public settlement in a previous case. “While there is nothing that prevents a city from entering into a confidential agreement, just because there is a confidentiality agreement does not mean that the public cannot obtain the agreement through a freedom of information request,” Beck said. “So the assertion of confidentiality would make no sense.” One of the most troubling areas of the evolution of jurisprudence under the Freedom of Information Act has been the reluctance of the judiciary to allow the protection of sensitive “comparative information” generated in the context of ongoing or potential litigation. Government authorities generate and receive such information when reviewing the possible settlement of rights with opposing parties. There are strong political reasons to preserve the confidentiality of information exchanged during the conciliation process, but this necessary confidentiality has yet to be recognized by the courts under the FOIA. The agreement and the initiated text messages with which Kilpatrick is now being prosecuted for perjury, after the mayor denied having an affair under oath, were published after the Detroit Free Press filed a lawsuit in February seeking his release. The FTTIR upheld the Information Commissioner`s decision and confirmed that Teignbridge District Council had the right to reject the part of the application concerning X`s conditions of departure, such information being exempted pursuant to Section 40(2) of the FOIA. .