Today’s Daily Telegraph has an important story about the traditionally secretive British Government’s response to the introduction of the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, which comes into force on New Year’s Day. The lede says it all:

Government departments have been shredding record numbers of official files in the months leading up to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

Update: The Telegraph has a number of additional stories about this, including a a leader and a comment piece about civil servants’ secrecy in which Ben Fenton invokes Yes, Minister. Fenton also provides some backround with a report on the so-called “Grigg System” for records disposal.

Update 2: The Scotsman has a story about the Scottish FOIA, which also comes into force on 1 January 2005.