The Commission on Freedom of Information is to looking at the possibility of fees as part of a wider review of the Act.
The commission is being chaired by Lord Burns and includes former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw, former Conservative leader Lord Howard of Lympne, Lib Dem peer Lord Carlile of Berriew and former BBC vice-chair Dame Patricia Hodgson.
In a public call for evidence, announced on Friday as part of the review, the commission discusses charges implemented for FoI requests in other countries as well as past attempts to do so here.
Writing on his personal blog, David said: “This is the back door to restrict access to information through charges to tighter rules around the time spent finding information.
“The burden would be much lighter if councils and government departments kept better records, were more open with information in the first place, and worked harder to make FoI a smoother process for everyone.
“It doesn’t need a commission to solve those problems. It takes common sense coupled with a desire to really have the most transparent government in the world.”
David added: “What’s abundantly clear through the creation of the commission is that both that common sense and desire are lacking in Westminster.
“Everyone likes accountability until they are the ones who are accountable, or so it seems. Make no mistake, FoI faces its greatest threat yet.
“This is little more than an attempt to seal off the state from the scrutiny it is obligated to be subject to.
“How the commission handles the public responses will reveal just how open-minded they really are. My gut feeling is not to expect too much. Only volume of opposition can help stop this.”
The Cabinet Office said the panel had been asked to consider the balance between the need to maintain public access to information, the burden of the Act on public authorities and whether change is needed to moderate that while maintaining public access to information.
Last month ten regional press editors were among a host of industry leaders to sign a letter to the Prime Minister, pictured above left, expressing “serious concern” at the government’s approach to FoI.