Thursday, June 15, 2006

IC's decision notice served upon his own office

Last week I posted about the Friends of Earth press release that reported the IC had served a notice on his own office. They have now released the full text of the notice. Although it is not good press for the ICO, I have to point out that it is one of the few ICO's in the world that is subject to FOIA provisions in terms of being a listed public authority in its own right. The problem is poor stanards in case handling leads to more direct FOIA requests to the ICO about procedural matters that only then produces more work for the ICO. A circle that the ICO will hopefully have to square a some point this year by better case handling - as outlined in their business case for more funds.

Case Ref: FS50116262
Date: 31/05/06
Public Authority: The Information Commissioner
Summary: The complainant requested information from the Commissioner regarding another complaint which the Commissioner was then considering. In particular, the complainant requested copies of correspondence between the caseworker allocated to this complaint and a public authority. Although the complainant received a prompt response, this did not constitute a proper refusal notice and the complainant therefore requested an internal review of the decision to refuse his request. This review led to a release of some of the requested information. Following an investigation, the Commissioner's decision is that the request was not handled in accordance with the requirement of section 17. The Commissioner also accepts that there was an unreasonable delay in reviewing the refusal of the request. The Commissioner also finds that the complainant should have been advised that some of the information requested was not held. However the Commissioner upholds the decision, ultimately reached on review, to withhold some of the requested information in reliance on section 44 of the Act. This provides an exemption where disclosure of
information would contravene another statutory provision, in this case s.59 of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: s.1 - Complaint partially upheld; section 17 - upheld.
Full Transcript of Decision Notice FS50116262

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