Friday, May 11, 2007

Liverpool City Council criticised for Freedom of Information handling

ICO press release 11 May 2007:
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has criticised Liverpool City Council over its handling of requests under the Freedom of Information Act. In a letter to Chief Executive, Colin Hilton, the ICO cites a catalogue of failings by the council to meet the requirements of the Act and outlines what the council needs to do to improve its performance.

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office the council does not have adequate procedures in place to deal with freedom of information requests and failed, on a number of occasions, to provide the ICO with the information required to investigate a complaint under the Act.

A practice recommendation issued by the ICO highlights the council’s ‘symptomatic poor practice in handling freedom of information requests’ and criticises the council’s failure to provide adequate advice and assistance to individuals requesting information under the Act.

The ICO will continue to monitor the council’s information request handling procedures and performance and will assess its progress against the ICO’s recommendations in 6 months.

Last year the ICO prosecuted Liverpool City Council for breaching the Data Protection Act after it failed to provide an individual with their health records held by the Council, despite several warning from the ICO.


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