Saturday, 30 January 2010

Brent Council FOI - FAIL

Here's an interesting thing, I was ploughing through, looking for something interesting to write about, and found it.

Brent Council are refusing to send replies to FOI requests to the website. A chap called Michael Bimmlermmer sent them a Freedom of Information request about it.
I have read about your new policy of not sending replies to FOI requests to the website.

I would like to request access to all internal records concerning this policy change, including but not limited to internal emails, memoranda, letters and notes as well as records of meetings. Moreover I should like a copy of the formal decision of the policy change or if such does not exist, the announcement distributed about it to staff.

I am also grateful for answers to the following questions (which you may or may not decide to treat as business-as-usual instead of FOI requests)

1. Who made the final decision on this policy change? (Name and/or Job title)
2. Who was consulted beforehand?
3. Was legal advice requested?
4. Was the ICO contacted and if yes, what was their reply?

Whilst they don't answer any of the questions put, they do explain why, they're claiming republishing FOIs online may infringe copyright:-
However, whilst we may send the formal notification of the decision to the email address you have provided we will not send the information requested to that address. This is because we are aware that doing so will automatically result in the information being published on the whatdotheyknow website. Publication of information in this way may constitute an unauthorised re-use (under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005) and may infringe copyright. I would therefore be grateful if you will provide me with an alternative disclosure address.

This can be a postal address, fax number or an email address, as long as it does not result in automatic publication and re-use.

It seems a bit rum, and Brent Council are refusing dozens of other FOI requests, here, here, here etc

1 comment:

  1. so they won't countenance "automatic re-publication". So it would be OK for someone to cut/paste or forward the email?

    I could do that...