Nice to see somone slapping down a city council. Now lets talk compensation. How about they have to grant the next 50 FOI requests without question.
The UK's freedom of information (FOI) law watchdog was wrong to rule that an FOI request was vexatious, the Information Rights Tribunal – formerly the Information Tribunal – has ruled. The request had a "clear purpose and value" and was not "manifestly unreasonable", the Tribunal said. The Information Commissioner's Office ( …
And what if one of those 50 is for social work case files? Or the entirety of a member of staff's file (including details of unfounded disciplinary actions and sickness)? Or you get someone who is making genuinely vexatious requests? And before you start with more ill-informed bleating, people really do make requests that are that stupid.
Thinking before you comment. Try it sometime.
The applicant was probably one of a the rabid green inkers that bombard local authorities with endless FOI requests.
Vexatious decisions can take into account all other contact with an authority not just the request in question.
Some people see FOI a a full time job to ask anything and everything.
I doubt Mr Gardiner is considering the cost to the tax payer in answering his many requests.
FOI is a good thing and local and central Gov does need to be accountable but a few individuals take the legislation to an extreme and can cause a significant amount of disruption and cost which impacts on the whole community.
Do you work for a council by any chance?
If you had you'd realise that the applicant has been treated poorly by the council and had been attempting to resolve a long ongoing situation - the FOI request was part of that.
If the applicant had been bombarding the local authority then it's very unlikely that the appeal would have been upheld.
The FOI act can be abused but but there's no indication that the person involved here has abused the process, if anything he has been abused by the council and failed by the ICO.
AC, From what I can see, your accusations are completely unfounded and are entirely based upon assumption.
The tribunal ruled the request was not vexatious and that Mr Gardiner had not contacted the council enough to be considered vexatious, so why are you still implying that he's a wrong'un and he's costing the taxpayer too much money?
As far as I remember there is a (small) fee for FOI requests to cover admin. Maybe Nottingham council should have played by the rules and saved the taxpayer some money in legal fees.
Good on you Mr Gardiner for sticking it to the man!
"The AC posting sounds a little bit as though it might come from someone with inside knowledge on the case."
Again with the assumptions and subtle mud-slinging.
The tribunal ruled that the bloke was not vexatious and I imagine they had more "inside knowledge" of the case than an AC posting here on El Reg.
Because it was a 'transparent attempt to gain evidence ...which could be used to prove discrimination'.
This is no reason to deny the request.
If such evidence exists and if it does prove discrimination, then it should be revealed. If the evidence proves that there was no discrimination, why not reveal it?
This story gives the impression that someone is very keen to hide incriminating facts.
NCH are well known locally here, to by utterly incompetent, and unmoving in many cases, in which residents raise.
A quick look on the this is Nottingham (Nottingham Evening Post) website for Nottingham City Homes, will yield all the cannon fodder needed.
Also, as NCH is classified as a Housing Association, it has NOTHING to do with EITHER Notts City or County Councils.
I was working for Nottingham City Council when NCH was set up - it was set up as an ALMO - Arms Length Management Organisation
Set up after a ballot of residents with severely biased questions, providing nice little pay rises for the managers and failing to government standards in it's first year and thus not getting the grants needed to do the work it had promised in the "rigged" ballot.
I just left Rotherham after many years for a different part of the country. My new council are as different from that bunch of utter dribbling incompetents in RMBC as could be possible. I had forgotten that council employees could actually be pleasant, helpful and do what they are supposed to.
Good luck to you in your action - stick it to them hard, and make them realise that they are part of the bigger world.
FOI rules state that private organisations performing duties under contract for, or on behalf of govt authorities, or acting as a regulator in their own right (eg ASA, ICSTIS, etc) are subject to the FOI, as long as the secretary of state issues a determination confirming this.
It is _VERY_ hard to get determinations (although the ICO tell me they are very keen to break the back of this problem) and using private contracts is widely seen among local govt as a way of avoiding FOI scrutiny.
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