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Apr 16 2014

Harrow Council Continues to Play the FOI Game

boycott-150x150Time to recap the ongoing Freedom of Informaton requests with Harrow Council.

“I am a strong believer in transparency and the Freedom of Information Act and am determined the Council responds promptly to requests for information.” – Cllr Paul Osborn, Portfolio Holder for Freedom of Information Requests, February 7, 2014.

“In terms of FOI more generally there has been a massive improvement.” – Cllr Paul Osborn, Portfolio Holder for Freedom of Information Requests, February 8, 2014.

“We have come a long way in dealing with this issue. The last report I saw, which was on Monday, still showed around twenty cases outside the 20 day limit, but these were typically only a few days outside the limit rather than the previous problems of cases being 100 plus days late. It is still not good enough, and I am committed to sorting this out.”  – Cllr Paul Osborn, Portfolio Holder for Freedom of Information Requests, April 2, 2014.

So, where are we? Using the Council’s reference numbers…

916867 – Request for the Council’s Terms of Reference for the Dal Babu Racism Investigation. Overdue.

920963 – Request for Carol Yarde’s credit card statements. Rejected, because I’m only entitled to “information, not documents” and awaiting internal review.

931063 – Request for Roger Rickmans’s credit card statements. Rejected and appealed for the same reasons.

809663 – A request on 07.02.2014 to find out which Councillors were overdue on their Council tax. Responded to as “exempt” even though they held the information. Reworded, and now it turns out that on 11.04.2014 that no councillors were behind on their council tax. Am I being suspicious in wondering whether the delay of nine weeks was deliberate to get any errant councillors to pay up? No, surely not…

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