The Precedent Book

Please see below the (redacted) chapters of the Cabinet Office Precedent Book which were released under FOI following a long tribunal case. Chapter 5 – part 1: Appointment of Ministers and change of adminstration Chapter 5 – part 2: Appointment of Ministers and change of adminstration Chapter 6: Ministers Private Interests Chapters 7 to 9: […] →Read more

Independent FOI regulator gives secret advice to Cabinet Office on live cases

Internal ICO correspondence reveals that the Information Commissioner was asked by the Ministry of Justice to justify Graham Smith’s (the Deputy Information Commissioner) pay rise. The ICO’s response was that Mr Smith had additional responsibilities, in particular it was claimed that: “Graham Smith is increasingly consulted by the Cabinet Office and others on specific FOI […] →Read more

Don’t use the ICO’s ‘Report a Concern’ Form

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives requesters a general right of access to official information subject to (lots of) specific exceptions. The Act also gives requesters a right to apply for a decision from the Information Commissioner (see Section 50). The word used in Section 50 is “apply” rather than complain or report a […] →Read more

Turn a question into an FOI request

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives requesters the right to request recorded information and receive it except where an exemption applies. The Act does not give you a right to make a public authority justify or explain decisions they have taken. The upshot of all this is that some questions are FOI requests and […] →Read more

What a difference a day makes

FOI requesters may occasionally want to know when their FOI request was received. The reason it matters is because it is (sometimes) used in calculating when the response is due. I have managed to get into a bit of a Twitter debate about this with FOIman. FOIman a former FOI officer, FOI trainer and expert […] →Read more

List of special tax dispensations for MPs

This is simply two lists rather than a proper blog post and it has sat in my ‘drafts’ for a long time. First of special tax dispensations granted to MPs by HMRC followed by a (shorter) list of dispensations refused. All information obtained under FOI in May 2012. The same FOI request was source for […] →Read more

Have you heard the one about the ICO investigating the ICO?

Back in 2012, the ICO did indeed investigate the ICO, documenting its findings in a security incident report dated 26 April 2012 (“SIR”) that has recently been released under FOI. Some may argue that no-one should be judge in his own case and others may argue the same in Latin. I don’t hold the the […] →Read more

I think the ICO is wrong … to rule parks police are not subject to FOI

I am writing this blog post in relation to an ICO Decision Notice issued in December 2011, to some of you that may seem like a long time ago but the dedicated few will appreciate that in the context ICO this counts as a quick and witty reply. Background The requester asked for copies of […] →Read more

Letter to MP re Royal Household and FOI

Here is a letter I wrote to my MP re the Royal Household and Freedom of Information. ┬áIf you are inspired to write to your MP please don’t copy the whole letter but feel free to copy small extracts. I wrote the letter in response to a campaign message from Republic. —- Dear [MP], I […] →Read more