It’s difficult to argue with Jeffrey Dudgeon’s comments on the Office of the Northern Ireland First and Deputy First Minister last minute compliance with an FoI request – 320 days after the application was made, and one day before a judicial review hearing into the delay was due to begin. From the BBC report
Jeffrey Dudgeon had brought legal action over the delay.
A judicial review hearing was due on 8 November but the outstanding material was sent to him on 7 November
Mr Dudgeon, a self-litigant and chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party’s South Belfast Association, accepted that proceedings against the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister should now be withdrawn.
However, he criticised the delay in providing a full answer given the normal 20-day time limit for responding to FoI requests.
He told Belfast High Court: “They did provide the documents to me at the very last minute.
“But I have to say that I find it somewhat high-handed to provide them at 6.30 at night, 320 days after my application.
“I think it is somewhat contemptuous.”
[As open and transparent as possible! – Ed]
The BBC report goes on to note
The FoI request to OFMDFM dealt with the exemption for teachers from an EU directive in 2000 outlawing employment discrimination on grounds of religion and sexual orientation.
Northern Ireland is the only part of Europe to have exceptions put into the directive. [added emphasis]
As well teachers, there had been an exemption for the PSNI under the 50:50 recruitment police.