Hiding your Publication Scheme defeats the purpose of having one … and raises your costs through needless FOIs

Publication Schemes are supposed to publicise what information a public body holds and regularly makes available. The Information Commissioners Office have a Model Publication Scheme for District Councils in Northern Ireland, listing the type of information that they must make available. You should publicise the fact that information is available to the public under the scheme. You should make sure the model scheme, guide to information, and schedule of fees are all available on your website, public notice board, or …

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OFMDFM’s sluggardly FOI performance under spotlight

This morning the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced four public bodies which will be monitored between January and March in 2013 “over concerns about the timeliness of their responses to Freedom of Information requests”. The four public bodies were selected from the thousands of public bodies across the UK that fall under the ICO’s remit for FOI: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council; two Westminster departments, Department for Education, Department for Work and Pensions; and the Office of the First Minister and …

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NI Water: ICO launch ‘depth’ investigation of emails…

And, so according to the Daily Mirror today (attached), the saga continues. Weather permitting, the Information Commissioner’s Office is sending a very senior investigative team to Northern Ireland Water before Christmas to look at two sets of issues surrounding regarding FOI requests for specific email correspondence. One will examine an allegation that the text of one email was altered before being offered for public release. The other will look at a separate allegation that the existence of an email exchange …

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NI Water: ICO looking into MacKenzie’s deleted email…

Yesterday Diana Rusk in the Irish News noted that NI Water supremo Laurence McKenzie just happened to delete that controversial email text which Paul Priestley sent him, a full 17 days after receiving it. But an FOI response from NI Water reveals he deleted it the day after NI Water received an FOI requesting it. The request was eventually granted. Following a complaint from the person who made the original request, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in Belfast is looking …

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