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Bonkers Blog July 2011

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25 July (Part 2) - Freedom of Information (FOI)

ICO LogoBexley council doesn’t like FOIs, it’s one of the few ways of getting information out of them. Councillor Campbell and councillor Betts have both said some sort of barrier should be erected against FOI requests. Councillor Craske went on the record to complain that answering FOIs costs more than enforcing parking controls, which is likely to be a lie, but it serves to illustrate how Bexley council would opt out of FOIs if it could. Because of the large number of FOIs which appeared not to be answered within the legal timeframe I started to record those I knew of on this site, but that has not proved to be a success. People may tell me of an FOI request, but they don’t always remember to let me know when they are answered. The list is inclined to show a very high proportion of FOIs not being answered within the statutory 20 day time limit, maybe as many as half of them, but it is possible that only the most controversial questions are being submitted for the list, so to get nearer to the truth - possibly - I have obtained a list of all the FOIs acknowledged by Bexley council for the 13 months ending April 30th 2011. (158 KB Excel file.) It shows that failure to comply with the law is running at around 20%. Some of the FOIs are many months overdue and one more than a year. A disappointingly high proportion of the unanswered FOIs are those allocated to the Chief Executive. The man on two hundred grand a year who leader Teresa O’Neill says is good value for money.

Among the ‘forgotten’ FOIs is the two concerning this website and the Harassment Letter. It seems it is Will Tuckley that is breaking the law with FOIs 11/327 and 11/328 and I am pleased to be able to report that at long last he has been reported to the Information Commissioner for deliberately and routinely flouting that law. Within a couple of days I expect to report him to the Commissioner for refusing to answer my Subject Access Request too . If answered properly it would reveal who it was who set up the obscene blog. A decent manager would want to root out whoever did that, but then no one but Teresa O’Neill has said Will Tuckley is a decent manager.


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