Access Requests are supposed to be a quick and easy way of extracting
information from organisations that hold data on us. When the object of the
exercise is to get an organisation harbouring a criminal to release information
the reality can be rather different.
I allowed Bexley council another fifteen days beyond the legally imposed response time before reporting them to the Information Commissioner on 29th July. On 7th September Bexley council wrote to me with what they thought was an answer. The letter was pretty much identical to their answer to an FOI request (by somebody else) asking who had reported me to the police last April for being critical of Bexley council. There was absolutely no information about what else they may have been writing about me. Nothing about the obscene blog they allowed to be set up. Since then the correspondence with Bexley council has been…
8 September 2011
Dear Mr. Grosvenor,
You appear to have confused my Subject Access Request with Freedom of Information Request 11/337. The response is close to identical but SARs and FOIs are not the same thing.
I accept that I gave permission to exclude mundane areas of little interest such as council tax payments or failure to empty refuse bins but you appear to have excluded everything except for Mr. Tuckley's ill-judged trip to Bexleyheath police station.
At the very minimum I require to see copies of all the correspondence by staff and councillors relating to me and my website. For example I know that the IT department blocked access from council computers in mid-April 2011 because a councillor wrote to someone about it and the mail found its way to me. I know that the IT department later blocked access to my website from libraries because numerous people have tried and failed to get it from a library. All this must have been in response to written instructions.
It is also well known that by arrangement with Mr. Chris Loynes I visited the council's offices on 20 May 2011 which must have been logged by him and within a couple of (working) hours of that visit it had been recorded in scurrilous terms on the website http://malcolmknight.blogspot.com in contravention of Google's terms and conditions on impersonation. If Mr. Loynes did not do it himself he must have told someone else who did. There will be correspondence. Similarly there will be correspondence on the day Mr. Tuckley received my complaint about my arrangement with Mr. Chris Loynes being made public.
Within the period in question I have received email from a fairly senior council official and a councillor both from a bexley.gov email address. Unless you find at least the councillor's correspondence I will know you have not looked for any.
Do you wish me to give you a little more time or would you prefer I report the latest failure to the Information Commissioner without further delay?
9 September 2011
Dear Mr. Knight,
Thank you for your email and feedback yesterday regarding the response made by the London Borough of Bexley to your Subject Access request, reference 11/504.
13 September 2011
Dear Mr. Grosvenor,
I am sorry to make your position even more difficult but I really need to know if Mr. Tuckley is going to allow you to answer completely in the immediate future or whether I should assume he prefers to continue going against the Data Protection Act.
As I said; are you asking for more time or should I give up on Tuckley now?
No response to that so I rang the Information Commissioner’s office this morning and very helpful they were too. The case has still not reached the vital stages but they were keen that I should send them copies of the latest exchanges.
I find it hard to understand the mentality of people such as Tuckley and Teresa O’Neill who apparently prefer to let the one man who would definitely know of my visit to the council offices and be able to blog about it be the lone subject of suspicion, rather than come clean and behave in an honest fashion for a change. Mr. Grosvenor it must be emphasised is merely caught in the middle and should not be blamed in any way for Bexley council’s dishonesty, those who have spoken to him have reported very favourably.