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 Post subject: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Location: Bradford
It having become apparent that my local council, Bradford MDC is systematically defrauding ratepayers of millions of pounds each year, in common with most other councils in the country, we have embarked on a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) questions, to smoke out the full extent of the fraud, with some questions answered and more coming in.

However, this was never going to be that easy, as the fraud goes all the way to the top. It was entirely predictable that the councils would seek to protect themselves. And, in the vanguard of criminality, we find Bradford now refusing, point-blank, to answer the questions put.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:54 am
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Location: Oxfordshire
As I don't live in Bradford are they just more than likely to refuse on that basis. I know any request will tie up resources and efforts etc.

P.S. Your forum link on the post appears to be broken.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:11 am
Posts: 892
Location: Co. Durham
I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!

Didn't the CRU use the same excuse for refusing FOIA requests?

Perhaps someone in Bradford MDC with a conscience can perform the same service as someone at UEA did.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:56 pm
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Location: EU Region of West Midlands in the former UK
RAENORTH wrote:
..."I have", he writes, "based this opinion of the context and history of your correspondence which I would characterised as obsessive and of no serious purpose or value as defined within the ICO's guidance notes". Thus, he concludes: "I am therefore issuing a refusal notice against your last four Freedom of Information requests".

View full article here

Your mistake, Dr. N, was writing your FoI requests in green ink.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Posts: 422
Location: Warwickshire
"a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious applies to your requests."

That's actually true. I went coroners inquest on behalf/with a friend whose wife had died in hospital (about 40 years old), as I understood the process/could follow it better than he could and was impartial.

There was at the time a possibility that my friend was going to sue the hospital for negligence. The coroner mentioned that if we were going to sue the hospital, that we should not say anything about it. He said that they would have to be helpful and provide the information that we requested, but as soon as we were to mention civil action then the hospital could then legally refuse to help or supply any more information.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:04 pm 
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It's hard to win a game if your opponent makes up the rules as they go along.

The idea that you are invited to appeal an FOI refusal by Bradford's authorities by sending an e-mail to Bradford's authorities seems to be a good example of this.

Is there no way to go over their heads? Isn't there an ombudsperson or something?


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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:05 pm 
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RoadHog wrote:
"a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious applies to your requests."

That's actually true. I went coroners inquest on behalf/with a friend whose wife had died in hospital (about 40 years old), as I understood the process/could follow it better than he could and was impartial.

There was at the time a possibility that my friend was going to sue the hospital for negligence. The coroner mentioned that if we were going to sue the hospital, that we should not say anything about it. He said that they would have to be helpful and provide the information that we requested, but as soon as we were to mention civil action then the hospital could then legally refuse to help or supply any more information.


Within the FOI guidelines, however, the authority can only refuse the information on the ground that the question itself is vexatious ... without regard to the use to which it is put.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Location: Bradford
Rick Bradford wrote:
It's hard to win a game if your opponent makes up the rules as they go along.

The idea that you are invited to appeal an FOI refusal by Bradford's authorities by sending an e-mail to Bradford's authorities seems to be a good example of this.

Is there no way to go over their heads? Isn't there an ombudsperson or something?


Yes ... the step after that is the Information Commissioner.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:08 pm 
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a 'vexatious refusal' eh

Richard, I would suggest that you report this immediately to the IOC as there is a 6 months statute of limitations on failure to respond to FIO's


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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Anoneumouse wrote:
a 'vexatious refusal' eh

Richard, I would suggest that you report this immediately to the IOC as there is a 6 months statute of limitations on failure to respond to FIO's



The request for review has already gone in ... it forms the basis of my application to the Commissioner. I will give them ten working days.

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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 44
This is better than any soap opera!

PDT_Armataz_01_37 to the North to fight this inch by inch!

I just wonder if there are other countries in Europe where people are fed up with this kind of abuse, there are communal taxes in Germany and parts of Switzerland as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Address an FOI request to that birkett creep personally. Ask for details of the nature and costs of any special arrangements put in place for police protection of council executives and staff and whether there are any plans to beef them up.

Checklist
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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 740
Location: Cheshire
I think you have got the little piggies running scared. Trying to say you are being vexatious is a pretty transparent attempt to fob you off, which means that they really don't want you to know what they have hidden. It seems the spirit of T Dan Smith is walking the corridors of Bradford Town Hall.


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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 12
I've been submitting FOIs for about a year now and it is a steep learning curve. My first attempt received a terrible response but I didn't know the system (& neither did they, really!) so I blinked and before I knew it the six months had passed that the ICO normally treat as their statute of limitations.

I've seen this vexatious thing before, particularly with that fella in Nottingham (blog here:http://ncclols.blogspot.com/). I saw the excuse of vexatiousness being raised by my local Town Council topic here: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/council_expenditure so asked both the Council and the ICO for all dialogue between each other, the results of which are here:http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/correspondence_between_ico_and_m. this case is quite illuminating if you read the dialogue between the Council and the ICO in the .pdf file at the end. (I still don't quite know what the real story is though). Also note that the six months didn't seem to apply in this particular case, depending on what the ICO use as their milestone.

I have only raised one case with the ICO, where the Council decided that they didn't have to provide some information because it was going to be available by other means at a later date. However, I asked for a supporting document for an Agenda item discussed in open Council and I regard their attempts to avoid giving me it as sheer bloody-mindedness (& they are trying to obfuscate the accounts anyway due to a big payout & non-disclosure last year). I await the ICO ruling with interest. My complaint here: [url]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/missing_agm_document_in_library
[/url]


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 Post subject: Re: Of no serious purpose or value
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Posts: 44
Off the top of my head (I am NOT a lawyer and have no legal training).

In law there are people called "vexatious litigants" and these people can be denied the right to bring court cases.

BUT under FOIA, a person cannot be declared to be vexatious but individual requests can.

"An important point is that it is the request, not the requester, that must be
vexatious. You should not automatically refuse a request just because the
individual has caused problems in the past. You must look at the request
itself.
"

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w ... QdQBcGP_PA

(ICO site currently down.)

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