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Round-up iconDecisions Round-up: 15 to 19 April 2019

Three of this week's four decisions concern failures to respond to information requests. Our self-assessment toolkit is designed to support any organisation experiencing problems in this area. Our fourth decision, meanwhile, has a reminder that a public authority may delete or destroy certain types of information when it's no longer needed to support its current work.

Learning points:

 

  • Public authorities don't keep everything
    Public authorities need to be able to manage their records effectively and FOI law accepts that records will be destroyed when they are no longer required, in line with appropriate policies. Therefore, depending on the nature of the information sought, it may not be realistic to expect older records to be held. In Decision 057/2019, some of the information the requester was looking for would have been more than six years old at the time of the request: in the circumstances, we accepted the Council's explanations that it was no longer held.

Decisions issued:

 

  • Decision 057/2019 Mr R and East Lothian Council
    The Council was asked about defects and inspections in relation to a named road. It disclosed some information in response to the request, and more information during our investigation. By the end of the investigation, we were satisfied that the Council had carried out appropriate searches and did not hold any other relevant information. However, we found that the Council failed to respond to the request within the EIR timescales and failed to provide all of the information it held when responding to the request.

 

All of these decisions found failures in the public authority's compliance with the timescales for responding to requests and/or requests for review.

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