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Freedom of information issue

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Freedom of information issue

Postby shootist » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:59 pm

I have recently sent out a dozen FOI requests to various police forces seeking to find out certain information that is recorded on a computer program used nationally by all forces. Early days yet, but several have already replied saying that they hold the information but it's retrieval would exceed the time limit before payment is required and have refused to provide the information. That is as expected, being one of the two default police replies to any FOI request out of the ordinary. However, one major force has answered the three questions immediately. Given that it's most unlikely that they exceeded the time limits out of the kindness of their collective heart, I am interested in opinions as to whether the fact that this one force has found it possible to answer the questions asked would be persuasive upon the other forces. Informed opinions, and intelligent guesses, will be welcomed.
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Re: Freedom of information issue

Postby 3.14 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:48 pm

They can't be arsed answering. I would do the same if you asked me.
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Re: Freedom of information issue

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:43 pm

On the basis that FOI is supposed to be applicant-blind, it may be worth arguing, as part of your request for an internal review, that given others have been able to respond it is likely that they have misapplied the fees regulations.
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Re: Freedom of information issue

Postby dls » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:53 pm

Different organisations may organise and collect their information differently. That may easily result in one force answering a question another cannot
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Re: Freedom of information issue

Postby Goldensyrup » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:06 am

If a body refuses to supply under the cost / time basis then they must offer you suggestions for a more restrictive search that fits within the cost for instance covering a lesser time frame.

As most public bodies these days are suffering financially it is easy to understand them wishing to save costs even on FOI requests rightly or wrongly. Different forces will have different attitudes on how to handle the foia.
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Re: Freedom of information issue

Postby shootist » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:52 am

dls wrote:Different organisations may organise and collect their information differently. That may easily result in one force answering a question another cannot


In this case the software used is the same for all forces. It may be that the operators are untrained in how to make the data retrieval but I would think that this would not be a reasonable excuse for failing to provide the information. There's a few more replies to come back yet, but it may be interesting.
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