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FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

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FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby south1 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:24 pm

I made a freedom of information request to be given documents filed by the applicant to a lawful development certificate. As a consequence emails and letters were given to me by the planning department.

I made another freedom of information request to be given others documents like utility bills, Council tax bills, TV licenses, lease agreement and invoices for rent which were also filed by the applicant to this lawful development certificate. However the planning department refuses to provide me also with these documents because it says that this will be a breach of Principle 1 of the DPA (fair and lawful processing) because it says

“Disclosure of this information would be unfair because the information was provided to the council with no expectation that it would be released into the public domain. Disclosure would be an unwarranted intrusion of privacy”

I made a request to be given copy also of these documents because they were also used as evidence by the applicant of this lawful development certificate and the planning department make reference to these documents in its decision to grant this lawful development certificate. Hence I need to examine these documents to check if they are genuine

The applicant knew that applications for lawful development certificate are published in the website of the planning department. Hence I do not understand how the applicant could not have expected that some documents could be released and not others.

I need to examine these documents for a question of fairness because developments have been made following this lawful development certificate which cause loss of privacy and I would like to have this lawful development certificate revoked and these developments removed

I do not understand how the planning department decides which documents the applicant expected will be released and not other specially that the planning department has published in his website photographs provided by this applicant which have on them people

These documents are used as evidence and I think that it is a principle of natural justice that all evidence are made available to all parties to be challenged. I think that the applicant for this lawful development certificate was aware of this so he should have expected that all documents that he provided as evidence could be released to the public to be examined by it

I would like to know which grounds I could have to make an appeal against the council’s refusal to provide me also with these documents
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby Slartibartfast » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:29 pm

None whatsoever, I would hope. Those documents comprise personal data submitted with a reasonable expectation of confidence, and you have no right to them.
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby south1 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:27 am

If you are right this would raise another important issue which is whether or not the planning department should have taken into account them as evidence if contrary to other documents filed by the applicant of the lawful development certificate they cannot be revealed to the public and as a consequence the public cannot examine them and challenge them?
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby dls » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:38 am

(This is about information law - a branch of IP)
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby Slartibartfast » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:40 am

south1 wrote:If you are right this would raise another important issue which is whether or not the planning department should have taken into account them as evidence if contrary to other documents filed by the applicant of the lawful development certificate they cannot be revealed to the public and as a consequence the public cannot examine them and challenge them?


I do not see how a public body could refuse to take account of relevant information when making a decision. I might need to make alterations to my home due to a disability for example, and I might provide medical reports to support this. I would not expect that my neighbours should be able to "examine these documents to check if they are genuine".
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby south1 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:26 pm

1
The problem is that medical records are sensitive personal data according to the definition of sensitive personal data of the Data Protection Act 1998 but utility bills are not

2.
I do not understand what utility bills have to do with Intellectual Property. I think that it should be more data protection issue

3.
It is possible that I am entitled to these documents under paragraph 5(d) of schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998 which says

“(d)for the exercise of any other functions of a public nature exercised in the public interest by any person”.

Because they have been used as evidence and the public interest is concerned because there is an issue of overlooking and of protection of a conservation area

4.
I would like to know if I am right and if you have further evidence in my favour
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby south1 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:29 pm

I have a close looked to this topic and it includes also information law so my question number 2 could be deleted
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby atticus » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:59 pm

Read the definition of "personal data", southy, as set out in the Act.
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby south1 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:15 pm

In the Data Protection Act 1998 there is the definition of ‘personal data’ and there is also the definition of ‘sensitive personal data’ which is different matter. As I explained in my penultimate post personal data could be given to me when the public interest is at stake. I would like to know if I am right?
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Re: FIO request. Documents not expected to be releaed

Postby dls » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:31 am

You may be right as to the public interest disclosure, but have yet to persuade anyone here that what you consider to be the public interest is in fact such.
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