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Useless ICO

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Re: Useless ICO

Postby Spankymonkey » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:32 pm

For some strange reason this entire thread has been duplicated into the "Intellectual Property" forum.
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby b1969 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:42 pm

Since the decision by the Supreme Court in Sugar ([2012] UKSC4) the law has been remarkably clear: if the BBC holds information is held to any significant degree for the purposes of journalism (or art or literature) it is not held for the purposes of the Act. No matter how many times people ask, the BBC are entitled to withhold the information (and the ICO and courts are correct to uphold that withholding).

That'd not abuse of the Act - it's the correct approach to the law.
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:44 pm

Spankymonkey wrote:For some strange reason this entire thread has been duplicated into the "Intellectual Property" forum.


It's been moved into Intellectual Property because that's the proper place for it. There is a "shadow" topic left where it used to be.
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby Spankymonkey » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:10 pm

And what of the BBCs constant failure to answer within the time limits, usually done in the hope that the requestor will give up and go away. Can you provide them with a good excuse b1969 because they are struggling to find one?
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby b1969 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:15 pm

Do you have any examples and/or stats? (I'm not doubting you, but I'm not aware of any recent issues with them and time compliance).
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby b1969 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:23 pm

In fact, this shows that, as at end 2015, they had responded to 6.5% of requests late. This isn't perfect compliance, but it's not terrible, and I would say is about median across all public authorities.
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby Spankymonkey » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:48 pm

b1969 wrote:Do you have any examples and/or stats? (I'm not doubting you, but I'm not aware of any recent issues with them and time compliance).


I already provided a link instancing long overdue responses.

In fact, this shows that, as at end 2015, they had responded to 6.5% of requests late. This isn't perfect compliance, but it's not terrible, and I would say is about median across all public authorities


6.5% is 6.6% too many. It doesn't matter if it's the median, it's still a breach of the act.
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby atticus » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:52 pm

That link shows that the BBC receives a huge number of FOI requests. Clearly such requests may be made. However, having to reply must impose a substantial burden.
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Re: Useless ICO

Postby b1969 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:59 pm

Spankymonkey wrote:I already provided a link instancing long overdue responses


Apologies - I missed that reply. However, the link you give is not to the page on WDTK devoted to requests to the BBC, but rather to the results of a search for the term "BBC" - so many of the requests on the page do not in fact relate to the BBC. Moreover, it's noteworthy that some, eg this, and this, which have been classified as "Long overdue" by the requesters, are in fact not overdue.

Spankymonkey wrote:you claim to have such an active involvement in the site and therefore should be aware of the consistency of these abuses


I don't have active involvement, other than, as I say, I have used it a lot, know some volunteers on it, and have advised on another iteration. However, I have had a very quick look through the most recent hundred requests to the BBC. Of these, I can see five requests which have not had a response within the statutory timescale (it's important to look at the correspondence itself when a requester says the response is delayed - often it isn't and they have marked it as such for some other reason). Five out of a hundred is pretty close to the figure I gave earlier in this thread from the BBC's own report. It's not perfect, and each late response is a breach of a legal requirement, but some perspective is needed. The BBC, as so many other public authorities, deal with a large amount of requests in a compliant and helpful manner, and disclose large amounts of information.

This is not to defend instances where they fail to comply.
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