Information charges will stop timewasters, say councils

Information charges will stop timewasters, say councils

Councils are demanding that they be allowed to charge people for making freedom of information requests.

The Local Government Association also says a public interest case should have to be made when submitting a request and wants lower cost limits to make it easier to reject requests on the basis of the amount of staff time and effort they take.

Read on… http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4636158.ece

19 thoughts on “Information charges will stop timewasters, say councils

  1. Introducing charges for anyone making an FoI request is the thin edge of the wedge.
    If the person or persons responsible for FoI handling cannot discern frivolous and vexatious requests from genuine requests perhaps they should seek new employment?
    There is nothing in the LGA proposals to prevent councils increasing charges year on year which they will use as another income stream and as an excuse not to disclose information.
    This proposal is unwelcome and undemocratic.

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  2. Legislation already exists to refuse information on the grounds of costs:

    An organisation can also refuse your Freedom of Information (FOI) request if it will cost more than £450 (£600 for central government) to find and extract the information.

    https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-information-request/if-your-request-is-turned-down

    Raising FoI charges is just an excuse IMV to hide behind sloppy procedures and reinforce the lack of transparency by many LA’s.

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  3. If the council were more HONEST and transparent about their dealings and did not have service a debt some of which goes back to West Riding times to the tune of £29 million pounds a year they would not have to charge and for FOI requests or cut so many services

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  4. I heard yesterday from a council employee that one of the commissioners was on £750 a day, that would pay for an awful lot of people who do real work.

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  5. Utter disgrace. There is already provision for councils to reject requests that would be very expensive to meet or which they deem frivolous or vexatious. And councils use these provisions. As for a public interest case, we can guess who’d decide on what the public interest is, can’t we! You’d think the public was accountable to councils rather than the other way round. We pay these people, they are accounrable to us.

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  6. Clearly lessons have not been learnt, one of the problems of the CSE scandal was people keeping information, which should’ve be public and pass to others, a secret. A clear attempt to hide something. I’m wondering if there is more information about to come out?. Transparency and accountability are a thing of the past. Question if the commissioner are running the show, couldn’t they have veto this proposal?

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    • Maybe we need some higher paid commissioners to over see the lower paid commissioners that over see the unfit council ……. LOL where will it end .. Just a thought … why can’t we scrap every councillor and let the public vote a new council starting with the leader and deputy leader ? Why can’t we choose who runs our town ? You cannot mend a broken (unfit) council … and the sooner we choose the people who speak for us and send these good for nothing commissioners back to where they came from the better Rotherham will be . Does anyone know how much these muppets have cost so far ?.

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    • @Anonymous 4
      ‘if the commissioner are running the show, couldn’t they have veto this proposal?’
      The proposal is not just for Rotherham MBC to impose charges. The proposal comes from the LGA which covers all local councils.
      I’m waiting for Sir Kev and The People’s Champion to denounce this and oppose any imposition of charges for FoI requests.
      Will I have to wait a long time?

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  7. Would you trust RMBC Labour Group to have the right to dismiss FOI requests and charge what they want. I certainly wouldn’t, they couldn’t be trusted to run a Christmas raffle!

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    • You’re right, can’t really see the relevance…anyway, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair later said that introducing the FOI Act was one of his greatest regrets. No matter what they say, all politicians hate and fear transparency, which is why it should be promoted and protected.

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