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0 votes
As I’ve mentioned before even though I’m a Councillor I have to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain any information and any response is delayed

A Parish Council sub committee entered into a large contract which appears to be substantially more than the work carried out justifies and a lot of the paperwork was not included with the Agenda but given out at the meeting

As far as I can tell it was not tendered even though it should have been
This was just over a year ago and the contract has not been completed yet

They refused  my FOI request claiming I was vexatious and trying to undermine democratic decisions made by Councillors

Of course I objected and it’s now claimed all documents were hard copies and they weren’t retained

If true it would be a serious breach of our Document Retention Policy
I’ll refer the case to the ICO but any idea who I should complain to about the claim about the destruction and the apparent breach of Financial Regulation is it the Internal or External Auditor ?

There’s no point going to the Chair as they will ignore it if they did could I complain about that to the Monitoring Officer ?
by (11.5k points)

2 Answers

0 votes

It is unlawful under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to deliberately delete, alter or destroy records once a request for information has been made.

I understand s77 of the Act is the only criminal offence that can be committed by an individual under the law.

by (4.1k points)
Thank you, it’s not clear when it’s said they were destroyed so I’ll ask the ICO to establish when this happened
0 votes
Complain to the Monitoring officer and send a letter to the External Auditor outlining concern about breach of Financial regulations.Before going to the ICO ask the Council to review their handling of the FOI - it is likely that the ICO may ask you to do that in the first instance.  Keep a note of all E mails etc re the request to review the FOI as the ICO may ask for them if they investigate.  Your fellow councillors might "lose" them!
by (34.6k points)
The Open and accountable local government guide 2014 for the press and public on attending and reporting meetings of local government states that "The relevant parish or town council must retain and make the written record of their officers’ decisions available for inspection for six years beginning from the date of the meeting. The background papers should also be available for inspection for four years beginning from the date of the meeting. These may be kept in electronic format."  This statement is derived from the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, Localism Act 2011, Local Government Act 2000 – sections 9G and 9GA, section 1 the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012  &  Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972.

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