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Non response for requests

0 votes
I have asked my local clerk for 3 pieces of information, He is not responding to my emails. I have also asked the chairwoman for the same information. She has not responded. As nothing as yet has been sent to me I have asked for the information under the freedom of information act.  The 20   days are not up yet, I have asked both to acknowledge my request but still no response.  What is my next step after the 20 days are up.
asked by (210 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
If you hear nothing after 20 working days, ask the Town/Parish  Council to hold an internal  review into their failure to respond to your FOI request within the specified 20 working days.  In that message, also inform them that if they fail to respond after a further 20 working days to inform you what is happening with the internal review, you will contact the Information Commissioner (ICO) to lodge an official complaint and request the ICO intervenes on your behalf to make the Council provide the information you are seeking. Keep us posted.
answered by (20.8k points)
+1 vote
In future I’d suggest you use the site whatdotheyknow that way it’s all in the public domain and it’s helpful as it supplies templates

Unfortunately the ICO has basically stopped functioning so don’t hold out any hopes

Whilst you are on the site look up the requests to Birstall PC including BMX track and you’ll see what one Parish  thinks about it’s obligations towards the FOI
answered by (3.7k points)
Totally agree Jules, but some Councils don't like it as it exposes their failings!
My last submission to ICO (mid Jan 21) regarding PC personal data breach (sent to ICO after ineffective response from PC) has just resulted (today) in a letter from ICO to PC:
One of the ICO’s strategic goals is to increase the public’s trust and confidence in how their personal data is used and made available and this relies on data controllers being accountable for their actions in relation to handling data and responding to information rights requests.

Accountability is one of the data protection principles and makes you responsible for complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

You must be able to demonstrate your compliance to the complainant and work hard to promote trust and resolve their concerns without the need for the individual to come to us. The attached document provides more detail about this.

As a regulator we look to organisations to effectively manage and resolve the data protection complaints they receive. When a complainant comes to us to complain, they are in effect telling the regulator that they believe you are breaking the law. Reports of this kind are something that we will treat seriously and robustly.

We do not expect to receive complaints when there is still further work that you can do to better explain the processing in question to the complainant, or to put things right when they have gone wrong.

We therefore require you to revisit the way you have handled this matter and consider what further action you can now take to resolve this complaint. We expect organisations to deal with the data protection complaints they receive and to proactively work with complainants to provide an appropriate resolution.

Small victories
Well done I’m still waiting for the ICO to respond to a complaint I made last September
+1 vote
By the way you’ve made a request for information any such request to an appropriate body should be treated as a request under the FOI whether you mention FOI or not so the time limit starts the day you sent your email to the Clerk

This is a basic principle and you wouldn’t believe how many organisations don’t even understand that

The trick with FOI requests is wording it precisely so there is no wiggle room
answered by (3.7k points)
+ 1. Whatdotheyknow is a great resource. Used it with great effect in the past.

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