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  • Maddy search e-mails to remain secret

    Posted on March 18th, 2009 admin 1 comment

    secretSensitive e-mails concerning the hunt for missing child Madeleine McCann will remain secret for fear of offending the Portuguese authorities who were tasked with finding her.

    A request for the disclosure of 13 e-mails and one letter, which were written in the two months after Madeleine went missing, was refused by the Information Commissioner.

    The Foreign Office had dealt with the original request which had asked for copies of communication between the then Ambassador to Portugal John Buck and the Portuguese police. Some information was supplied immediately and another batch was released after the requester called in the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to hold an appeal.

    However, a number of documents were not released by the Foreign Office and these were examined by officers from the ICO.

    The documents were not released by the Foreign Office primarily on the grounds that they were covered by the Section 27 exemption (International Relations) and that the public interest test rested in favour of non-disclosure. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Questionnaires make you: (a) annoyed, (b) angry or (c) tearful.

    Posted on March 18th, 2009 admin No comments

    The Information Commissioner’s office has released new guidance on how public bodies should deal with round-robin requests and questionnaires.

    The guidance reminds authorities that such requests are legal under the Act and should be treated no differently from any other request.

    It states that following the receipt of a questionnaire the person dealing with the request has a duty to identify which questions amounts to requests on information you hold and be prepared to offer advice and assistance.

    However, the guidance does say that such a request can still be refused if it is deemed to breach the cost limits of seen to be “manifestly unreasonable”.