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  • FoI News learns to fly

    Posted on March 26th, 2009 admin No comments

    Do you twitter? Because FoI News tweets.

    Yes, if you are a twitterer then search for FoI News (you need a space between the words), make us a friend and you will get an automatic tweet whenever the blog is updated.

    I believe that is what young people commonly refer to as “cool”.

  • The answer to the question is: “I can’t tell you who asked the question”

    Posted on March 26th, 2009 admin 2 comments


    I'd like to make an FoI request but I'd rather nobody knew who I was. Is that ok?

    I'd like to make an FoI request but I'd rather nobody knew who I was. Is that ok?

    When a company or organisation makes a Freedom of Information request to a public authority can it expect its identity to remain secret? Amazingly it would appear the answer is: “Yes”.


    A decision by the Information Commissioner [FS50187314] has decided that for a public authority to disclose the identity of an organisation making a request would be an actionable breach of confidence and so is exempt under the Act by virtue of S.41 (information provided in confidence).

    The names of individual requestors have always tended to remain secret as the release of their identities was considered to be a breach of the Data Protection Act. Now however, it seems that companies, charities, pressure groups, residents’ associations and even political parties may be able to keep their requests secret.

    Explaining the rationale behind the decision the Assistant Commissioner Anne Jones said the public authority owed the special interest group an obligation of confidence, the release of the group’s name had the quality of confidence and it would suffer detriment as a result of its release into the public arena. She also said that the public interest test, which is part of the Breach of Confidence laws as opposed to the Freedom of Information laws, was not powerful enough to allow the group’s name to become public.

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