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  • A slowish welcome in the hillsides

    Posted on January 12th, 2010 admin No comments

    Cardiff City Council and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) have both had their knuckles rapped by the Information Commissioner for the shoddy way they have been dealing with internal reviews.

    The Freedom of Information Act states that an authority should take no more than 20 working days to complete an internal review of a decision when asked to by an applicant. In exceptional cases this deadline can be extended to 40 days.

    However, what the Commissioner uncovered at the two authorities showed that the internal review procedures were in disarray.

    At Cardiff the Information Commissioner uncovered evidence that some reviews were still incomplete despite being open for two years. An Information Notice was issued to the Council to obtain exact details on the issues which revealed significant problems around the way internal appeals were logged.

    The UKBA has also got in trouble after figures revealed it was taking too long to consider internal reviews. Between August 2008 and January 2009 just one in ten reviews were dealt with inside the 20 days guideline and almost two-thirds took more than 40 days for a resolution.

    Gerrard Tracey, Assistant Information Commissioner, said: “Responses to internal reviews need to be prompt. The right to request an internal review is an important information right for members of the public.

    “Authorities must understand that, although we will work with them to improve their practice, the informal resolution of compliance or conformity issues will not be pursued indefinitely.

    “We will take action against those who show a lack of progress, commitment and engagement with regards to their responsibilities under the Act.”

    Both authorities were issued with a practice recommendation from the Commissioner. The UKBA’s one can be seen [here] and Cardiff City Council’s [here].

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