Shepway breach Freedom of Information Act

Contributed by editor on May 26, 2005 - 10:38 PM


Shepway District Council breached the Freedom of Information Act when asked for documents by former councillor Martin Ross.

The request for minutes of meetings by Mr Ross who was acting with former Shepway Councillor Colin Tearle was rejected by the Council who claimed they contained a large amount of exempt information.

The council also stated that the cost of complying exceeded the appropriate limit and would take several days for an officer to go through the minutes.

The Information Commissioner ruled o­n 16 May that Shepway Council  had failed to deal with the request in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

The decision also said that the cost of examining the information in order to establish whether or not an exemption may apply to it may not be taken into account in estimating the cost of complying with the request.

The Commissioner wrote stating the letter from Shepway District Council refusing the request for information dated 25 January 2005 did not comply with the requirements of section 17 of the Act.

No further action is required to be taken by the Council as Mr Ross  has now been provided with the information he requested.