'Vextious' requests from a person...

Mark Salter made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Department for Communities and Local Government,

In your response to my recent FOIR:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/gr...

you kindly provided a copy of your previous letter to 'Derek Tickles' :-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/97...

which included a link to the ICO guidance on vexatious requests.

I have read through the guidance you are using but find nothing that allows your office to consider a person as vexatious, so please can you provide:-

- the information you hold that permits your office to refuse requests from a person (or people).

especially since your stance seems contrary to these ICO guidance you say they are using?

Just for context, the guidance states:-

"Note that it is the request that can be considered vexatious, not the requestor;"

Your office may not therefore block people from asking for information but instead refuse to answer if:-

- would cost too much to comply;
- is vexatious or repeated; or
the information is exempt from disclosure under one
of the exemptions in the Act.

In order to comply with the guidance, your office must consider the content of a request, not the person ; you must also always provide a properly structured refusal response.
There are a few well defined reasons to refuse requests (including a 60 day running total of the cost of *replying*), but none of them based upon the person making them - and it would seem none of them apply to the varied requests that 'Derek Tickles' has made of your department over time.

Whilst I appreciate that the content or manner of 'Derek Tickles' requests are sometimes cutting or perhaps meant to be funny, the ICO guidance and the FOI act itself must always be followed.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Gadawodd alan m dransfield (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) anodiad ()

Mark

I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on the vexatious ICO subject because I managed to get an original vexatious decision by my LA and the ICO overturned in Aug 11 which the ICO appealled directly to the Upper Tribunal and I am now awaitinga UT hearing Date.

If I win the UT case it will be a landmark victory for the VEXATIOUS decisions of the past and future decsions.
Since Aug my LA have ignored approx 60-70 of my FOI requests under the assumtion they consider my requests as vexatious.
My LA have informed me 3-4 weeks ago they are going to review ALL my requests.

I also have a FULL FTT RETRIAL at the end of the month where vexatious was PART of an earlier decision.

In my view there are number of PA Nationwide whom are playing the VEXATIOUS CARD driven by wilfull blindness.
Watch this space

Gadawodd Sheila Oliver (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) anodiad ()

I am an enormous fan of Derek Tickles. Although he uses humour (and why not - it is a drab old world without it), the underlying points he makes are valid.

Lots of love

Sheila

(Stockport Council reported me to the Information Commission for being rude by saying "lots of love" to them; I say "lots of love" even if I write to the Editor of the Guardian)

Gadawodd Mark Salter anodiad ()

@ Alan..

... I will indeed watch this space with interest. It does seem that a number of bodies are incorrectly claiming vexatious *requester* as a matter of simple convenience.

Having their rather ill thought out responses viewable on whatdotheyknow really helps - what a great site!!

Another poorly used excuse is 'manifestly unreasonable', something I am about to get a ruling from the ICO *against* the claim *I* am being so on a request for basic information from Ofcom.

Happy new year!

Mark

Martin Harding, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Salter

Please see the attached response to your request for information of 31
December 2011, together with one attachment.

Regards

Martin Harding
Department for Communities and Local Government
Knowledge and Information Access
D/06 Ashdown House
St. Leonards on sea
Tel: 0303 44 41025
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Martin Harding,

thank you for your reply to my request.

I would like to initially say that I still do think your approach of refusing to reply to requests from a name is incorrect.

The ICO guidance does not allow you to simply ignore ignore requests from an individual even if you might consider them vexatious *after* you have considered them. To simply not respond and possibly not even consider there contents is not acceptable; instead you must...

consider each request own it's own basis,
if it is really vexatious then you :-

"
must issue a refusal notice to the requester within 20 working days. The refusal notice should state that you are relying on section 14(1) or 14(2) and give details of your internal review procedures and the right to appeal to the ICO.
"

unless

"
you have already given the same person a refusal notice for a previous vexatious or repeated request; *and* it would be unreasonable to issue another one.
"

Replying to an email request that you consider vexatious is not unreasonable, might I suggest a prepared reply with the mandated components included is the best way to go?

Certainly responses like:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/63...

do not contain the mandated components and take the same effort to provide (perhaps more) than a complete and proper Refusal Notice.

I know you know this already, but...

WhatDoTheyKnow.com is a terribly useful website and unfortunately the view from this service is that your organisation appears to be conducting itself badly especially if you consider requests that have been left hanging:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr...

or

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/re...

Now whilst you might have referenced these requests within other responses you have given you are not correctly following the ICO guidance in responding to the correct "return address" for these emailed requests which is the unique email assigned to each request submitted through whatdotheyknow.com.

Might I suggest that you visit your Department's list on whatdotheyknow.com and correctly answer and respond to each outstanding request :-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/dclg/...

hopefully particular attention to those with a status of "Delayed", "Long overdue", "Awaiting internal review" - for these especially ones that are also very old.

You may be surprised that there are significant numbers of these cases going back as far as the 26th March 2008, not very many from 'Derek Tickles'!

This process might feel onerous, but it will certainly help to balance and perhaps correct the public view on how your department is conducting themselves in handling Freedom of Information requests; I suspect it will also save you time and effort going forward.

I hope you can make the effort to assess the whatdotheyknow.com website carefully and thank you again for your time, patience and attention you have provided me.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Gadawodd Sheila Oliver (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) anodiad ()

Mr Salter.

Another trick is not keeping correct public records as is a requirement, and then citing the cost of retrieving information from these dog's dinner records as grounds for refusal.

Gadawodd Sheila Oliver (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) anodiad ()

Mr Salter

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/to...

For repeatedly trying to report this abuse mentioned above which is ongoing and for saying correctly they were putting children on unremediated toxic waste I was reported to the Information Commission by the very people responsible for these two abuses as a vexatious waster of public funds.

If you email me sheilaoliver@ntlworld.com I can send you video evidence of threats to kill the council taxpayer involved, swearing calling him a piece of sh*t and threatening to kick his f*cking head in and threats to kill him by council staff, and video clips of him being arrested three times for trying to report to the council that his name, address and signature was displayed on the council's website. The Council had been told about this in a public question at a full council meeting the previous Thursday, but did nothing to correct this serious Data Protection issue.

I reported all this to my and Mr Parnell's local MP, Andrew Stunell, Junior Department of Communities and Local Government minister, who said he saw nothing wrong in the Council's treatment of Mr Parnell and said I should do voluntary work instead of bothering him with such matters. I have done voluntary work for the past ten years with the dying at the local hospital. What an obscure comment for Mr Stunell to have made when serious human rights abuses were brought to his attention!

Sheila