Are Service Users or the general public allowed to audio-visually record meeting and calls with your staff? If so, do they require permission or are they permitted to do so covertly? FOI Request.
Dear Common Council of the City of London,
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Public Interest Survey
Are Service Users or the general public allowed to audio-visually record meeting and calls with your staff? If so, do they require permission or are they permitted to do so covertly?
1 Do you have any guidance or policy for the public or service users to record calls when they speak to your staff
What is your organisations protocol on service users recording calls when they speak to your staff? Please provide a copy of your policy, procedure and guideline notes on this issue.
or call centres Do you Inform Users they can record. If the answer is no what is the reason for this please if so do send me a copy.
Are service users made aware of their right to record the encounter, if they choose to do so? Is this reflected in you policy document on the matter?
2. Does your organisation have an “Unacceptable Behaviour” policy? If so, please can you provide me with a copy?
If such a policy contains points of objectionable behaviour such as telephones calls being recorded by the caller due to them being not necessary or unwanted or needed, and furthermore the staff members may feel threatened or apprehensive, are you aware that denying users the right to record calls goes against the current UK laws.
3. Are your policies and procedures compliant with the public right to audio-visually record encounters with your staff, without their consent? If not, will you provide appropriate training for your staff so they are fully informed of the Public right to record?
4. What is our organisations current charging policy for Freedom of Information requests (FOI) or Subject Access Requests (SAR)? If charges are applied are concessions available for those on low income or students?
5. What is your organisations complaints policy? Please can you forward me a copy. Does your complaints procedure permit service users evidence such as covert call recordings to form part of the investigation.
The Public need to record all calls too many lies now its time for honesty.
John Jones Researcher
Dear Mr Jones,
Thank you for your email of 9 October 2018 to the City of London (CoL).
Please note that section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) states
"8.—(1) In this Act any reference to a 'request for information' is a
Request for reference to such a request which— … (b) states the name of
the applicant …"
For further guidance, please see the guidance “Recognising a request made
under the Freedom of Information Act (Section 8)” (version 1.2, 2 Nov
2016), published on the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO) at: http://www.ico.org.uk/.
You will see that the ICO states that “the intention of the legislation is
for the requester to provide their real name”, and that “the absence of a
real name would make it technically invalid under Section 8(1)(b)” of the
FOIA. Please would you confirm whether your real name is John Jones or
In addition, the ICO states in “The Guide to Freedom of Information”
(version 4.9, 14 Aug 2017), that “…you [the authority receiving the
request] may decide to check [an applicant’s] identity if it is clear they
are using a pseudonym”.
Please would you also confirm the name of any person or organisation on
whose behalf your request may be made. In considering this, please note
the above guidance (“Recognising a request made under the Freedom of
Information Act (Section 8)”) states at paragraphs 42 and 43 that, to be a
valid request, “the request must state the real name of the party on whose
behalf the agent is acting … A request which only includes the real name
of the agent will be invalid”.
It is clear that the section 12 and section 14(1) provisions of the Act
could be circumvented where a real name is not being provided or the party
on whose behalf the agent is acting is not stated.
Incidentally, in such circumstances paragraph 19 would also seem to apply.
In other words, if someone were acting as an 'agent', and not disclosing
this to the public authority receiving the request, then the ICO would not
consider the request a valid request and therefore could not mange any
complaint about the response to it.
We look forward to receiving clarification on these two points. Your
request will be actioned when we have received your reply.
Comptroller & City Solicitor’s Department
City of London
Tel: 020-7332 1209
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now