democracy conflicts of interest blocking of web search engines like Google to democracy documents and information

N Braithwaite made this Freedom of Information request to Kent County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Kent County Council,

Democracy conflicts of interest. Documents and information relating to:

1). Blocking of KCC's website // to searching by web spiders and robots of Google search engines and other independent indexing search engines preventing indexing of public documents and their content.

2). The concealment of public documents published by KCC through use of robots.txt at the head of each file located at //

2). Use of robots.txt exclusively (see note) located at

# Disallow all webbot searching
User-agent: *
Disallow: /

3). Concealment of contents of file //
from indexing and web search engines.

4). Concealment of KCC records of decision from web search engines at

6) Censorship of documents searched through KCC website

Try it

Yours faithfully,

N Braithwaite

Note: (with the exception of a section of KCC's web site directly soliciting information from schools about parental abuse of children)

Kent County Council

Dear N Braithwaite


Thank you for your email below.


Kent County Council acknowledges your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Assuming KCC holds this information, we
will endeavour to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later
than 21st November 2012 (20 working days from date of receipt).


We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information. Please quote our reference - FOI/12/1420 - in any
communication regarding this particular request.


Best regards


Laura Pronger
Information Access Officer
Information Resilience & Transparency Team
Business Strategy & Support, Governance & Law
Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone,
ME14 1XQ. 
Telephone: 01622 694261, Internal: 7000 4261, Fax: 01622 696075

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Kent County Council

17 Attachments

Dear Mr Braithwaite

Thank you for your latest requests for information.

We hereby formally record our objection to the number and manner of your requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Your repeated requests abstract members and officers from their usual work and impose a significant burden on the Authority in a manner for which the Freedom of Information Act was not intended.

Pursuant to the legislation and guidance from the Information Commissioner, the Council is entitled to aggregate the time spent on responding to your queries. Furthermore, in recognising this type of situation, the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) has recently taken a wide view of what may be regarded as a obsessive and vexatious request for information and held that costs of responding alone can make an information request vexatious.

We have therefore aggregated your twelve requests and have concluded that to consider them all in their entirety, ascertain whether the information is held or not and then if it is, locate, extrapolate and collate that information, would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 equivalent to 18 hours at £25 per hour.

However, we do not want to be seen as obstructive and are aware of our duty to advise and assist in accordance with section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, we have done our utmost to comply with as many elements of your twelve requests as we can within the appropriate limit and have attached a collated response to your requests in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. We should advise that we take the view that your latest requests

· overlap with requests previously answered
· are likely to cause unjustified disruption
· would impose a significant and disproportionate burden on the public purse

We should advise that any future requests from you that are similar in nature, quantity or scope will be considered very carefully to determine whether they are obsessive or vexatious.

If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied with legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints process; details can be found at this link on our website. Please quote the appropriate reference as quoted on the attached table.

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the Information Commissioner's website

Best regards

Caroline Dodge
Team Leader, Information Resilience & Transparency Team, Business Strategy & Support, Governance & Law Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ
Tel: 01622 221652, Internal 7000 1652,
Fax: 01622 696075

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