Vexatious Tickles

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Communities and Local Government,

I will confess to being something of a fan of Derek Tickles.

The content of his requests are both amusing and informative. Although I note that you do not share the sense of humour as you have refused to respond to a number of his requests on the grounds that what he is asking is vexatious.

Looking at the information provided by the ICO about deciding what is vexatious it says "the key question is whether the request is likely to cause unjustified distress, disruption or irritation."

Mr Tickles always arrives at a valid request for information so I would not imagine that disruption is a factor when reaching your determination that the request is vexatious.

There then remains the issue of distress and irritation. To make transparent the basis of your vexatious claim could you please advise me as to:

a) how many members of staff have officially registered their distress as a result of a request from Mr Tickles as at the 14/02/2011.

b) how many members of staff have officially registered their irritation as a result of a request from Mr Tickles as at the 14/02/2011.

Invariably you are expending more resources in adopting this adversarial strategy as you incur internal reviews and other requests as a result (I note Dean Halfords in addition to my own). I do not feel that this strategy is the best use of taxpayers funds and would suggest that you respond to the key elements of the request in future, without resorting to unnecessary point scoring.

As a final point, I would very much like to know all the items that can be selected as part of the 7 item breakfast, and how much this breakfast can be purchased for from Eland House.

Yours faithfully,

Tony Maycock

Mr Smith left an annotation ()

Given the number of Mr Tickles requests now being responded to with the "Vexatious Tickles" approach I think this is an excellent request and will follow it with interest.

Derek Tickles left an annotation ()

Thank you Tony, I hope you don't mind but I showered you with some praise in my blog recently:

http://derektickles.blogspot.com/2011/02...

Keep the faith
Derek

Martin Harding,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Maycock

Please see the attached response to your request for information of 15
February 2011.

Regards

Martin Harding
Department for Communities and Local Government
FOI Advice Team
D/06 Ashdown House
St. Leonards on sea

 

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

Dear Martin Harding,

I acknowledge that you have provided information but I disagree that you would be able to refuse this request on the sole grounds that it has no serious purpose. I therefore quote from a What Do They Know request to yourself:

"The ICO guidance that you direct me to says that "an apparent lack of serious purpose or value is not enough on its own to make a request vexatious".

I do not feel that you have complied with the ICO guidance on the use of Section 14 and should therefore explain how my one request is either obsessive or irritating/distressing or a significant burden to yourself. I therefore request an internal review of this decision."

I simiarlarly request an internal review of your decision to classify my request as vexatious.

I'd also just add that the Eland House breakfast, at £2.50 for seven (from eleven) items, appears on the face of it to be subsidised. As Mr Pickles is all about the transparency and accountability I would think that knowledge of subsidised facilities within local or central government, particularly in the current economic climate, would have purpose and value. Perhaps you can elaborate why you think otherwise?

Yours sincerely,

Tony Maycock

Derek Tickles left an annotation ()

Good work Tony.

I am not surprised that there is no evidence that my previous requests have caused irritation or distress to staff. (All I hear is the chortles).

It appears that DCLG are increasingly forgetting that they have a legal responsibility to respond helpfully to FoI requests rather than seeing them as an irritant. The SoS has after all called upon a army of armchair auditors to hold public bodies to account.

As for the seven item breakfast - it is legendary. I see Mr Smith has submitted a request that may identify other subsidised benefits.

Keep plugging away
Derek

CLG-FOIAdvice,

Dear Mr Maycock

REQUEST FOR INTERNAL REVIEW

Thank you for your email of 11th March 2011, in which you seek a review
of the response provided by Communities and Local Government to your
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The review will be considered under the Department's internal review
procedures. A full re-evaluation of your request will be undertaken.

I will today allocate this request to an Internal Review Officer and you
should receive a reply by 11th April 2011.

Yours sincerely

FOI Advice Team
Knowledge Management Division
Zone 2/A3, Eland House
0303 444 3973

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CLG-FOIAdvice,

1 Attachment

<<11-01-24 Tony Maycock Internal Review Response .doc>>
Dear Mr Maycock

Please find attached reply.

Yours sincerely

Julian Pitt
Decision Officer
Planning and Central Casework Division
Department of Communities and Local Government
Zone 1/J1, Eland House, Victoria

Tel: 0303 4441630

Email: [email address]

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

Dear CLG-FOIAdvice,

I have taken issue with the statement within your original response that you claim you would have been within your rights to withhold the information.

This statement to my mind is incorrect and I requested that you reconsider your approach. I am asking you to either support or retract this statement.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Maycock

CLG-FOIAdvice,

Dear Tony Maycock

Thank you for your email of 24th March, the contents of which have been noted.

The Department for Communities and Local Government did not treat your Freedom of Information request (F0004551) as vexations, and the information was supplied.

An internal review of your request has already been undertaken by Julian Pitt, and we have nothing further to add to his response.

If you are unhappy with the outcome the next step is to write to the Information Commissioner at:
The Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 524 700
Email: [email address]

FOI Advice Team
Knowledge Management Division
Zone 2/A3, Eland House
0303 444 3973

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Dear CLG-FOIAdvice,

Your original response "the Department would be able to refuse this part of your request formally as vexatious under section 14(1) of the FOI Act".

I acknowledge that you provided the information requested, but if you include such statements as part of your response then why should you not respond to queries about them when pressed?

I think you have adopted an unnecessarilyy antagonistic approach.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Maycock

m sykes left an annotation ()

You are touching raw nerves. Your request is tendentious causing hearburn following their 7 item £2.50 breakfast.Vexatious it certainly is not. Keep grinding away.