Goodbye Silver Service, Say Hello to Lead

The Information Commissioner has two powers to make FOI and the EIRs work, and a backup power to facilitate the other two. They’re found in FOI but apply to both. Under Section 50, the Commissioner can resolve a complaint about an individual FOI / EIR complaint by issuing a Decision Notice, which determines whether the […]

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The DNs don’t work

I’m going to say it again. I really like Christopher Graham. Anyone would have looked dynamic after Richard “BACKLOG” Thomas, but I believe he’s trying to make a difference in his role. I’m not sure we’d get on personally, but that’s definitely more about me than him. I have absolutely no doubt that he means […]

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Signifying nothing

I was an FOI / DP officer in local government for the first five years of FOI’s operation, and like everyone else in the field, I got used to spotting trends – certain topics would come up again and again, certain requests would follow certain events. Of course, I also got used to certain names […]

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Not now, Brian, we’re busy

Imagine that you are employed by a mobile phone network. Somebody working for a claims management firm approaches you, offering a large sum of money to steal the customer database, especially the mobile numbers. They want to send PPI claim text messages to all of the people on the list. You download the customer data, […]

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Mother! Eat the Cookie! Eat It!

My favourite part of the Information Commissioner’s website is the blog, where a succession of ICO notables talk about how marvellous their particular corner of the business is. The enterprise appears to be modelled on the Opinion section of The Onion, and I look forward to each new instalment with childlike enthusiasm. I’m really hoping […]

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Walk the walk

Chris Graham gave an impressive interview to the Guardian which is published today. It’s nice to see the Information Commissioner standing up for the principles of transparency and Freedom of Information in the face of what everyone can see is an establishment backlash. As the article says: “There are some very powerful voices saying it […]

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Wake up and smell the non-trivial data security incidents

You know what it’s like. You’re travelling home on three trains to complete a journey that would take half the time if only the trains went a sensible way. You’re too tired to do anything constructive, you’ve forgotten your Kindle but you’ve afraid to do nothing in case you doze off and miss the stop […]

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How to succeed in backlogs without really trying

First, two disclaimers. 1) The ICO’s previous FOI backlog was disgraceful, and it developed on Richard Thomas’s watch. Chris Graham and his staff deserve great credit for trying to kill it off. The fact that an organisation can no longer make a decision knowing that they won’t answer for it for two years is a […]

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Carry On Motorman

My next blog post was supposed to be something a bit different, but I’m waiting for someone to respond to a complaint I’ve made before completing it. In the meantime, all I have is more Motorman ICO material. The muddle over the legal advice I wanted that they didn’t have and the legal advice they did […]

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