Feeds

Hounslow health trust blasted for FOI failings

'Totally unacceptable...'

High performance access to file storage

The Information Commissioner's Office has strongly criticised Hounslow Primary Care Trust for failing to meet its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

Richard Thomas, ICO chief executive, said: "Hounslow PCT's records management is clearly inadequate and its performance in handling this case has been totally unacceptable. The Freedom of Information Act must be properly implemented by public bodies - it is not a voluntary scheme that organisations can dip in and out of..."

The case concerned a request for information first received in January 2005 concerning the death of the requester's father-in-law. The requester was not satisfied with what was received and he asked for more information in February 2006.

In order for the ICO to decide whether or not the information should be released it needed to see the relevant documents, but Hounslow "failed on numerous occasions to respond to requests". Eventually, the ICO went to the High Court to certify Hounslow was in contempt of court - the first time it has done so under the FOI.

The ICO said it was particularly concerned by the trust's claim that it did not hold documents which it then later found.

The decision notice orders Hounslow to provide further documents and names of senior staff or face further action in the High Court.

The information regulator recommends that Hounslow reviews its record management system and get advice from the Records Management Advisory Service at the National Archives.

If Hounslow fails to comply with the latest decision notice the ICO will take it back to the High Court. The regulator said it expected a "step change" in how Hounslow PCT deals with future FOI requests.

The ICO decision notice is available here (pdf). ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.