Feeds

Ruling: Gov reports into ID scheme must be disclosed

But with names deleted

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Information Tribunal has ruled that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for internal government reports into the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of the planned National ID Card scheme should be granted. The reports in question, thought to be critical of the ID scheme, have thus far been withheld.

In a decision issued yesterday, the Information Tribunal upheld a 2006 ruling by the Information Commissioner following FOIA requests that two "Gateway Reports" into National ID prepared by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) should be disclosed. The OGC had initially turned down the FOIA applications, and then following the Commissioner's decision appealed to the Tribunal in 2007.

The case then moved to the High Court, which eventually sent it back to the Information Tribunal for reconsideration. After much legal scuffling, the Tribunal has now ordered that the requested Gateway Report documents should be disclosed within 28 days but with names of interviewees redacted.

According to the Tribunal judgement:

The role and function of the OGC... which is a highly important one in relation to modern day government projects, is ensuring that proper and efficient cost and other controls are imposed and maintained with regard to such projects...

The OGC contended that disclosure of the [Gateway Reviews] in relation to the ID Cards Programme will harm the contribution of the Gateway process to remaining projects.

The OGC mandarins argued that if Gateway Reviews into government programmes were always published, nobody would feel able to tell them things with the necessary "candour". The Tribunal has answered this by allowing the names of people quoted to be withheld, and saying that the ruling doesn't establish a precedent that all such reviews should be published.

An OGC spokesman today sent the Reg this statement:

The Information Tribunal has concluded that neither they nor the Information Commissioner believe all Gateway Reviews should be disclosed. It has made clear that its decision refers only to this specific request and does not set any precedent. We are currently assessing the detail of the Information Tribunal’s decision and will respond in full in due course.

The Tribunal judgement can be read in full here (60-pg pdf). ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.