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Police complaints body gets a kicking for FOI law-breaking

Watchdog vs watchdog

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been given a truncheoning for ignoring Freedom of Information requests from the public.

The Information Commissioner issued the IPPC with an enforcement notice requiring it give an initial response to requests within the legal timeframe of 20 days.

The notice follows complaints that revealed 69 instances of the IPCC failing to respond at all. The IPCC now has until 30 September to clear the backlog.

Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith said: "I am concerned that the IPCC has denied people access to information by repeatedly failing to respond to requests in line with the [Freedom of Information] Act.

"This Enforcement Notice serves as a strong signal to all public authorities that failure to respond is unacceptable."

If the IPCC ignores the enforcement notice too, the Information Commissioner will have the option of taking it to the High Court, for contempt of court. ®

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