Feeds

ICO power to stop FOI dodgers 'some way off'

More time to investigate destruction of FOI data requires change in law

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Christopher Graham, the information commissioner, has said that implementation of the justice committee's recommendation for his office to have more time to prosecute people who destroy data requested under freedom of information (FOI) is "still some way off".

Although it is an offence to destroy information so as to avoid responding to an FOI request, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) currently has only six months in which to prosecute an individual.

Under current law, the six months runs from when the offence was committed, not from when the ICO receives a complaint.

"The proposed change to remove the time limit on prosecutions would better reflect the seriousness of the offence, as would a higher penalty on conviction," says the information commissioner in his blog.

Allowing more time for the ICO to investigate the destruction of information in this way, will require changes to legislation, however. The matter will have to be considered by the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet.

Graham Smith, the deputy information commissioner, told Government Computing that the change was unlikely to be in force before next year.

"I do not think this is that contentious, but just a question of the politicians and legal draftsmen sorting things out," he said.

Overall, Christopher Graham says in his blog that the committee's report appears to offer an insightful and balanced commentary on the way the FOI act is working.

"The ICO will now take the time to digest it in full, before considering how we can further improve our guidance to requesters and public authorities," he says.

This article was originally published at Government Computing.

Government Computing covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.