A little tale for all those seeking documents from public authorities.
I was contacted by a member of the public asking if I could assist in getting a Traffic Regulation Order for him ... as the local authority were refusing him access to it.
I contacted the local authority and they attempted to claim that I would need to make an FoI request. I pointed out that as the document (the TRO) has penal consequences which also offered time limited discounts then to withold such documents could be seen as an attempt to compromise ... and initiate a complaint of maladministration causing an injustice.
The Traffic Orders arrived by return. You would think that the next time common sense would prevail and there would be no need to go down the same route, but no, we are dealing with public officials who seem to have had the common sense gene removed.
Thus, the following letter was despatched ...
Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxxx,
Yet again may I remind you that these are public documents with penal consequences. Therefore, if you wish to adhere to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act your actions could prejudice an appellant.
If you wish to continue sending 'standard' FoI responses to information requests then I will need to escalate this matter to a formal complaint as it should not need repeating every time a request is made.
The document arrived by return!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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