Cabinet Office breaks the law, again

Regular readers of The Voice may be familiar with my correspondence with the Cabinet Office and the tales of how the Cabinet Office has lost correspondence, failed to comply with data protection access requests and ignored requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. In short, the Cabinet Office’s administration is frequently chaotic and on several occasions the Cabinet Office has broken the law.

A sample of this was contained in my previous post:

I’ve also put in two Freedom of Information requests about the Cabinet Office’s records of complaints about emails sent via their website going astray. The first produced some general statistics, which prompted my second request asking for further details about those statistics (e.g. whether multiple complaints about the same issue counted as one or more than one towards the totals).

And now for the bureaucratic genius part. In response to that second FOI request, the Cabinet Office claims it has no records again. How it therefore put together figures about total number of complaints when it doesn’t have any records is puzzling. Chicken entrails anyone?

And then there’s been the little matter of the Cabinet Office both claiming that certain records don’t exist (for FOI purposes) but also saying they do exist (for Data Protection Act purposes):

You may think that is incompetence, inconsistency or idiocy. I’m sticking with it being an act of legal genius to argue that a document both does and doesn’t exist at the same time.

I wonder if there is a Mr. Schrodinger on the Cabinet Office’s legal staff?

So on to the latest. After the Cabinet Office ignored my request for a review of how it handled a Freedom of Information request, I put in a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner’s office wrote an official letter to the Cabinet Office telling it to carry out the review. The result? Absolute inactivity from the Cabinet Office.

Not exactly reassuring that the Cabinet Office continues to take such a cavalier attitude towards its legal obligations. Shame too that my MP (Jeremy Corbyn) has, so far, not taken up this issue despite being asked. After all, what’s a little matter of law breaking by a government department?

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

4 Comments

  • Andrew Suffield 16th Mar '10 - 10:27am

    This government’s attitude that the law does not apply to them is annoying.

  • Andrew Suffield 17th Mar '10 - 8:32am

    You can report them to the Information Commissioner, but they know already. It takes them several years to resolve these things, which ensures that any information is no longer politically relevant by the time it gets out. There are no penalties for deliberate obstructionism and delay in compliance.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Richard Coe
    This could be our Reichstag Fire moment. I almost feel that unless hard scientific evidence is provided we should carry on until the law is clarified, at which ...
  • Teresa Wilson
    My political sympathies lie more with the Liberal Democrats than any other party, so I don't see myself leaving. I do however feel the same kind of frustration ...
  • David Raw
    @ Geoffrey Dron I'm afraid that's not the case, Mr Dron. The Union is under threat because of the arrogance and sheer incompetence of the Westminster model....
  • john oundle
    After the events of the past few weeks I would suggest it would be best to keep quiet about the EU. China inflicts a pandemic on the world,refuses to co-oper...
  • Geoffrey Dron
    @Peter Hirst We need a constitutional convention of constitutional experts and senior politicians not a citizens' assembly. And no referendum....