Who will guard the guards themselves?
- By Paul Sullivan LLM MCIM
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently upheld a complaint against, believe it or not, the ICO.
The complainant wrote to the ICO on 12 January 2018 requesting certain information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The ICO responded on 9 February 2018 to advise that they would respond to the request by 9 March 2018. When this didn’t happen, the complainant wrote to the ICO requesting an update. They responded, apologising for the delay to state that they hoped to respond to the request soon. They then wrote to the complainant on 16 March 2018 to say that, as the officer dealing with the request was due to take annual leave, a response would not be sent until after their return to the office.
On 5 April 2018, the complainant wrote to the ICO and requested an update and, on 6 April 2018, to submit a complaint relating to the ICO’s failure to provide a substantive response to the original request.
The ICO responded on 10 April 2018 and stated that they hoped to be able to respond soon. On 24 April 2018 the complainant wrote to the ICO and requested an update and, on 25 April 2018, the ICO issued a substantive response to the original request of 12 January 2018.
The ICO upheld the complaint of 6 April 2018 but concluded that it did not require the ICO to take any steps. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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