March 2009 Archives

Yet Another Twelve Weeks gone !

Why is the Information Commissioner's Office so permanently under resourced ?

Note that there is not even a guesstimate of when they are going to even allocated the complaint to a case worker,let alone when they will make's decision.

To: {email address]
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 06:01:06 -0800
* Party Name

19 March 2009

Dear [name]

We last wrote to you on 18 DECEMBER 2008 about the Freedom of Information complaint you made to the Information Commissioner. This complaint concerns the handling of the request you made to the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on 28 January 2008. This request concerns the special categories used by HMRC, for whom security is a higher priority.

I am writing on behalf of the Police, Justice and Taxation Team (Team 2) to inform you that regretfully your case is still waiting to be allocated to a case officer. Until your case is allocated we are not able to provide any substantive information about the progress or
content of your case

The office has been dealing with a very high volume of complaints since January 2005. This has created a significant back log of cases which are being addressed as quickly as possible, though in many instances resolving those cases is proving to be a very lengthy
process. We appreciate that this situation is both undesirable and extremely frustrating. However, we would like to assure you that every possible effort is being made to alleviate the delays and we will allocate your case once it gets to the front of our queue.

Please accept my apologies for the delays you will experience prior to this case being allocated. We will write to you again every twelve weeks to inform you of the status of your complaint in relation to Team 2's queue and we will notify you when a case worker is assigned to it.

You can respond by replying to this email to[1] quoting reference FS50216168.

Yours sincerely

David McNeil

Complaints Officer

Team 2 - Police, Justice and Taxation


The ICO's vision is a society where information rights and responsibilities are respected by all.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment), please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. Unauthorised access, use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted.

Communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Therefore we strongly advise you not to email any information, which if disclosed to unrelated third parties would be likely to cause you distress. If you have an
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The Information Commissioner's Office cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and amended. You should perform your own virus checks.
__________________________________________________________________ or email:
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510


About this blog

This United Kingdom based blog has been spawned from Spy Blog, and is meant to provide a place to track our Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests to United Kingdom Government and other Public Authorities.

If you have suggestions for other FOIA requests,  bearing in mind the large list of exemptions, then email them to us, or use the comments facility on this blog, and we will see  what we can do, without you yourself having to come under the direct scrutiny of  "Sir Humphrey Appleby" or his minions.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

email: blog @spy[dot]org[dot]uk

Here is our PGP public encryption key or download it via a PGP Keyserver. - FOIA request submission and publication website from

Campaign Buttons

Campaign for the Freedom of Information

NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Amnesty International 's campaign

Yes, Minister

Yes, Minister Series 1, Episode 1, "Open Government" First airtime BBC: 25 February 1980

"Bernard Woolley: "Well, yes, Sir...I mean, it [open government] is the Minister's policy after all."
Sir Arnold: "My dear boy, it is a contradiction in terms: you can be open or you can have government."

FOIA Links

Campaign for the Freedom of Information

Office of the Information Commissioner,
who is meant to regulate the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scottish Information Commissioner,
who similarly regulates the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002

Information Tribunal - deals with appeals against decisions by the Information Commissioners.

Freedom of Information pages - Department for Constitutional Affairs

Friends of the Earth FOIA Request Generator and links to contact details for Central Government Departments and their Publication Schemes

UK Government Information Asset Register - in theory, this should point you to the correct Government documents, but in practice...well see for yourself.

Access all Information is also logging some FOIA requests - prototype FOIA request submission, tracking and publication website

Blog Links

Spy Blog

UK Freedom of Information Act Blog - started by Steve Wood, now handed over to Katherine Gundersen

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

Open Secrets - a blog about freedom of information by BBC journalist Martin Rosenbaum

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

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