ICO now investigating FOIA complaint re Home Office Terrorism Act 2000 s44 Authorisations


Apologies for not blogging this recent FOIA "news" a bit earlier.

After a delay of over a year, the Information Commissioner's Office now has someone investigating the FOIA complaint about the Home Office regarding the request for just time, date and location details of where and when the controversial Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 "stop and search without reasonable cause" powers are temporarily in force.

This response from the ICO came 533 days or 1 year, 5 months, 16 days ago since the original request to the Home Office !

The ICO have already turned up a reference to the

Home Office Circular 038 2004

The 2004 Notes even state that the whole Authorisation Form is
"discloseable", so there really is no excuse for the Home Office's
refusal of my 2007 FOIA request !

"5. It must be remembered that the S.44 authorisation is a
discloseable document and, as such, care must be taken not to
include direct reference to matters that could compromise the
broader counter-terrorist activities carried out by Special
Branches or allied Agencies. To that end there should be no
reference to operation names or to classified briefing material
unless absolutely necessary - in which case the authorisation
should be protectively marked and handled in strict accordance with
Government Security Marking Guidelines"

As you would expect, both of these versions of the Authorisation Forms ask for Maps if these would be helpful:

4. There may be occasions where it would be helpful to those reviewing the extent of the authorisation for relevant maps etc to be attached clearly showing the area in question. Where it is necessary for the defined area to be explained in detail then it is acceptable for that information to be added as an appendix to the Authorisation.

The correspondence so far:

Second email and inline reply:

> On Thu, 30 Apr 2009 15:07:25 +0100 casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk wrote:
>* Party Name
> 30th April 2009
> Thank you for your prompt reply. After writing to you earlier I started to undertake
> some further background search in relation to your request. Having looked on the home > Office and OPSI websites I believe that when applying for section 44 authorisations the
> relevant officer is supposed to submit a standard form for approval (please correct me in > this matter if I am wrong). Although this form changed in December 2008 when a new
> Home Office Circular was introduced (HOC 027 of 2008) there was an earlier one in >existence at the time of your request (HOC 038 of 2004). This is still available online at
>with the form available as an annex at the end of the document.
>In order to try and simplify my enquiries with the Home Office,would it be possible for
>you to indicate to me which parts of this form you would wish to have disclosed in order >to meet with your request? This will allow me to be explicit with the Home Office and
>will ensure that we are concentrating on the specific information
>you want me to consider.
> I will also ask the Home Office to consider any other
>authorisations within the scope of your request which it may have received in a
>different format.
> Regards
> [Name ]
> Senior Case Officer
> 01625 [nnnnnn]
> __________________________________________________________________




I was a policemanfor 25years,with the Merseyside Police.I have a record to be proud of.I was eventually refused for me to return to work,and told that I was too ill to work again (NOT TRUE).
I have on the 15th of May 2006,I wrote to the Chairman of the Merseyside Authority,Weightman to arrange for me to be examined to decide how ill that I was supposed to be,and I also asked for an investigation into the way I was treated as a disability discrimination.I have never had a reply from the Chairman.I have asked also for FOI,and no reply.
The Chief constable Hogan-Howe is even giving talks about DDA,and ignored my letter.
This Chief constable also discusses Grievances,and Fairness policy on members.
Can you put me into contact this problem.
Geoff Hillyard

@ Geoff - you cannot ask for Personal Information, especially about yourself, via the Freedom of Information Act 2000 see the Exemption under Section 40 Personal Information.

You have to send in a Data Protection Act 1998 Subject Data Access Request to the Data Controller (i.e. the Chief Constable) , in writing, wait up to 41 days for a reply, and then, when asked, provide proof of identity and a cheque for £10 (nobody ever charges less than this strange statutory maximum fee), and then wait.

Remember to also ask for, in your Subject Data Access Request, an explanation, in plain English, of the rules and logic of any automated decision making system which has been used to categorise you (they do not have to do this unless specifically asked to in writing).

You could use an FOIA request to ask for the disclosure of internal guidelines or policy documents etc., on employment criteria, of a general nature, but these are probably no more than what job applicants get in their lengthy recruitment application form pack these days.

You might, possibly, be able to ask for statistics etc. about the number of similar cases to yours, both at Merseyside Police, and at each of thee 42 other Geographical Police Forces, and the Scottish and Northern Ireland ones, which may or may not show that Merseyside Police are discriminating against you, compared with other Police forces.

What does your Police union say about the case ?

Thank you for this letter 2 comment.
I am not sure who has answered my letter, about FOI,Enquiry.
You will see that I have complained of lack of answers from The Merseyside Police Authority.
I have been complaining since 1990,asking "why was I sacked?". Because I was told that I was too ill to work again,and will only get worse. That was a lie told about my health.
I am now 77years old and recovering from a stroke,in 2002.
I do not understand a lot of words in speech and letters since that Stroke.
So thank youfor your letter.
Geoff Hillyard
CW11 3NA

My earlier letter talking about the lie that I was told about my health.I wrote to the Authority Chairman,Mr Weightman on the 15th of May 2006,and I asked for a "Full"investigation into the way that I was treated,and sacked.My letter was passed over to the Chief Constable Hogan-Howe,who was talking about his interest with Grievances,and the DDA,I have never had an answer from Either,
I understand that the Chief was Sharples,who was a disgrace,and has ended up in court for his drunken driving.I have a record better than Sharples,and he is "Knighted".There were even ACC officers think as I do about Sharples.
There are also 90 policemen in that force with criminal records.
I still want an investigation,or inquiry.
Thank you,
Geoff Hillyard

My police Union told be that I would be a waste of time.I was only a detective officer for me to accuse the Chief constable of telling a lie.
I know it is a long time ago,but Strokes can last for ever,but I keep trying.
Thank you
Geoff Hillyard

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