Recently in Cabinet Office Category

Our reminder email, (see "No more Openness at the Cabinet Office") regarding our FOIA request "Cabinet Office - missing RIPA Commissioner Annual Reports for 2005", did actually result in prompt response from the Cabinet Office FOI Team, within 4 hours !

However the actual content of the reply is a bit of a surprise.

We had expected the Cabinet Office to simply confirm that they had the two documents, and that they would be published soon, so therefore the Freedom of Information Act 1998 Section 22: Information Intended For Future Publication Exemption, would apply.


I am writing to advise you that following a search, I have established that the information you requested is not held by this Department. I can inform you, however, that the reports will be published in due course. When received, they will be laid before each House of Parliament by the Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Regulatory and Investigatory Powers Act.

The mystery deepens.

How likely is it that the outgoing Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner, all of whose previous Annual Reports were submitted to the Prime Minister by July of the year after the calendar year to which they refer, would not have done so for their 2005 reports ? Their fellow RIPA Commissioner, the Chief Surveillance Commissioner did submit his 2005 - 2006 Annual Report, and it was published online by July 2006.

Remember that anything which might compromise national security or personal data privacy is excluded from the public parts of these reports.

We have sent an email FOIA request to the Cabinet Office, which covers the Prime Minister's office, asking for the disclosure and publication of two Annual Reports, which are meant to be laid before Parliament each year:

  1. Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2005, by the previous outgoing ICC, Rt. Hon . Sir Swinton Thomas.

  2. Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2005, by the previous outgoing ISC, Lord Justice Simon Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood.

This has not been done, even though Parliament has now risen for the Christmas recess.

Technically, the Prime Minister is now in breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Our email:

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.

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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

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

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

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Freedom of Information pages - Department for Constitutional Affairs

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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

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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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