Recently in Office for National Statistics Category

We have had a letter, from the Office for National Statistics, dated and postmarked 7th February 2005, delivered today 9th February, i.e. 13 working days since our FOIA request to the Office for National Statistics regarding the Citizen Information Project.

Given the paucity of public information on the Citizen Information Project, who knew that there are over 5000 documents related to it ?

Any suggestions as to how we can narrow down the request would be appreciated.

The letter:

We have sent in a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office for National Statistics regarding the Citizen Information Project

There is allegedly meant to be some sort of report about this massive database system and how it does or does not interact with or duplicate some or all of the National Identity Register

We have been told through confidential channels that there might be some very worried people in the ONS, who fear that the Citizen Information Project, especially if it is linked to the National Identity Register will either pollute statistical validity of Census based data. There are already parts of our cities where the Census data is simply not statistically valid, due to the fears of people about the the Poll Tax / Community Charge. how much worse will this get with the National identity Register and theID card scheme ?

The National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, Len Cook is going back to New Zealand when his contract expires this year, could the Citizen Information Project have contributed to this decision ?

Our first FOIA request to the Office for National Statistics:

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

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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Recent Comments

  • freeware spyware: What a gem!!! I found your blog on Google looking read more
  • eBuster: I made a request under the freedom of information act read more
  • Geoff Hillyard: Thank you for this letter 2 comment. I am not read more
  • Benjamin Wright: FOIA requesters, such as activists in Ann Arbor, MI, are read more
  • wtwu: @ GF - thanks for spotting that error - two read more
  • GF: Actually, it looks like it's exactly 18 months (not 16) read more
  • Anon: This is getting quite exciting now. Given how bad the read more
  • Konstance Hill: you might want to have a talk to us about read more
  • Don Mitchell: Thank you, Spy Blog, I am sure you helped. The read more
  • wtwu: @ Geoff - you cannot ask for Personal Information, especially read more

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