Magazine article Public Finance

Public Bodies Can Say No to 'Vexatious' Fol Requests

Magazine article Public Finance

Public Bodies Can Say No to 'Vexatious' Fol Requests

Article excerpt

Public bodies should not be afraid of turning down freedom of information requests if answering them would be disproportionately time-consuming and costly, the Office of the Information Commissioner has said.

Speaking to Public Finance, assistant information commissioner Phil Boyd said the office would back up any public authorities that took a firm line in turning down 'vexatious' requests.

He said that although most people use their rights under the Freedom of Information Act in a responsible manner, some developed a 'bee In their bonnet' and submitted requests that would take too much time to process.

'This may turn the Freedom of Information Act into a charter for nuisances, and it may give the impression to public authorities that, rather than achieving greater transparency and accountability, the Act becomes another route through which some rather difficult individuals can give them a hard time,' Boyd told PF. …

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