Saturday, July 02, 2011

Castlereagh Council FOI failure

The magic twenty working day limit for FOI responses sailed past this week. In the aftermath of the Lock Keepers Inn fiasco, Castlereagh councillors voted to publish council minutes online. However their transparency has been sporadic, with a couple of months' worth of minutes going online before radio silence kicks in.

The last minutes were published on Castlereagh's website were for the January meeting of the full council Despite Easter and an election, there have been several meetings in the first half of the year, and the draft minutes will have been approved by council - and probably internally distributed electronically!

A simple matter then to update the website - or email them out when asked near the beginning of June for the missing minutes. After all, the FOI legislation and Information Commissioner's Office guidance is clear that requests should be answered without undue delay - 20 working days is a maximum, not a standard SLA.

But no. Request acknowledged, and after chasing day 21 an excuse given about sickness ... but still no minutes.

Transparency and public accountability are clearly not priorities in Castlereagh.

1 comment:

Just David said...

Transparency and public accountability are not priorities for any of the public services that I have to deal with. The sad bit is most of the public don't realise they need it and work with on the street information. Sad, sad situation.