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Bonkers Blog December 2011

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7 December (Part 1) - For their next trick

On 29th November I alluded to Bexley council dodging Freedom of Information requests by referring to an intention to post the answer on their website and then failing to do so. One of the instances I had in mind involved the council’s certification (or otherwise) of their four mobile CCTV cars. Parking Manager Tina Brooks told Notomob during a meeting on 28th October that after gaining the manufacturer’s approval the Technical Construction File (TCF) would be put on line. A month later the same answer was given in response to a totally separate Freedom of Information (FOI) request and it was followed up by a further request for evidence that the manufacturer’s permission to publish what might be confidential information had been sought. Bexley council was unable to provide any.

It said their request to the manufacturer of their mobile recording equipment was made by telephone. How convenient is that? Publishing the TCF of highly specialized equipment would be a bold and controversial move likely to involve protracted negotiation and more than likely with legal implications and we are asked to believe they sought permission over the phone. Is it disingenuous, unprofessional or just another ruse to avoid answering an FOI?


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