How transparent is Eric Pickles? – no don’t laugh, I’m serious

As soon as I wrote the title, I realised that there are two answers; completely and not at all. Completely, because most of us in local government can see right through him, with all his bluster, BS and almost pathological hatred of local government. Not at all, well, just read on.

Copied from comments on:

HowardKnight commented on Your chance to question Eric Pickles – Local Government:

Dear Eric

You are a proponent of transparency. So, could you explain why I still can’t get a response to some FOI requests I made to DCLG in April 2011? It isn’t that lots of research would be required, as the information requested was readily available.

After numerous holding responses, I was forced to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner, who issued a Decision Notice in February 2012 stating “…….the Information Commissioner does not accept that in the circumstances of this case it is by any measure reasonable to have taken such an extended period of time to consider the public interest test. Accordingly he has determined that DCLG has failed to comply with its obligations under FOIA. This is a breach of section 17(3) of FOIA.”

Despite this, the information requested has still not been provided. This month, the Information Commissioner has advised me that DCLG had persistently failed to provide information requested by the IC and that DCLG had been threatened with an Information Notice in order to secure a response.

Does transparency only apply to others? Why is DCLG persistently failing to meet its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act?

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