Thanet Star

Thanet District Council lied in a Freedom of Information Request and I can prove it.

On 28 September 2008 T Thomas used whatdotheyknow.com to file a request to Thanet District Council asking how many Freedom of Information Requests it had received and how many were answered on time.

Prior to that A Johnson filed a Freedom of Information Request on 25 August 2008 via whatdotheyknow.com asking about findings of maladministration the local government ombudsman within the prior ten years.

On the 8 October 2008 Rose Donnelly of the Executive Support Unit acknowledged the repeated badgering of the whatdotheyknow.com system in follow up tot he unanswered A Johnson request and enquired about any earlier requests. The A Johnson request was finally answered on 15 October 2008 - (making it late in anyone's books).

For those that wonder - the reply (from Vicki Williams the Business Manager within the Chief Executive & Leader's Office at Thanet District Council) indicated that there have been six cases of maladministration between 2004 and 2007 inclusive.

Yet on 20 October 2008 Donna Reed the Head of Customer Services at Thanet District Council replied to the T Thomas inquiry saying Attached is the request received within the Council, all were on time. (link)

Just twelve days later Thanet District Council denied ever being later with a Freedom of Information Request. As of 8:22pm Sunday 1st March 2009 I counted 3 enquireies marked as Response Overdue out of a total of 9 requests through whatdotheyknow.com.

So Thanet District Council lied (deliberately misled the public) or were incompetent in tracking even basic information and so misled the public as if they had lied. The result is that a freedom of Information request was answered authoritatively with incorrect information.

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

On a side note - according to ombudsmanwatch.org "The Local Government Ombudsman only declares maladministration in less than 2% of the complaints within jurisdiction that are submitted" therefore TDC had a minimum of 300+ Local Government Ombudsman complaints during that time frame. I would suggest that with such glaringly easy to prove errors this is not exactly a supprise to me.
01/03/2009 20:37:14