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A Freedom of Expression foray: Attachment 10
By Albert Moisiu Dec 2009

HOMEPAGE  Madeleine Beth McCann A Mystery Story ASSORTED LINKS
ALBYM GRAPHIC DESIGN Appendix 10 of A Freedom of Expression foray PDF FILE: A Freedom of Expression

Appendix 10

ICO Ref: FS50256736
PA Ref: 10041

By email: x@x
20 November 2009

ICO Ref:FS50256736
PA Ref: 10041

Dear Mr Moisiu,

Complaint about the Home Office

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in responding to your earlier emails.

 From the correspondence you have provided to me, it is clear you are dissatisfied with the Home Office’s response in this matter. Particularly, you have been critical of the way in which the Home Office has interpreted your original request for information.

 To this point, it is apparent that the Home Office has read your request as asking whether there were any restrictions on the sharing of information with the Portuguese authorities. However, you have instead asserted that the focus of your request was on the possible existence of a press reporting gag in the case of Madeleine McCann. Given this discrepancy, you have argued that it was not reasonable for the Home Office to have interpreted the request in the way it did.


 Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’), an authority has a duty to read a request objectively. Yet, if there is any doubt about the meaning of a request, section 1(3) of the Act requires that the authority should return to the applicant to seek clarification. In this instance, the Home Office has failed to do either and so has not addressed your request appropriately. As noted, the Good Practice and Enforcement team has been made aware of this case and will continue to monitor the compliance of the Home Office with the Act and its associated Codes of Practice.

 Turning to the central feature of your case, I am aware that following the involvement of this office Mr L has revisited your request and has correctly identified that you sought information confirming ‘whether or not any part of the British media has been restricted in its reporting of the McCann inquiry.’ He has, however, failed to provide a response to this ‘refined’ request.

 In order to take matters forward therefore, I have spoken to Mr L about this issue. He has advised me that he has been waiting on colleagues to come back to him about this matter but has assured me that he will be writing to you by 27 November 2009.

 I hope that the Home Office’s response will be sufficient to meet your original request. However, if this is not the case, you should exhaust the Home Office’s own complaints procedure as this may enable an earlier resolution of the complaint. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that review though, please inform us and we will look at this further under a new case reference number.

Yours sincerely,

(FOI) Complaints Officer

Tel: 01625 545 739


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