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Greater Manchester Police criticised for FOI handling

ICO press release
6 April 2009

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ordered Greater Manchester Police to improve its handling of internal reviews after a catalogue of failings by the authority.

The ICO has issued a practice recommendation to Greater Manchester Police for failing, on various occasions, to respond to internal reviews within the recommended timescales. Prior to serving this practice recommendation, the ICO made numerous attempts to offer advice and guidance to the authority, in the hope that the matter could be resolved without the need for further intervention.

Assistant Information Commissioner, Gerrard Tracey, said: “In one particular case, Greater Manchester Police failed to respond to an internal review for over 150 working days. This, coupled with the authority’s lack of engagement when the ICO provided advice and guidance, highlights the poor practice in its handling of internal reviews.

“The ICO will continue to monitor Greater Manchester Police’s freedom of information procedures and performance and will assess its progress against the ICO’s recommendations in six months.”

Failure to comply with the practice recommendation may lead to an Enforcement Notice being served or an adverse comment in a report to Parliament by the ICO.

View a copy of the practice recommendation

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