Tony writes over on his blog about several of his FOI requests.
It seems he is having a better time than myself with DETI.
Exactly 20 (business) days ago I emailed DETI NI to request information pertaining to the contract they awared BT to provide 100% Broadband coverage for Northern Ireland before the end of 2005.
That date is getting close and so far it isn’t there. So I wondered what penalties were in the contract if BT failed to achieve the target date. This information is also very much in the public interest, so I intended to publish it here also.
So the 20 days have come and gone and DETI NI are a no show. Thus I have a right to complain directly to the Information Commissioner – "failure to respond to your request within 20 working days (or failure to explain why longer than 20 working days is needed)". But they also make a point of saying you needed to supply a copy of the complaint to the body also, so to ensure DETI NI have a chance to rectify the situation I am complaining to them first. I’m not sure how long I’ll leave the complaint with them but I expect they should come back to me pretty quickly. This time, instead of emailing, I used their online form so they have no excuses.
I have enclosed a copy of the original request below, and the complaint below that.
Subject: Freedom of Information Act: Request for details of BT 100% Broadband contract
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 14:05:17 +0100
In March 2004, DETI NI awarded a contract to BT to deliver 100% broadband
coverage to Northern Ireland before the end of 2005
"By the end of 2005 every household and every business in Northern Ireland,
no matter how remote, will have access to broadband at the same price."
– IO Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Ian Pearson MP, March 2004
announcing the deal.
This request under the FoI is for the following information:
1. Copy of the contract awarded to BT and any subcontractors
2. Details of when DETI considers the contract completed.
3. Penalties and remedies for failure to meet the contracted deadlines.
I believe that the nature of this contract and its vital importance to the
NI economy would mean that this information passes the "Public Interest
Test" and you should not be able to claim any exemptions.
I can be reached via:
Address: Paul Gregg
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Address details removed
Telephone: xxx xxxx xxxx
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
PS. Your document explaining how to make a FoI request does not
include your email address. I trust you will correct this omission.
Pursuant to the Publication Scheme and your duty onder the Freedom of Information Act I am writing to complain about your failure to acknowledge or respond to my FOI request of Thursday 15 September 2005, 20 business days ago.
Mail server logs confirmed that your system accepted the email which was sent to
(copy of original request was sent with the complaint