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First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) Notice of Appeal This form is for making an appeal /

First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights)

Notice of Appeal

This form is for making an appeal / application to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) against a decision of the Information Commissioner. The First- tier Tribunal (Information Rights) is administered by the Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, and is independent of the Information Commissioner Please read the guidance “Guide to completing the Notice of Appeal / Application” before completing this form.

Please complete the form legibly, using black ink and capital letters. If you need more space on which to write, please include the name of the person making the appeal and any relevant reference numbers on the paper that you use.

First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) Team Tribunals Operational Support Centre PO Box 9300, Leicester LE1 8DJ Tel: 0300 123 4504

Fax: 0116 249 4253

1. About the Information Commissioner’s Notice.

Information Commissioner’s Notice reference number


Date of the Notice you are appealing

7 February 2013

Date you received the written notification of the Notice:

8 February 2013

Please supply a copy of the Decision Notice with this form and tick in the box to show it is attached [


Tribunals Service – First-tier Tribunal (Information)

6. Grounds for Appeal / Application

Please provide full details about the grounds for your appeal. Please add additional pages if required

I have good reason to believe the investigation into my complaint has been biased towards a favourable outcome for the council. The report indicates disproportionate consideration had been given for withholding information with decisions weighted for this purpose.

I’m bound to suspect biased treatment when I anticipate should information be released, this would provide indisputable evidence that the theft, or attempted theft from residents subjected to these charges would be more than just a few isolated incidents. It would create a much more difficult task for police to brush this evidence under the carpet.

I fail to understand how the Commissioner could have considered section 12 to be the appropriate exemption to apply. The decision notice provides evidence that the authority did not hold the information to comply with the request.

21. The Council further explained that in cases where there had been a full payment of costs to the bailiffs separate return files are not sent to the council. Therefore, for these cases the council only holds information on the payment received from the bailiff for the debt only.

In his section “Other matters” the commissioner has chosen the easier option of defending the council in that it accepted its explanation that there was no requirement to hold records efficiently therefore no evidence of “poor records management practice”.

Although outsourced to a profit making bailiff firm, levying and removing goods in connection with Council Tax recovery are entirely North East Lincolnshire council's responsibility and so should be required to hold efficient records relating to this.

All fees and charges associated with the bailiff action are the council's fees in law, both those that are prescribed and those that are simply stated as being "reasonable" in the legislation.

The commissioner also seems to be invalidating my argument that Rossendales are contractually obliged to co-operate with the council and supply the data. The commissioner is assuming if the work necessary for the council to supply it would exceed the appropriate limit, this would also be the case for its contractor Rossendales. However, the circumstances are unlikely to be the same because the council have admitted it doesn’t and has no requirement to manage these records efficiently, whereas the company which must hold records for Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue purposes is more likely to record them efficiently.

It still remains however, that there was no basis for the Commissioner to make his decision that the council correctly applied section 12 of the FOIA. The council didn't hold the information in sufficient completeness to comply with the request so the cost should not have been a consideration.