Information Commissioner Decisions

On 23 May 2005 the Scottish Information Commissioner published his first Decision Notices. ‘Where were the UK Decision Notices?’ I wondered, so I phoned up the UK Commissioner’s Office.

We had a rather bizarre conversation: ‘Yes, we’ve made several decision notices,’ a press officer told me.
‘Then why haven’t they been published?’ I asked.
The press officer responded, ‘We’re committed to publishing all decision notices.’
‘Yes I know. What I don’t know is where they’ve been published. Where can the public actually see them?’
‘Have you looked on our website?’
‘Yes and there’s nothing there,’ I replied. This went back and forth, but I finally managed to get across to her that a key part of ‘making something public’ entails that the public can actually see the material.

After 10 days, the Decision Notices were still not forthcoming. But I did manage to discover that as of May 24, the UK commissioner had issued 10 such notices. The secrecy surrounding the continued non-publication prompted me to file a Freedom of Information request to the Information Commissioner.
Today I received the following information. These are the full decision notices. A little later in the afternoon, I noticed that the IC’s office had put a very short summary online. I wonder why, when the Notices are so innocuous, they don’t just publish the full text on their website.

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