There has got to be a BIG public interest in getting a list of companies who include one of these Trade Codes on their Annual Return:

Group L – Public Administration & Defence

7511 – General (overall) public service

7512 – Regulation health, education, etc.

7513 – Regulation more efficient business

7514 – Support services for government

7521 – Foreign affairs

7522 – Defence activities

7523 – Justice and judicial activities

7524 – Public security, law & order

7525 – Fire service activities

7530 – Compulsory social security

See my FOI request here: http://tiny.cc/groupl

Francis Irving’s requests seems a fairly sensible use of the Freedom of Information Act.

“electronic copies of any documents produced by PICT discussing or evaluating the possible deployment of electronic petitioning systems in Parliament.”

So how did the House of Commons deal with it? was it:

[A] a prompt response with full disclosure.

[B] A clear refusal notice citing the relevant exemption.

[C] A long winded exercise in spending public money to keep information from the public? You have obviously asked them for information before

Find out here:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/online_petitions_documents_from

Below is an extract from a recent (3 Mar 2009) ICO opinion, case
reference ENQ0234673 that I have been forwarded. The opinion suggests a valid request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) as an ‘applicant’ is a request which:

“* “is in writing,
* states the name of the applicant and an address for
correspondence, and
* describes the information requested.”

The FOIA does not seek to place restrictions on who can make a request for information and thus the word ‘applicant’ is not defined within the Act. An ‘applicant’ can be a private individual, an company or any other body such as an unincorporated association.”

This appears to be quite a liberal interpretation of who can make a request under the Act but it may reflect what the ICO does in practice. Up until now I had assumed that the ICO would only accept appeals from natural persons (people), companies, limited liability partnerships, public authorities and bodies formed by statute, Royal Charter or similar. I thought that only ‘legal persons’ could make requests.

It would be great if the ICO could publish some guidance on the website about this.