At the end of yesterday I received from the CPS Information Management Unit a response to a Freedom of Information Act request that I placed a couple weeks ago. This is well inside the deadline of 20 working days. Here is the text of the response:
Tuesday, 19 October 2010Our ref: 2484Dear Mr FlahertyFREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUESTI refer to your Freedom of Information request which was received on 27 September 2010 regarding the cost of the prosecution against Paul ChambersSection 1 of the Freedom of Information Act creates a statutory right of access to recorded information held by public authorities i.e. the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). This right is to be informed whether the information requested is held by the public authority or not, and if the information exists, for it to be communicated. A public authority must reply to such a request promptly and in any event, not later than twenty working days after receipt.I can confirm the case is still an on-going matter and is due to be listed for the part-heard appeal on 11 November 2010; as yet we are unable to confirm the total costs recorded in this case. May I advise that you contact our office once the case has concluded and your request will be considered afresh.If you are unhappy with the decisions made in relation to your request from the Crown Prosecution Service you may ask for an internal review. You should contact the Information Management Unit (Freedom of Information Appeals), Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS.If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to complain directly to the Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at:Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.Yours sincerelyS KadirInformation Management UnitTel: 020 3357 0899Fax: 020 3357 0229E-mail: FOIUnit@cps.gsi.gov.uk
I will be requesting an internal review today by return. I asked only for the total costs to date in my request and I fully expect that this information should be available. I also believe that the costs are not sensitive information to an ongoing case. The CPS will have 20 working days to conduct a review and respond.