Is an FOI request from an investigative journalist ever vexatious?

Last week, in the Court of Appeal, the indefatigable, if rather hyperbolic, Mr Dransfield was trying to convince three judges that his request, made long ago, to Devon County Council, for information on Lightning Protection System test results relating to a pedestrian bridge at Exeter Chiefs Rugby Ground, was not vexatious. If he succeeds in overturning what was a thorough, and, I think, pretty unimpeachable ruling in the Upper Tribunal, then we may, at last, have some finality on how to interpret section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA):

a public authority [is not obliged] to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious

But what is certain is that the Court of Appeal will not hand down a ruling which would allow a public authority to feel able merely to state that a request is vexatious, and do nothing more to justify reliance on it. But that is what the Metropolitan Police appear to have done in an extraordinary response to FOIA requests from the Press Gazette. The latter has been engaging in a campaign to expose what it believes to be regular use of surveillance powers to monitor or investigate actions of journalists. This is both a serious subject and a worthy campaign. Investigative journalism, by definition, is likely to involve the making of enquiries, sometimes multiple ones, sometimes speculative, “to discover the truth and to identify lapses from it”. It is inevitable that an investigative journalist will from time to time need to make use of FOIA, and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) advises that

[public] authorities must take care to differentiate between broad requests which rely upon pot luck to reveal something of interest and those where the requester is following a genuine line of enquiry

The ICO doesn’t (and couldn’t) say that a FOIA request from an investigative journalist could never be classed as vexatious, but I think the cases when that would happen would be exceptional. The Upper Tribunal ruling by Wikeley J that Mr Dransfield is seeking to overturn talked of “vexatious” as connoting

a manifestly unjustified, inappropriate or improper use of a formal procedure


It may be helpful to consider the question of whether a request is truly vexatious by considering four broad issues or themes – (1) the burden (on the public authority and its staff); (2) the motive (of the requester); (3) the value or serious purpose (of the request) and (4) any harassment or distress (of and to staff)

although it was stressed that these were neither exhaustive, nor a “formulaic checklist”.

It is difficult to imagine that the motive of the Press Gazette journalists can be anything but well-intended, and similarly difficult to claim there is no value or serious purpose to the request, or the other requests which need to be considered for context. Nor has there been, as far as I am aware, any suggestion that the requests have caused Met staff any harassment or distress. So we are (while noting and acknowledging that we are not following a checklist) only likely to be talking about “the burden on the public authority and its staff”. It is true that some requests, although well-intentioned and of serious value, and made in polite terms, have been accepted either by the ICO or the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), as being so burdensome to comply with that (even before considering whether FOIA costs limits are engaged) they merit rejection on vexatiousness grounds. In 2012 the FTT upheld an appeal from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, saying that

A request may be so grossly oppressive in terms of the resources and time demanded by compliance as to be vexatious, regardless of the intentions or bona fides of the requester. If so, it is not prevented from being vexatious just because the authority could have relied instead on s.12 [costs limits]

and last year the FTT similarly allowed a late submission by the Department of Education that a request from the journalist Laura McInerney for information about Free School applications was vexatious because of the burden it would impose:

There is no question here of anything in the tone of the request tending towards vexatiousness; nor does anyone doubt Ms McInerney’s genuine motives…There is value in openness and transparency in respect of departmental decision making. That value would be increased by the academic scrutiny which the disclosed material would receive…In our judgment, however, these important considerations are dwarfed by the burden which implementation of the request places on DFE.

But it does not appear that the request in question from the Press Gazette was likely to go any way towards being grossly oppressive, or to being a burden which would “dwarf” the other considerations.

Moreover, and it does not appear to have been a point argued in the DfE case, there is an argument, explored through a series of cases in the Court of Justice of the European Union, and, domestically, in the Supreme Court, in Kennedy v ICO and Charity Commission, that Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, providing as it does in part a right “to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority” (subject to limitations that are prescribed by law, necessary and proportionate, and pursue a legitimate aim) might sometimes need to read down into FOIA, particularly where a journalist is the requester. Although the Supreme Court, by a majority, and on the facts (specifically in the context of a FOIA absolute exemption), rejected the submission in Kennedy, the argument in the abstract still has some weight – someone engaging in investigative journalism is clearly generally acting as a “social watchdog”, and the likelihood that they are making a FOIA request with bad motives, or without serious purpose, or in a way likely to harass or cause distress is correspondingly low. It seems to me that, absent the sort of “excessive burden” argument explored in the IPCC and DfE cases – and, as I say, the Met don’t seem to have advanced any such argument – to label a request from an investigative journalist as vexatious is to stand at the top of a slippery slope. One hopes that the Met review and reverse this decision.

p.s. In a world in which we are all journalists, this all has the potential to get very complicated.

The views in this post (and indeed all posts on this blog) are my personal ones, and do not represent the views of any organisation I am involved with.


Filed under Article 10, Freedom of Information, journalism, police

149 responses to “Is an FOI request from an investigative journalist ever vexatious?

  1. As always with the Met, we’re looking at simple delaying tactics. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. This is a flaw in the FOIA.

    • alan m dransfield

      Definite flaw in the FOIA which is allowing naughty PA´s to use section 14 as a first option. This could all change shortly when the C o Appeal give their judgement on the Dransfield Vex ruling.

  2. I do think there ought to be some kind of ‘vexatious respondent’ rule. There is in many US states.

  3. JT Oakley

    Having just been ‘unvexed’, it was interesting for me to see that the organisation concerned ( the PHSO ) had to state HOW its employees suffered ‘harassment or distress’.

    It wasn’t enough to state – more or less- ‘we don’t like it’.

    I’d put in another request to ask were there any staff absences, counselling etc. due to my requests. Turned down as ‘personal information’.

    But I could show it to the Tribunal members which judged that the PHSO had not given any evidence of the accusation of its employees ‘harassment or distress’ .

    So this may be if help to anyone considering fighting a S14 Decision..

    Click to access Oakley,%20Janet%20Treharne%20EA.2014.0093%20(19.01.2015)%20.pdf

  4. Wirral In It Together

    I scored a hattrick over the timewasters who occupy the Information Management and Legal Departments at Wirral Council and blogged on how to overturn cynical vexatious rebuttals:

  5. JT Oakley

    Another point is how do you define a ‘burden’ to an authority?

    If you’ve got a team of 25 fully-trained FOIA employes answering requests, the organisation isn’t likely to be to be overburdened,

    If you’ve got one part-timer who answers FOIA enquiries -on alternate Thursday’s – it’s likely that any request that is not straightforward is going to be overburdening.

    So should any authority which clearly doesn’t employ enough people to answer a reasonable amount of FOIA enquiries be allowed to determine if something is vexatious if it has created the ‘overburdening’ conditions?

    For instance, compared to my local council, the PHSO has around five times the amount of FOIA employees. Yet there has never been a hint of a ‘vexation’ to my enquiries to the council, which replies on time, with hardly ever the need for a review.

    The same cannot be said for some very senior gvt departments ..the Cabinet Office for instance – which seems to specialise in ignoring the terms of a request. And generally making life difficult for requesters.

    There is so much in a vexing that is open to interpretation.

    • Wirral In It Together

      Great point that. Wirral Council (blamed a rogues’ gallery of the top ten local FoI requesters for its historical failings; monitored by ICO twice; CEO forced to sign an undertaking; Information Commissioner told parliament he’d like to send a team in to sort them out, but can’t; Frank Field blamed an imaginary cabal of shadowy figures, pursuing a vendetta)… employ one trained member of staff: one unqualified assistant and a number of departmental figureheads they call “champions”. If they’re champions, my name is Rocky Balboa and I often run to the top of Wallasey Town Hall steps and jump up and down shouting “Wirral Council are da best. Der F*ckin’ amazin’!!!”

      • JT Oakley

        That is shocking.

        It just goes to show how arbitrary and personal some authorities are.

        Some are definitely not ‘applicant -blind’ and run requests as some sort of game challenge.

        This came into play in the recent vex Tribunal.

        As I hadn’t been before a vex Tribunal before, I hadn’t realised that the burden of proof is on the organisation.

        Because the organisation concerned is the one accusing you. And ‘informing’ the ICO of ‘ processed facts’ which may not – in fact- be true…Which the ICO, as it seemingly has no way of checking, accepts.

        So presenting facts to a Tribunal is not like arguing your case with the ICO which seems to be overburdened itself recently… and from my case, looks to be just rubber -stamping cases to meet targets.

        So it’s worth looking into the background of the FOIA team and how many employees there are etc.

        You also need to have your SAR to see exactly who chose to vex you and the logic used to do so.

        I was able to state that the FOIA team concerned had five members, but a junior member of the team had gone to the legal advisor – over the head of FOIA – to vex me. I stated that the responses from the other members of this team were normally quite good… which they are.

        The information this person gave to the legal advisor just wasn’t true and I could prove it. So I think that was the chief point that saw the vexed request overturned.

        The other hint us that you have to have your page numbers lined up to refer to your statements as you present your defence. I didn’t know this but the Tribunal members were very patient with me.

        I would also say that the ICO lawyer was very courteous and fair and even helped winkle out some of the evidence that was listed – but had been witheld from me by the PHSO. ( It shouldn’t have been).

        The grc clerk was also very polite and helpful with explaining the process.

        So I would say that since the grc Tribunal Is normally free, if you are prepared to do background research, watch that evidence isn’t witheld and do the legal homework it is well worth attending.

  6. Pingback: The Denial of Information Act | IODPA

  7. Alan M Dransfield

    The CoA will release their Judgement on Dransfield v ICO at the end of the month.
    In essence, the Dransfield GIA vexatious decision has been used to allow Saville and his co crooks escape the Law.
    The ICO claim the Savile Tape have no public interest.Yea,right.

    • I’m sorry, but that’s one of the most tasteless pieces of bombast it’s been my displeasure to read. Your case, and the general issue of the application of section 14(1) to FOIA requests had and have absolutely nothing to do with Savile.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        Of Course my case has EVERYTHING to do with the Saville case because they are USING my case to hide CRUCIAL evidence.
        Wakey wakey, I don’t know who is worse, you or Tool Time Timmy Turner.

      • Alan, if you can’t distinguish between different cases I really worry for your chances of success in the Court of Appeal.

  8. Wirral In It Together

    Careful Alan.

    Mention sensitive subjects like ‘Savile’ or ‘Hillsborough’ or ‘holocaust’ and you’ll have the distasteful experience of having to witness these guardians of all that is honourable, right and good clamber onto a raised, ornate dias stamped ‘DisingenuousRus’, armed with a fecking golden megaphone.

    As if they’d have dropped everything, reported Savile to the police in an instant, taken the plaudits and been carried shoulder high through the exultant, adoring crowds heaving and amassing outside Buckinghamshire County Council HQ.

    • Alan M Dransfield

      I hear you Paul and don’t forget Buckingham Palace Council??!!

    • Vague unpleasant sniping again Paul. It says nothing.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        No fair mind person could read the Surrey Police review ref the Saville tapes FOIA request and reach the same conclusion,i.e VEXATIOUS.
        No wonder you get on SO well with Maurice Frankel and Timothy Turner because you are ALL pro ICO.
        Surrey Police review letter compromises Lady Goddard’s inquiry and if you wish to label that as “VAGUE UNPLEASANT SNIPPING” I can live with that.

      • Alan – attack me or Tim and no one will care. But attack Maurice, without whom there would probably never have been an FOI Act, and you reveal how little you know about the subject.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        It is my legal right NOT to accept the Court of Appeal’s decision and you of all people should know that. If I get a red light at the CoA, I will drive over to the Supreme Court and park my Bus there and to the ECHR if necessary.
        [Ed. – I’ve redacted a potentially defamatory remark]

      • Hi Alan I’ve redacted the last sentence because it was defamatory of a third party.

        I wasn’t suggesting you didn’t have a right not to accept the Court’s decision, I was simply asking a question. Thanks for the answer.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        Maurice Frankel has done absolutely ZILTCH ref my Vexatious Case and he appears to have done nothing about the latest Surrey Police Vexatious decision either.
        I repeat, the ICO are in meltdown, they are complicit with Rogue PA’s Nationwide and allowing the illegal use of the section 14(1) Vexatious Bullshit.
        Since Jan 2013 and the birth of the the Dransfield Vexatious decision GIA/3037/2011 Dransfield v ICO,we have seen hundreds of Vexatious decisions handed out as a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD.
        Do you not understand the meaning of GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD??
        Maurice Frankel needs to get his pipe and slippers out because he AIN’T doing any active FOIA Campaigning.
        No person applying a right and proper mind could say the publication of the Saville Tapes is NOT in the public interest .
        The TWO biggest FOIA cases since the birth of the FOIA are WITHOUT DOUBT the Black Spider Letters from Charlieboy and the Dransfield Vexatious Bullshit GIA/3037/2011, with the MP Expense debacle a close 3rd
        Transparency,accountability and security (TAS)is ALL we ever here from Bullshitting Politicians along with “LESSONS LEARNED”.
        Call me an old fashioned if you like, but if TAS is not seen to be working,in ALL probability, it AINT working.
        The ICO TAS switch was turned off on Jan 28th 2013 when they introduced the Dransfield VEXATIOUS Bullshite via GIA/3037/2011.
        [Ed. – I’ve redacted a potentially defamatory remark]

      • Alan, you’re very welcome to comment on my blog, but if you continue to post defamatory statements I’ll have to pre-approve all comments.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        DEFAMATORY, who me.

      • JtOakley

        On one point.. Not underestimating Mr Frankel’s work but ..

        USA Public Information Act of 1966

        UK The Freedom of Information Act 2000

        It became politically expedient to join in with other countries and have a UK FOIA. Simply because other ‘ democratic ‘ countries did.

        Granted Mr Frankel was – and is – a fine campaigner but his work may have only hastened the inevitable .


        As for whether asking about Savile is vexatious..

        Most people I knew in London in 1972 knew about Jimmy Savile. The mother-to-mother advice was ‘don’t allow your kids into Jimmy’s caravan’.

        Previously, as 14 year old kids on TOTP we recoiled from him in seconds.
        How people did not know is the mystery….It is shocking that he managed to get away with it for so long.

        IMO the BBC are getting a rough reputational deal – as every child under the age of 16 had to be chaperoned ( and signed up as) on BBC premises.

        But on FOIA …surely he’d always have be covered by S40 anyway?

        And during the last few years, government files all seem to have ‘too difficult to supply – due to time constraints ‘, ‘been destroyed’ , or ‘lost’ – once a requester makes the potentially embarrassing political-charged request, such as one for the files showing why Savile wasn’t arrested and charged years ago.


        Vexatious journalists – or not..

        On my case, the Tribunal court seems to me to be a lot more willing to take a sensible view.

        I just couldn’t believe that the caseworker read the complete case.My impression was that the link to the WDTK website may have been overlooked entirely. What this says about the ICO’s willingness – or technical capability – to read WDTK requests, I couldn’t say.

        So I would agree with Mr Dransfield that the ICO seems to be rubber stamping S14 cases without much argument as to WHY they should be considered vexatious.

        ‘Thinking’ or ‘ feeling’ something is vexatious just isn’t enough.

        In my case, the request was declared vexatious because ( from internal files) ‘I think we have had enough’. That’s not a professional legal assessment. Which is partly why my request was ‘unvexed’ by the Tribunal.

        The ICO agreed that ‘ having had enough’ was proof of vexation without asking …. But why it ‘was it enough’ -and why it this vexatious.

        The ICO doesn’t seem to quantifiable scale of its own. It’s just relying on what the vexing organisation ‘thinks’ or ‘feels’.

        My understanding is that unvexing is now running about 10 percent. Which I think shows that the ICO isn’t exactiy infallible in its judgement.

        The Met vexing

        Surely a journalist is paid to ask questions on behalf of the public. The answers can make news…something new.

        There is a fundamental public interest in how a public body spends public money. In this case the Met were to trawl-monitoring journalists, presumably to see if they were breaking the law.

        Trawling for information – without a specific or sensible purpose, isn’t acceptable under FOIA, so why should the police be able to do it on what is basically a whim, with no hard ( or seemingly even soft) evidence of wrongdoing ?

        It’s the equivalent of Stop ‘n Search without any justified suspicion.

        Again.. It’s a value judgement…I ‘think’ we should do some trawling, without a basis of a legal argument.

        IMO: The Met is also wrong to say that journalists are being vexatious – simply because many of them are asking the same question.

        It’s not a vexatious collusion. It’s just logical that they would ask about anything that affects them – and their work.


        There is a question that I’d like to know the answer to..

        If Mr Dransfield is right – there are safety issues and someone loses a life, would he, or his request, still remain vexatious?

  9. Alan M Dransfield

    You are in need of an urgent WAKEUPCALL. The ICO are in meltdown and their consistent and flagrant illegal use of section 14(1) is nothing short of a GET OUT OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD FOR ROGUE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.

  10. Alan M Dransfield

    BTW, I must make the following comment. Your profile picture of “blowing your own trumpet” and Tim Turners photograph of a BULL.
    The pair of you are well suited,i.e BULLSHITTERS.
    Very apt for the pair of you??!!

  11. Let’s see what the Court of Appeal says. Will you accept the judgment whichever way it goes?

  12. Alan M Dransfield

    JT Oakley agrees with me that the ICO are rubber stamping section 14(1) vexatious decisions FAR too often.
    It is not just a question of the ICO rubber stamping the VEXATIOUS decision based on the Dransfield Case GIA/3037/2011 but they ARE THE MAIN DRIVER of section 14(1) as in GIA 3037/2011.

    It should be noted that in the GIA/3037/2011 case, it was the ICO and NOT the PA ,whom appealed the original FTT NONE vexatious decision to the UT. .
    The PA, i.e. Devon County Council were co-joined to the ICO several months after the ICO made their appeal.
    Perusal of the ICO website will show the ICO have since used the GIA/3037/2011 over 300 times since GIA/3037/2011 which was released on the 28th Jan 2013.
    There has also been a tenfold increase in section 12(4)(b) of the EIR, which is in essence, the vexatious SISTER exemption of the EIR.
    Moreover and more importantly there has been an unhealthy increase is FTT strike out of appeal against the ICO and in particular from Judge NJ Warren who retired earlier this year at the ripe old age of SIXTY THREE(63).

    The ICO are clearly failing their fiduciary duty of care to protect the FOIA 2000 and it IS the ICO are wilfully breaching section 77 of the FOIA with such obstructions.

    The ICO are wilfully obstructing section 77 of the FOIA by the consistent use of the infamous Dransfield Case.
    JT Oakley (JTO) is also raising another serious issue ref the H&S issues which I have raised and JTO raises the issue of future deaths. Hopefully, I will have exposed the failings of the ICO/DCC AND the HSE BEFORE we need BODY BAGS.
    It is a FACT, that if a FOI request raises serious H&S issues , section 14(1) vexatious SHOULD not be used.
    No wonder then is there , that the HSE and the DCC have imposed a LIFETIME email ban against me along with the WHATDOTHEYKNOW website.The Devon Police Commissioner Mr Tony Hogg has also imposed an email ban against me.

    It is also a FACT that the Subject title of the GIA/3037/2011 was the Exeter Chiefs rugby ground WAS NOT COMPLIANT to the relevant Lightning Protection regulations BS-EN62305-2008 and this matter has been published by the DCC. Moreover and more importantly, the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Ground/Bridge are STILL non-complaint.
    This vexatious none sense has just compromised Lady Justice Goddard’s sex scandal with the recent vexatious decision by the Surrey Police and RUBBER STAMPED by the ICO ref the Jimmy Saville tapes.
    No person applying a right and proper mind could say there was NO PUBLIC INTEREST attached to the Saville Files.

    Bainsey, Maurice Frankel and Tim Turner would have me thrown in the tower for the audacity of my appeal.There is no getting away from it, if I lose my appeal to the CoA,Joe Public will be gagged forever.
    The HSE and the ICO are typical QUANGO, whom have milked the system for FAR too long. The vexatious worm has turned??!!
    One other aspect of the ICO culture is causing me to lose sleep is they appear to be changing their PLEA several times on a whim, as was the case in the GIA/30373/2011 Dransfield Case.
    They will change from
    1.Do not hold
    2.Costs under section 12.
    3.Vexatious under section 14/1
    4.National Security.

    Neither the ICO OR the PA should be allowed to change their plea once a FOIA request has been accepted by the PA.

    The FOIA 2000 was introduced to IMPROVE transparency, accountability and security (TAS).
    Section 14(1) vexatious exemption flies in the face of TAS.
    If TAS is not seen to be working at PA’s across the UK and the ICO/FTT and UT, in all probability it AINT working.
    Its not rocket science ,is it.
    Enough is enough of this VEXATIOUS bull——and the legacy of British Justice rests with the Court of Appeal.
    I fully recognise the need for PA to protect themselves from FRIVOLOUS requests but is consistently obvious that it is Dransfield the requester and not Dransfield’s requests which have been WRONGLY labled as vexatious.

    My COUNTER-CLAIM is that it is the Devon County Council/ICO and Judge Wikely who are VEXATIOUS in this infamous Dransfield Case NOT Dransfield.
    In a nutshell, the ICO are complicit with DCC and hundreds of other ROGUE PA every time they issue a VEXATIOUS EXEMPTION based on Dransfield Court Case.
    Lord Justice “Tommy” Denning would turn in his grave if he knew how VEXATIOUS under section 14(1) has been abused via the GIA/3037/2011 case decision.

  13. Alan M Dransfield

    That’s a wee bit strange, not a single comment since yesterday @06/31hrs

  14. Alan M Dransfield

    I have just submitted a FOIA request to the ICO asking fo a full cost break down of the Prince Charles case which MUST be £5million at least.
    You don’t think I am being TOO vexatious,do you??.
    The ICO are on record via Christopher & Graham (aka tweedledee and Dum that they are pleased with the Supreme Decision on the Charlyboy Black Spider letters..
    That being the case,why the HELL did they appeal against the UT decision.
    During these austere time, I would advocate sacking the ICO in its entirety . I will take over from CG on a 3 day week working from home.

  15. Alan M Dransfield

    I notice my posts are now undergoing moderation ??!! I do hope I am not upsetting anyone or being TOO vexatious

  16. Alan M Dransfield

    Please rest assured I have no intention to defame anybody.

  17. Alan M Dransfield

    Do you not think the Saville Tapes hold Public Interest. A simple Yes or No will suffice.

    • I’ve no idea what that means. This post was about requests to the Met about surveillance of journalists. The subject of Savile is of course of intense public interest, but is quite irrelevant to this post. If you’re referring to an FOI request, I don’t know the details to be able to comment.

  18. Alan M Dransfield

    At last we got there and you DO think the Saville Tapes are of INTENSE PUBLIC INTEREST.
    Therefore, how the HELL did the Surrey Police AND the ICO manage to reach a VEXATIOUS DECISION.
    Your buddy Tool Time Timmy Turner is non-committal on the Saville Tapes???!!!
    I am not bothered about the relevance of the thread but I am bothered about the ICO being in MELTDOWN

  19. Alan M Dransfield

    The Surrey Police (SP) and the ICO have compromised Justice Goddard’s sex inquiry with their most recent Vexatious Decision ref the Saville Tapes.
    Hopefully Judge Goddard will OVER RULE BOTH the Old Bill and Christopher Graham and release the Saville Tapes.
    It beggars belief the SP AND the ICO have used the infamous Dransfield Case GIA/3037/2011 as a Court Authority to HIDE the Saville Tapes.
    I applaud your honest opinion above about the “INTENSE PUBLIC INTEREST” ref the Savile Tapes. Shame your buddy Tool Time Timmy Turner(TTTT) can’t recognise TRUTH when its under his NOSE.
    Come on TTTT,I know you will read this, so please answer my question .
    I don’t think so Tim??!!

    • JtOakley

      The mistake is to believe the tapes haven’t already been ‘edited’.

      Files are regularly edited, withheld….or ‘go missing’ by courtesy of the NHS ….until a potential complaint has been timed out.

      It happened to me and, from what I can gather, practically everyone else.

      So it may be a moot point to ask whether there is anything on them.


      And, as you will recall, files naming paedophiles handed to Leon Brittan were destroyed, or ‘misplaced’.. Since there seems to be no record of legitimate destruction, in government archives.

      Still I agree it’s worth a try, simply to see how Savile was able to hold off an arrest for so long.

      But if they are ever made public, he had very good lawyers, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that it was a ‘no comment’ or minimal interview.

      I think what the police have to fear from releasing the tapes is that they will be shown to be far too matey with Savile.

  20. I’m locking this thread to comments now. The latest ones, which I’m not going to approve, consist largely of abuse, or repeated points, along with a couple of defamatory remarks. Moreover, they have very much diverged from the original subject matter of this post.

  21. Alan M Dransfield

    the court of appeal have ruled against Alan M Dransfield in the infamous vexatious case C3/2013/1855 Dransfield v ICO &Devon County Council.
    A sad day for Freedom and a sad day for British Justice.

    The CoA have effectively GAGGED Joe Public via rubber stamping this VEXATIOUS bullshit

    • As you know, I don’t agree that this is an effective gag. Section 14(2) is a necessary and actually rarely used provision of the Act. I know you’ve said you will try to appeal this decision, despite having already had significant costs awarded against you – but what does your counsel advise?

  22. Alan M Dransfield

    I sacked my Legal Counsel a month before the Court of Appeal released their decision. Of course the Vexatious Exemption is a very effective gag on Joe Public because any rogue PA including the ICO can apply the vexatious section 14/1 Trump Card in the first instance.The Court of Appeal have rubber stamped a Get out of Jail Free Card with their decision last Thursday 14th May 2015.
    My case C3/2013/1855 Dransfield v ICO & Devon CC was a TEST CASE for both the UT and the CoA and they have both screwed up BIG TIME.
    In the last month BOTH the Legal Ombudsman (LO)and the Law Society (LS)have relied upon my vexatious bull—- decision.

    How did you reach your conclusion that,” Section 14(2) is a necessary and
    actually rarely used provision of the act”.
    Utter nonsense, every rogue PA in the Country is NOW using VEXATIOUS EXEMPTION as a TOOL to assist the passage of fraud.
    There’s none so blind who don’t want to see.

  23. Alan M Dransfield

    I guess we are never going to agree on this matter and yes that was 7BR Solicitors acting as my Pro Bono Brief.

  24. Alan M Dransfield

    Rt Hon Theresa May MP
    Home Secretary
    2 Marsham Street
    SW1P 4DF

    Dear Madam

    I write to you in you Official Capacity as Home Secretary because whilst the subject title might not be under your direct remit, events could well spill over into your control.

    Firstly, the Information Commissioner’s Office is in melt down and the Commissioner Mr Christopher Graham is wilfully abusing his powers of Law in the manner the ICO use section 14 (1) Vexatious Exemptions.

    The manner in which he has used section 14(1) since Jan 2013 will have direct consequences for Justice Goddard’s Child Sex Inquiry and in my view Christopher Graham is acting in concert with HM Judges to pervert the Course of Justice. At this Juncture, Lady Goddard’s sex inquiry has been COMPROMISED by the unlawful actions of the ICO and in particular the unlawful abuse of section 14(1) Vexatious Exemptions. In short the ICO are complicit with Surrey Police to debar the Publication of Jimmy Saville Tapes by the section 14(1) vexatious exemptions.

    Secondly, there is tangible evidence that the ECHR Registrar is acting as Judge Jury and Executioner in the manner she intercepts and destroys Legal Applications to the ECHR.

    I have drawn such matters to the attention of the Lord Chancellor Michael Gove, who has chosen to ignore me.

    For your information,action and files

    With thanks

    Alan M Dransfield

    • Alan m dransfield

      I received confirmation yesterday from the Supreme Court that my application for leave to Appeal the Court of Appeal vexatious decision has been accepted and given a ref number.
      This case has been a test case at the UT and CoA and now the SC
      I do hope that Tim Turner will bring a coachload of supporters to the SC hearing tbc
      Watch this space

  25. Alan M Dransfield

    The SC has not given me specific grounds to appeal just yet,they have merely sealed my application form which is my first hurdle cleared.
    Obviously, I can only appeal on points of Law and Jurisdictional errors.
    Watch this space.

  26. Alan M Dransfield

    Further evidence of FOIA wrongdoing at the Devon County Council.
    Please see the following response to a 3rd party and tell me please if it’s acceptable to rely upon EIRA 2004 when responding to a FOIA request.
    I say is not right and proper to rely upon EIRA2004 to a FOIA 2000. request
    Just another SCAM being used by the Devon County Council.
    It should be noted I am due to appear before the UT (TBC)on a very similar request to the DCC in which they relied upon section 14(1) vexatious??!!

    Environmental Information Regulations 2004
    Information Request: 3375296
    Date of Request: 23/07/2015
    Date of Disclosure: 20/08/2015
    Request and Devon County Council Response
    Please see the Councils response in bold text;
    I wish to know the text of the As Built Health and Safety File for the ISCA College
    in Exeter.
    I would request this information to be supplied as a copy of the original in PDF
    I make this application under section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act
    Please note that the information you have requested is held in paper format
    and constitutes a working document. This information is required by both
    parties (DCC and ISCA College) for the purposes of on-going facilities
    management and will be regularly added to by ISCA College during the
    lifespan of the school.
    We can confirm that providing you with this information in the format you
    have requested would involve the collation of over 30 separate large files,
    which are held in different locations including Devon County Council
    offices and ISCA College. Each of these files contains approximately 2000
    pages of varying physical size.
    In addition to collating this information, the Council would also be required
    to digitise this documentation. We estimate that given the volume of
    documentation the collation and digitisation of these records could take up
    to 20 hours alone.
    Once the Council has digitised these records, we could then be required to
    review the entire documentation to identify and remove information that
    may be the subject of an exception from disclosure under the
    Environmental Information Regulations 2004. This exercise would also
    necessitate the need for consultation with any relevant third party
    organisations. We consider that this exercise is likely to take a further 20
    hours to complete.
    Given the volume of the documentation in question, and the steps that the
    Council would be required to undertake to provide this information to you
    in the format requested, we feel that compliance would be disproportional
    in the circumstances. We therefore consider that this request is manifestly unreasonable in accordance with Regulation 12(4)(b) of the Environmental
    Information Regulations 2004.
    The Council has carried out the public interest test and whilst we recognise
    that there is a public interest around openness and transparency, we are
    mindful that complying with this request will require the diversion of a
    significant amount of our resources, particularly in our Business
    Infrastructures team. We feel that the degree of resource required would
    be detrimental to the Council and would be likely to have a negative impact
    on our ability to deliver services in this area of the Council.

  27. Alan M Dransfield

    Thank you Jon and I would agree with you 110%. Therefore, any fair minded person would wonder why the Devon CC are responding INCORRECTLY to a FOIA request. Unless of course it is further example of shannagins by the DCC??

    • I don’t follow you. If they are of the view that the information in question is environmental then they have to deal with it under EIR.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        Sorry Jon,if I confused you.
        That’s the BIG ISSUE because the request was clear,ie section 8(1) of the FOIA 2000 but the DCC have took it upon themselves to refuse under the EIRA 2004.
        It is evident to any fair minded person that the request comes under the FOIA 2000 and not the EIRA2004,i.e “Please provide me with a copy of the As Built H&S File for the ISCA College”

        95% of any ABHSF concerns public data NOT environmental data and it is clear indication of DCC circumventing the foia AGAIN.

      • I disagree. I think it could quite easily constitute environmental information – look at ICO guidance on this.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        You are obviously NOT an engineer or a qualified construction man Jon.. We must agree to disagree on this one Jon and it worries me how you side with the PA and ICO.

        I don’t think any right minded person could say the ABHSF “constitutes environmental information.
        If the ICO environmental guidance is as good as their vexatious guidance we are all doomed.

      • *sigh* I am not “siding” with anyone. That is not how I operate.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        OK, you are not siding with anyone. Now what’s your expertise with As Built H&S Files for say a £40 million PFI school and how did you reach your conclusion that an ABHSF constitutes a Environmental Document

      • I didn’t reach a conclusion – I simply don’t have the necessary details to reach a conclusion. But there is a hint in the word “built” – information about the built environment will often be environmental information. Equally, I can see that the health and safety issue surrounding a built structure might nor necessarily be environmental information. A lot will turn on the facts. What I’m saying is I can see how they might have decided EIR was the correct regime.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        I can’t agree Jon. The DCC had refused me on the very same request under the FOIA section 14 (1) vexatious. Now they refuse two more similar worded requests for the same information under the EIR 2004.
        Something stinks about the DCC FOIA office once again

  28. Alan M Dransfield

    This is an extract from the ICO guidelines on EIRA 2004 and it is inconceivable that the DCC would think that an As- Built H&S File for a multi million pound school was under the EIR 04 and not the FOIA 2000.
    As I said earlier,I would expect about 5% of any ABHSF to contain EIR data but it is V wrong to say it is exempted under the EIRA 04.

    Why would the DCC try to rely on the EIR as they have a CURRENT ACTIVE case on the same sought after data ,i.e. the ISCA College.
    Another clear example where the DCC are moving the goalposts to get out of jail free.

    This is the same case where the UT warned the DCC chief Witness for their “evidence credibility” and it will resume soon(tbc).

    Do you have any construction expertise Jon. You might want to ask your friends on this one or start a thread, Does an ABHSF constitute EIR04 or FOIA2000?

    Is the information ‘environmental information’?

    Usually, it will be obvious when requested information is environmental – for example, information about land development, pollution levels, energy production, and waste management.

    However, sometimes information may seem like environmental information but it does not fall under the definition of ‘environmental information’. For example, information about how the population levels of a particular species of bird affect the population levels of a species of insect will be environmental information, because it is information on the balance between species or ‘biological diversity and its components’. However, although information about the living conditions of domestic animals may seem similar, it won’t qualify as information on ‘biological diversity and its components’ because it doesn’t say how those living conditions affect the balance between species.

    Similarly, sometimes information might not seem to be obviously environmental but could still fall under the definition. For example, financial information would be classed as environmental information if it related to the costs of redeveloping land and building a new leisure complex.

    For this reason it is important to refer to the full definition of environmental information provided at regulation 2(1) before making a final decision on whether information is environmental or not and which legislation applies.

    For further information, read our more detailed guidance:

  29. Alan M Dransfield

    This HSE Guideline might assist you to understand the LAW about ABHSFiles.

    It beggars belief the DCC think the Isca College £40 million project is Exempt from the FOIA/2000 via the EIR 2004.

    You are purported to be one of the Top FOIA Guru’s just behind Tim Turner I believe and you claim that the ABHSF for such projects are exempted.
    Not in a million years Jon.
    This is MORE shannagins by the DCC and my only hope is the 3rd parties will seek leave to appeal this OUTRAGEOUS DCC decision

    Click to access Managing_health_and_safety_in_construction.pdf

  30. Tim Turner

    The interesting thing about this allegedly outrageous decision is that the EIRs are balanced more in favour of the applicant than FOI. Regulation 12(4)b has a public interest test for cost-based refusals, whereas S12 of FOI does not. If the organisation refuses under EIR, the applicant has the opportunity to challenge the decision on the basis that the public interest favours lots of work being done. This is not possible under FOI, where a strict cost ceiling applies regardless of the public interest in disclosure of the information.

    • Alan M Dransfield

      I forgot to mention you failed my public challenge to find out how many times LIGHTNING was mentioned in the As Built H&SFiles or the Rugby Bridge.
      It is V significant TTT because the Lower Courts/DCC/UT and Court of appeal had put GREAT emphasise on the H&S allegations made by me ref the Rugby Bridge as being “baseless and without foundations”.

      The ABHSF for the Rugby Bridge which were published a month ago supports my allegations that the Rugby Bridge has been devoid of any Lightning Protection since it was commissioned in 2006 hence, any person applying a right and proper mind could NOT have reached the vexatious decision.
      And since you have been the biggest gobshite adversary of mine telling me and the world my allegations ref Lightning were worthless. No frigging wonder you failed my public challenge.
      Quite frankly TTT I think you owe me an apology

  31. Alan M Dransfield

    Do you have any construction background TTT?. It is OUTRAGEOUS that the DCC use the EIR/2004 to exempt a FOIA 2000 requests.
    As Jon rightly said it behoves the PA to apply the correct regulations irrespective of what the requester said in his request.
    This stinks of another getoutofJail free card by the DCC.
    I don’t accept that any As Built Health and Safety Files constitutes information under the EIR 2004.,hence, that is why I believe you need some construction background on this one.
    Not for one moment do I say the ABHSF for any project do not contain any Environmental Data in them but even on a £40 million project such as this DCC PFI School,it would represent 5/10% of the Manual.
    The most important issue on this particular release from the DCC is they claim the sought after data is available only in hard copy which is Bullshit because they tried that one on with me for the same subject.
    The ICO should be kicking doors down at the DCC but that’s unlikely

  32. Alan M Dransfield

    Timmy Turner gone quiet on this one . Not one single school in Devon has undertaken a Lightning Risk Assessment and they claim I am vexatious.
    The DCC now refuse FOIA request citing the EIR Act which beggars belief

  33. Alan M Dransfield

    Breaking news that the ICO have been ordered by the UT to release the 305 Journalist names which the ICO have been hiding for the last 7 or 8 years.
    It beggars belief how that case got to the UT because it is clear from the FTT decision that the ICO were lying thru’ their teeth from day one.

    There is also breaking new that 7-8 Balfour Beatty PFI schools in up North have SERIOUS Health and Safety &Fire hazards. Cheeky buggers have the audacity to call me VEXATIOUS.

    • Why would you say ICO were “lying”? What aspect of the argument that the information in question constituted the journalists’ sensitive personal dada would you criticise?

      • Alan m dransfield

        Wakey wakey Jon , have you not read the FTT and UT decision.
        Lies , deception obstruction and the cheeky buggers claim I am vexatious.

      • I’ve read them in detail. I repeat what part of the argument that this was the journalists’ sensitive personal data do you criticise?

      • Alan M Dransfield

        You appear to be over protective of the ICO.My points of the argument are . Why the hell the ICO are appealing this in the first place beggars belief. They failed to produced the required docs to the FTT and they have the audacity to appeal the FTT decision to the UT.
        ICO public charter is to protect the movement and access to Information and Data.
        I believe they are acting a government gatekeeper. solely to Gag Joe Public
        No doubt Christopher Graham is heading for a peerage. No if I can help it.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        I also forgot to say the ICO are lying thru their teeth when they claim they withheld Operation Motorman’s journalist names under the DPA. Bullshit.

      • As you well know, I have often been highly critical of ICO. I think their handling of parts of the origin Motorman investigation was highly flawed.

        But there is no basis whatsoever to accuse them of lying here. It’s ridiculous bombast, and ignores the number of times ICO has ordered disclosure of personal data – why would they choose to “lie” here and not, for instance, over MPs’ expenses?

      • Alan M Dransfield

        Highly Flawed my ass, more like flagrant and willful abuse of the FOIA 2000 and in particular section 77 of the Act. You and the likes of Tool time Tim Turner appear to be SO bias towards the ICO it[s unreal.
        The ICO don’t know the truth if it hit them on the chin. There are 500 plus bullshit vexatious decisions out there based on the Dransfield GIA 3037 decision and you and that DH TTT are protecting them. They have spent thousand of pounds on the Operation Motorman’s enquiry and other vexatious BS and you STILL argue in their favour.

        They have even manipulated their decision on the National Gallery. You need to wake up mate and smell the coffee.
        However, I will give you credit where credit is due. TTT closes down his blog if he doesn’t like what’s being said about him. Only child probably and he’s so far up the ICO ass is unreal.

  34. Alan M Dransfield

    Before you pull the plug on me Jon, I would like to draw you attention to the fact I am due to appear before the UT soon(TBC) on my FOIA request relating to six(6) PFI schools in Devon which was submitted back in 2008 and the DCC have changed their plea several times before settling for the “old chestnut” of section 14(1) vexatious exemption.. Quell surprise the DCC/ICO are claiming the Dransfield Case GIA/3037/2011 as their Court Authority to rely on Vexatious BS once again for the forthcoming PFI case.

    In my original FOIA request I had requested a copy of the As Built Health and Safety Files (ABHSF)for all six (6) PFIschools in Exeter but the ICO requested me to downgrade this because of the VOLUMINOUS HARD Copy Data and because they claimed the sought after data was NOT available in electronic format. . In reluctance, I obeyed this request to later learn the ICO & DCC had lied because the ABHSF was indeed available via PDF. However the UT Courts have refused me categorically to reinstate my original request of six PFI schools.

    There is no doubt in my mind it is the ICO are the masterminds to push the Vexatious decisions thru the Courts as part of a wider conspiracy to Gag Joe Public.

    In the meantime the DCC have not provisioned on single school in Devon with the Mandatory Lightning Risk Assessment.
    Do you accept it is right and proper that a PA should be able to change its plea on FOIA Cases on numerous occasions. The ICO are happy for the DCC to have changed their please at least 4 times on my PFI school case.
    Would you like your children to attend a school which doesn’t take RISK ASSESSMENTS seriously

  35. Alan M Dransfield

    Supreme Court likely to make a decision before Christmas, or so I have heard.
    Twitch ass time at the ICO and DCC and elsewhere>>

  36. Alan M Dransfield

    I have not received any notification from the SC ref any Time Limit faults.Wishful thinking from the ICO and Tooltime Tim Turner.
    On the contrary,the SC recently advised me they would make a decision before Xmas

  37. Alan M Dransfield

    Twitchy ass time at the COA and ICO awaiting to see which way the SC will jump.For arguments sake, they agree with me and allow a full appeal as requested and I win my case. Does that mean the other 600 + vexatious decisions will have to be revoked?.
    In the event they dismiss my application upon “no grounds for appeal” I can then clearly state I have exhausted the UK Legal System and proceed to the ECHR.
    Happy days
    Tooltime Timmy Turner aka as Richard Head has gone V silent on this matter.

    • Will you be arguing a case that section 14(1) itself should be struck down? That there can never be a vexatious request? Unless you are, those other cases will stand, because each must be considered on its merits.

      What precisely are your grounds?

      • Alan M Dransfield

        Obviously,I can’t discuss my grounds of appeal but yes,I will be arguing that section 14(1) be struck down because it has been unlawfully manipulated with the full knowledge of the ICO and the CoA.
        No, I am not arguing there can NEVER be a vexatious case incident but I will be arguing that MY case is FAR from vexatious.
        I fully understand and appreciate PA’s MUST be protected from VEX requests. But if my request is Vexatious, I am the next Pope.
        Your argument that each of the 600 vexatious decisions have been made on merit is BS because they have NOT been made on merit because the Dransfield VEX crashed on take off.

        You must wait for the SC. Surely ,your ass is not twitching as well because you have argued my FOIA WAS well founded

      • Why not post your grounds? It can’t possibly harm your case, and would be in the spirit of transparency.

        By the way, I have never said your request was well-founded – in fact, I don’t recall ever commenting specifically on your request.

      • Alan M Dransfield

        I would rather not state my grounds of appeal. The lights of transparency at the Devon CC and ICO were switched off LONG ago.
        I think if you go back thru your posts you will find that you have been bias in favour of the ICO and DCC.

      • I think if you go back through my posts you will find I have not been biased.

  38. Alan M Dransfield

    You said on April 12 this year
    “I’m sorry, but that’s one of the most tasteless pieces of bombast it’s been my displeasure to read. Your case, and the general issue of the application of section 14(1) to FOIA requests had and have absolutely nothing to do with Savile.”

    Off course its connected to the Dransfield Case because the Surrey Police and ICO unlawfully used the Dransfield Vex BS.

  39. Alan M Dransfield

    I have a video UT hearing next Monday involving 6 PFI schools in Exeter,which I claim are not fit for purposes.
    The ICO and UT INSIST this case will proceed despite the Supreme Court being inches away from making a decision on the Dransfield Vexatious Court Authority GIA/3037/2011.
    This is a reconvened UT hearing as the last one was adjourned approx 2 years ago owing to the witness credibility.The Judge’s words not mine.

    I have also recently received another Vexatious decision from the ICO . Full decision can be read on the ICO website under FS 50582996 dated 26th Oct .
    Any fair minded person will see my request was not vexatious.
    No wonder Graham Smith has jumped ship at the ICO because he was the ICO Mastermind on this Vexatious BS>

  40. Alan M Dransfield

    UT Judge put this case in abeyance until the Supreme Court final decision on the Infamous Dransfield Vexatious case GIA/3037/2011 Dransfield v ICO

    • Alan m. Dransfield

      As of Christmas Day, I have not received a copy of the Supreme Courts decision.
      The ICO and KBW have both received a copy of the SC decision on the Dransfield case.
      Obviously, I am not drinking in the same wine bar.
      I have asked the SC and the ICO and SC for a PDF copy of SC decision but Ziltch thus far.

  41. Alan M Dransfield

    I have now received the Supreme Court Judgement (refusal ) which in essence rubber stamps the Court of Appeal VEXATIOUS stance,
    The usual BS from the SC ,ie the applicant has not raised an arguable point of law bla bla.
    They also claim my legal argument of EU Law breaches ie article 6&10 are irrelevant.
    The SC decision considered of half a page of A4 less than 50 words.
    I am now appealing to the ECoHR but don’t hold your breath.
    In the meantime the FTT have leapfrogged my complaint against the ICO directly to the UT.That must be a FIRST.

  42. Alan M Dransfield

    I note 4 pleb Authorities have jumped on the Dransfield vexatious BS decision in the last 2 weeks. Evidence we are moving ever closer to a Police State

  43. alan M Dransfield

    Attended another FTT hearing last week in Exeter appealing an earlier ICO vexatious decision on 7 separate FOIA requests. It will be v interesting to see which way the FTT jumps but my gut feeling is they will hand down another vexatious BS decision.
    Ironicall, the FTT judges did ask the ICO “do you envisage the day will ever arrive when the ICO do NOT consider a Dransfield FOIA request to be NONE Vexatious decision”?.
    Yeah right and pigs will fly.

  44. Alan m dransfield

    Yesterday’s Hillsboro decision restored my faith in Brisish justice somewhat.

  45. Alan MDransfield

    FTT decision on my 7 FOIA request was VEXATIOUS. It would appea the ICO are carpet bombing Dransfield with vexatious decisions

  46. On the 24th May 2016 I was ejected from a FTT teleconfernce hearing by Judge Calender /Smith aka GOD, when I was attempting to assist Mr Norman Scarth as his Mckenzie Friend. He was also ejected.
    This particular FTT hearing was ordered by an Upper Tribunal Judge and the FTT Hearing last 5 to 7 mins.
    Good news though from the UT who have over ruled the FTT ref 7 vexatious decision by the ICO

  47. Quote from UT Judge NJ Wikeley ref the UK leading Vexatious case GIA/30337/2011 Dransfield v ICO.
    ” manifestly unjustified, inappropriate or improper use of a formal procedure”.
    The Devon County Council are on BBC Spotlight admitting the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Bridge was devoid of any Lightning Protection between 2006 and 2013 so how could my original FOIA be manifestly unjustified ,inappropriate or improper use of a formal procedure.
    It is Judge Wikeley and the ICO who are vexatious not Dransfield

  48. a plague of vexatious decisions just released from the ICO
    please see
    A recent plague of VEXATIOUS decisions from the Information Commissioner’s Office??
    Please go to the ICO website decision notices site

  49. The UT have recently allowed me permission to appeal an earlier Vexatious decision from the FTT.
    See FTT decision EA/2015/ hearing date to be confirmed.

  50. Sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever.

  51. Alan m dransfield

    Dear Mr Bradshaw
    I wish my MP to make a formal complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), whom have recently denied my application for leave to appeal an earlier Supreme Court decision on the Dransfield Vexatious Case Decision.

    The ECHR have recently refused my application for the 3rd time on a mere technicality, which now means my 6 month time limit has expired,hence, I have now exhausted ALL legal redress to appeal the ICO Vexatious decision GIA/3037/2011 Dransfield v ICO which was subsequently upheld by both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
    The latest refusal relies upon:
    1. The application form does not contain a coherent statement of facts.
    2.The statement of alleged violations(s) of the Convention does not invoke any article of the convention or contain any relevant argument..

    My response to these two points is HOGWASH. It would appear to me the ECHR are able to appeal the cases of Murderers,Rapists, Terrorists, Illegal Immigrants etc but refuse genuine legal challenge that Member States are failing their duty of Care to Uphold the Law..

    To compound these matters further there is no legal challenge on the ECHR which is unlawful in itself.

    Thank God we will no longer rely upon these Bureaucrats to oversee the UK Legal System.

    As a consequence to this ECHR decision, it means that the ICO and Rogue Judges can continue with the Unlawful use of section 14/1 Vexatious Exemptions as a get out of jail free card to rogue Public Authorities.
    I look forward to your response
    With thanks

    Alan M Dransfield

  52. The New Information Commissioner may well ask for a Public Inquiry into this Dransfield Vexatious BS but it the meantime,it would appear some FTT Judges are taking Vexatious Exemptions very seriously.

    Please see the following non vexatious decision from Judge Callender Smith and it would appear that Dransfield is NOT vexatious after all.

    Does this mean the 1800 plus Vexatious decision reliant upon the Dransfield Vex Case GIA3037/2011 MUST be revoked.
    What a hoot.

    Click to access Whittaker,%20Joseph%20EA-2016-0020%20(04.07.16).pdf

    • I’ve seen this decision. It has no application at all to your case, and even if it did, a First tier Tribunal ruling is incapable of overturning the binding authority of the court of appeal.

      • Alan M Drsnsgield

        I suggest you read it again as it does ref Dransfield several times
        Bit touchy aren’t we about the ICO

      • I didn’t say it doesn’t reference your case – clearly it does, as it’s the leading case on s14(1). What I said was it has no application to your case, which is true, as your case is decided, serves as binding precedent and you have exhausted all avenues of appeal.

        I don’t understand your comments about the ICO – I made no reference to that office.

      • Alan m dransfield

        So why the sudden change of heart from the FTt/UT they were upholding 95 % of vexatious decisions and all of a student Callendar Smith rejects the ICO vexatious BS..
        You appear to get very touchy when I attack the ICO

      • Because they are required to consider all cases on their merits. No one has ever suggested that your case means that s14(1) refusals will always be upheld.

        Again, what are you taking about re ICO? I’ve not made any reference to the ICO.

      • Don’t be so ridiculous, “consider all cases on their merits”. My original case is of the same mould as the Bolton Uni which Callender Smith kicked the ICO vex decision into touch.This is the same scoundrel who booted me and Norman Scarth out of a telecon FTT retrial hearing last month.
        I mentioned the ICO because you appear to get very twitchy when I attack them.
        Hopefully the new IC Lizy Denham will sort out the BAD Apples at the ICO Next week.

      • Pointless continuing to discuss with you Alan. I guess you’re just trolling.

  53. at the very begging of this blog you stated,
    “a public authority [is not obliged] to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious”.
    There lies the problem, there is STILL no definition of VEXATIOUS and just HOW does the PA recognize the Vexatious Request??
    Judge Callender Smith clearly recognized the recent Bolton Vexatious Decision was flawed so why didn’t the Bolton Uni AND the ICO make the same connection. The net is drawing in on the ICO.
    Don’t make me laugh about the ICO considering each case on its merits. Hogwash my friend Hogwash

  54. This is a copy of the FTT decision ref Norman Scarth whom many people will know is a WW2 Veteran/Hero.

    I was acting for Norman as a Mackenzie friend and the FTT Judge cancelled the hearing when I introduced myself at the hearing.

    Click to access Scarth,%20Norman%20EA.2014.0042%20(18.06.16).pdf

    • Were you the person who covertly recorded the hearing? And do you think your contribution helped Mr Scarth?

      • I did not record the hearing and I find it disgraceful that Judge Calender Smith (JCS)would accuse me of such contempt of court. JCS has a duty of care to charge me with contempt of Court if he has evidence I taped the FTT Hearing.
        I did not get the opportunity to assist Norman Scarth as JCS pulled the Plug on BOTH of us with the first 5mins. The FTT President Peter Lane has dismissed my complaint. I wonder why.???
        Don’t forget this was a FTT retrial hearing and neither the ICO or West Yorkshire Police were represented at the hearing.

        Great day for Britsh Justice today with the new assignment of Liz Truss as Lord Chancellor and Liz Denham the New ICO.Their TOP Priority is a Public Inquiry into all this Dransfield Vexatious BS.


    Today marks a new dawn for the FOIA -2000 and more importantly the people, whom have the authority to ensure it works well.

    Today, a new Information Commission Miss Elizabeth (Liz)Denham takes over from the Psychopath Christopher Graham and apparently Miss Denham’s reputation is, she strongly believes in the FOIA Laws, albeit the Canadian Version.

    Her top priority is to call for a Public Inquiry and a Police Investigation into the criminal activities of the ICO regarding the unlawful use of Vexatious Exemptions since Jan 2013.

    The Dransfield Vexatious Decision is the UK’s Leading Vexatious Case Authority via GIA/3037/2011 Dransfield v ICO. This case has been used some 2000+ times as a Vexatious Exemption.

    I can imagine that when Miss Denham reads the available evidence on the Dransfield Vexatious decision she may well get back on the plane and return to Canada.

    At this juncture the FOIA/2000 is DEAD and the ICO are in meltdown over this Dransfield Vexatious BS.

    No person applying a right and proper mind could claim Dransfield Original FOIA request was vexatious.
    Let’s hope Miss Denham has the courage to overturn the Dransfield Vexatious BS.

    • If she does anything other than point out that she cannot change the law or overturn binding court decisions I will be simply astounded.

      • Time will tell. BTW Do you know the difference between As Built H&S Files (ABHSF) and Pre-Construction H&S File.
        Why do you ask ,I hear you cry. Because there is NO ABHSF for the Rugby Bridge hence, my original request did indeed pass the public interest test and my allegation of wrongdoing by the ICO and Devon CC were well founded.

      • Whether the information existed or not was not at issue: “on the face of it at least, it was short, well-focussed and apparently “benign”. I also acknowledge that, standing alone, dealing with that specific request may not have involved a significant burden on the public authority. However, those are not the only considerations. Rather, it is important to look at all the circumstances when assessing whether or not a request is vexatious within section 14. Was this request vexatious in the light of the previous course of dealings between Mr Dransfield and Devon CC? The answer to that question is unquestionably yes, taking into account the following three considerations in the context of this request”. But anyway, I’m not the person you need to persuade – are you going back to the Supreme Court to ask them to reconsider?

      • thank you john, I might reapply to the Supreme Court but I will give the new IC a chance to look into my claims.

  56. Alan M Dransfield

    Had another UT hearing yesterday in London .The purpose of this hearing was to establish if I could have a full hearing or not.
    The respondents were the ICO but they didn’t show up at
    this hearing.
    I am appealing 6/7 vexatious decision from the ICO which were upheld by the FTT. Why do I get the gut feeling I will get another vexatious decision against me

  57. Alan M Dransfield

    Your FOIA knowledge is most questionable Jono.if a folia request is
    1. In the public interest
    2 holds serious purpose
    3. Is a first time request
    If these three ICO criteria points get a tick in the YES box,it should not be classified as vexatious
    I rest my case your honour

  58. I would expect such a pathetic statement from Tim Turner but not you.
    Please be specific of WHY I am wrong

  59. It is a fact that a FOIA request cannot be exempted under section 14/1 vexatious, if the PA has requested costs from the applicant to reproduce the sought after data. Thats exactly what the Devon County Council did to me. So HTF can my request be vexatious.

    • Wrong. It is not a fact – an authority could issue a fees notice and the requester’s subsequent response could indicate that in fact the request was vexatious because it was in fact a “manifestly unjustified, inappropriate or improper use” of the Act.

  60. What if a request is in the pubic interest, holds serious purpose, is a first time request, but is, says, expressed in threatening and abusive language and repeats requests made by other people?

    Each case must be looked at on its merits. The decisions of the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal stress that a “checklist” approach to s14 will not suffice.

    By the way, I’m not approving the comment where you link to a website containing defamatory content.

    • this is the extract from the CoA.
      “Held, dismissing the appeal, that:
      1. in defining “vexatiousness” the emphasis was on an objective standard. The starting point was whether there was a reasonable belief that the information sought would be of value to the requester, the public or any section of the public. The decision-maker should consider all the relevant circumstances so as to reach a balanced conclusion as to whether a request was vexatious. If a relevant motive could be discerned with a sufficient degree of assurance, it might be evidence from which vexatiousness could be inferred. If a requester pursues his rights out of vengeance it might be said that his actions were improperly motivated but also that his request was without any reasonable foundation. But this could not be the case if the request had been aimed at the disclosure of important information which ought to be made publicly available. A rounded approach was required and the relevant authority had to exercise its judgment in good faith in the light of all the information available to it (paragraphs 68 and 69);”
      I have proven the Bridge was devoid of any Lightning protection,hence, it IS/WS in the interest of public safety., therefore WAS NOT vexatious.
      It is on record that my request was polite, straightforward and benign
      You are TOO brainwashed by the ICO
      Please yourself about the Contra Cabal article. The fact a Proff has now endorsed Dransfield’s allegations stick in your throat a wee bit.,does it

      • To be fair, when I said you were wrong, you were close to right, and as a general approach your formulation works, but what the case law shows is that a tick box approach will not always suffice, and that each case must be considered on its facts.

        By the way, I don’t think that’s a passage from the judgment itself – it looks more like a law report.

      • Alan

        No, it’s not an extract from a law report, it is from the judgement

        Sent from my iPhone


      • Para 2 ,Page 1 of the CoA decision,para

        1. The appeals raise different and difficult questions. In my judgment, for the detailed reasons given below, this court should dismiss each appeal.
        2. In Mr Dransfield’s case, the request, taken on its own, is a precise and politely-worded request. There is nothing on the face of this request which could be termed “vexatious”. Nonetheless the UT held that it was vexatious because of the past history of dealings between him and the authority. So the principal issue on his appeal is whether a request can treated as vexatious if it is not itself vexatious but previous requests have been. The FTT thought that the line had to be drawn at previous requests which “infected” the request under consideration (“the current request”). The UT rejected that test and held that there was no line to be drawn. Mr Dransfield seeks to uphold the test applied by the FTT. I do not accept this submission because it involves writing words into FOIA which the court may not do. The UT went on to formulate and apply guidance as to the meaning of “vexatious” which he has not challenged.

        My request should never have been refused under section 14/1 because the Rugby Bridge was devoid of any lightning protection, hence,passed the public interest test.
        The DCC and ICO lied through their teeth about lightning protection systems on the Bridge. She also said ” I do not accept this submission because it involves writing words into the FOIA which the court may NOT do”
        Unquote, that exactly what Judge Wikeley did with his PROTEAN and HOLISTIC BS

      • So the original quote was not from the judgment, as I suggested?

        As I say, in fairness, your proposition that a first-time request on a matter of public interest should not be able to be termed vexatious is generally going to be true. But it will not hold as an absolute rule.

      • No Sir, you are indeed most incorrect because the above statement was from the original Court of Appeal decision para 6 NOT (repeat not) from a Law Journal as you suggest. Not only was it a first time request it was a well founded request in line with the Public Interest Test owing to the FACT the Rugby Bridge was devoid of any Lightning Protection..
        Don’t forget also is was the ICO who made the appeal NOT the Devon CC??!!
        The CoA Judge also stated that the Court were not allowed to rewrite the the FOIA but that’s exactly what Judge Wikelely did with his Protean and Holistice BS

      • This is like living in an alternative universe. I know that that is para 6 of the judgment, but two days ago you posted a comment with a quote which you said was from the Court of Appeal ruling. I questioned this (I happen to know it very well) and you’ve now moved on to citing an actual quote. It’s all very odd.

      • Nothing ODD about it my friend, you stated it was from a Law Journal and I merely advised you were wrong and it was from the original CoA decision. I draw your attention to para 6 that CoA decision and any fair mind person would agree my FOIA request was NOT vexatious owing to the FACT the ugby Bridge was devoid of any Lightning Protection.
        The alternative universe you referred to is solely for the likes of you,Tim Turner and ICO cronies.


      • Your failure to admit you were wrong is very odd. I said ages ago I was going to close comments on this post, and seeing as the only people who are reading them are you and me, I think the time has come.

      • It was YOU who was wrong my dear boy not. Runalong home with your ball and bat and tell Mummy that Dransfield is a wicked boy .
        Just like Tim Turner does when he loses an argument

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