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Unit 6 The Enterprise Centre
Kelvin Lane, Crawley,
RH10 9PE

26th February 2016

Yellow Advertiser Wins FoI Battle

An Essex weekly newspaper has won a Freedom of Information case.

The Yellow Advertiser was embroiled in a 19 month battle, in which it was fighting to release documents that detailed 60 complaints made against Essex coroners services.

The weekly title has won it's battle, with the Information Commissioner's office ruling that Essex County Council "erred in law when it failed to release documents requested by the newspaper", under the Freedon of Information Act in June 2014.

The Yellow Advertiser reports that said documents state that families have waited up to six years for investigations into deaths to be concluded.

The documents also reveal complaints about poor communication between the coroner and the deceased's families.

Essex County Council could legally wait up to 20 working days to release the information, however it took 11 months for the council to issue their refusal.

The council refused on the grounds that the requested information was of a "personal" nature.

The ICO stated that: "The commissioner was concerned that on two occasions as the investigation progressed, the commissioner identified a substantial amount of additional information that was held by the council, falling within the scope of the request.

“Regrettably, these errors have further compounded the substantial initial delay that the complainant experienced whilst awaiting a response to this request. The commissioner trusts that the council will make improvements in its handling of requests in the future.”
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