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The Day in FoIA: Information held in ‘electronic recycle bins’ still to be subject to FoIA | Cancer alert over South Australia’s tap water | Drug shock at Thorpe Park

Information stored in electronic recycle bins is held for purposes of FOI disclosure, says watchdog

Public sector bodies will generally be required to disclose information even if it is stored in computer ‘recycle bins’, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said. The watchdog has issued new guidance (25-page / 350KB PDF) to help public bodies which are subject to the UK freedom of information (FOI) or environmental information laws to determine whether they hold information that should be disclosed when requested. Under UK FOI laws and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)individuals have a right to ask for and, generally, be provided with certain information held by Government departments and public bodies. Read more.

Out Law | 12thOctober 2012


Cancer alert over South Australia’s tap water

South Australians are drinking water containing potentially carcinogenic compounds, a new report warns. Freedom of Information data from SA Water shows the state’s tap water breached the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines or World Health Organisation guidelines 9298 times between January 2000 and July 2012. While Government authorities say South Australians have nothing to fear, experts say it is unclear whether prolonged exposure would increase the risk of cancer. Read more.

Jordanna Schriever | The Australian | 13thOctober 2012

Drug shock at Thorpe Park

Nearly 250 thrill seekers were caught with drugs at one of Britain’s top theme parks in the past year. Visitors to Thorpe Park, which attracts millions of families a year, were caught with substances including heroin and cocaine. Freedom of information figures show 234 cases of people discovered with drugs since last October. They included 38 cases of visitors caught with cocaine, 154 with cannabis and 22 with MDMA or amphetamines. Three had ketamine and one heroin. Read more.

Nick Dorman | The People | 14thOctober 2012

North Lincolnshire schools lose almost 2,500 teaching days to stress

Nearly 2,500 teaching days were lost due to stress in North Lincolnshire’s schools over the last academic year. The figures, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show a 22 per cent increase in days lost to stress compared to the previous academic year. There was also an increase in the number of days lost by head teachers due to stress – a rise from 19 in the 2010/11 academic year to 355 in the 2011/12 academic year. Read more.

Scunthorpe Telegraph | 13thOctober 2012

Sunderland Council slashes cost of business flights

A cash-strapped council has recorded a dramatic drop in the amount it spends on business flights. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that Sunderland City Council spent just £1,613 on domestic work-related fights in the last financial year – a reduction of more than £9,000 over three years. In 2009 to 2010, the travelling expenditure was £10,753, dropping to £4,238 in 2010 to 2011, before reaching the latest figure. Read more.

Sunderland Echo | 12th October 2012

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