May 26, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Nothing

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Colin WilsonwebLocal Cayman lawyer highlights length of time taken to answer FOI requests

Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law, agencies have 30 working days to answer a request.

What happens if they don’t?

Nothing.

Local Cayman Islands lawyer, Peter Polack, has highlighted this problem with the following FOI requests sent to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service from July 2014 that have resulted with:

Nothing.

 

No.1 – 94 days old

Subject: FOI Request – DUI

FOI request:

Number of persons employed by Cayman Islands Government convicted of driving while intoxicated while operating government vehicles 2011, 2012,2013.

Number of persons employed by Cayman Islands Government convicted of other traffic offences while operating government vehicles 2011, 2012,2013.

Number of persons employed by Cayman Islands Government convicted of driving while intoxicated 2011, 2012,2013.

Number of Cayman Islands Government vehicles involved in road accidents 2011,2012,2013

Regards

Peter Polack

 

No.2 – 83 days old

Subject: FOI Request

FOI request including spent convictions:

Number of persons in the Cayman Islands with a criminal conviction.

Number of persons in the Cayman Islands with a traffic conviction if not considered a criminal conviction.

Number of persons in the Cayman Islands with a criminal conviction for murder, manslaughter, firearm, robbery and grievous bodily harm.

Number of persons in the Cayman Islands with a criminal conviction excluding murder, manslaughter, firearm, robbery and grievous bodily harm.

Number of persons convicted of drug offences.

Number of RCIPS officers with a criminal conviction.

Number of RCIPS officers with a traffic conviction.

Regards

Peter Polack

 

Polack’s latest request is only 7days old. Any bets on how long it is going to take to produce NOTHING?

No.3 – 7days old

Subject: FOI Request – New

FOI Request:

1.Number of persons on police bail from 2009 until present.

2.Number of persons on police bail from 2010 until present.

3.Number of persons on police bail from 2011 until present.

4.Number of persons on police bail from 2012 until present.

5.Number of persons on police bail from 2013 until present.

6.Number of persons on police bail on September 2014.

7.Number of persons on police bail at September 2014 who have been on bail:

-over three months

-over six months

– over twelve months

– over eighteen months

– over twenty four months

– over thirty months

– over thirty six months

Regards

Peter Polack

I have highlighted this in previous editorials as the rights under FOI laws are endemically weak.

FOI laws are only as good as the response mechanisms built into the laws themselves. After all, if the general public cannot take action to enforce their right of access shy of filing suit, what good are FOI laws?

When I raised this with government some years ago I was told the only real tool in the public’s armoury was “SHAME”. You SHAME the agency into complying.

This is what we are trying to do here.

Perhaps a ranking system could be adopted?

It would give someone a job.

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