Doctor Who News The Pete's World Cybermen variants from Doctor Who

Published on February 28th, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

Council’s Cyber Complaints

The Pete's World Cybermen variants from Doctor WhoIn the very dictionary definition of making a mountain out of a mole hill Cardiff City Council – here played by some very confused council officers – have been ordered by the Information Commissioner’s Office to release complaints and correspondence relating to Doctor Who, reports

The Information Commissioner Christopher Graham – who’s father David was an Eastern European Correspondent for the BBC – ordered the council to release the information over a year ago after it received a complaint from sometime Daily Mail journalist Christopher Hastings – here played by a diabolical moustache twirling fiend – after his noble request to become an echo chamber for every carping Cardiff resident whose primrose hedges had been squashed by a Cyberman was denied.

The council had contested the ICO’s decision on the basis that dealing with the request would have taken longer than 18 hours of work and it was, like, really hard and stuff.

But the Information Rights Tribunal backed the ICO’s ruling after the Council failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the 18 hour claim – whether or not they failed to produce the evidence of the 18 hour claim because it would have taken 18 hours to do so is one for the ages.

In a roundabout and rather elegant way of saying they’ve got nothing the IRT commented that the council had:

“Failed to adduce ‘cogent’ evidence to support their assertion [and had] failed to demonstrate that they had undertaken a process involving ‘an investigation followed by an exercise of assessment and calculation.”

The tribunal were also treated to the bewildering testament of Council Freedom of Information Officer Dave Parsons who’s evidence consisted of ‘a bald assertion that the work would ‘obviously’ take longer than 18 hours’ which was then followed by the metaphorical sound of a case being rested.

So why 18 hours? Does the Council’s Complaint-Bot 4000 only have battery life for 18 hrs? No! It’s far more tedious than that!

It’s all about money.

If you run through the net gains and losses of a) going ahead with the request versus b) denying the request, not bothering to do the man hours to come up with a good reason why not and then wasting the time of a tribunal, your own staff who attended and gave non-evidence at that tribunal and then having to process the request anyway, probably plants you firmly in the red.

A spokesman for the Council was understandably disappointed:

“In hindsight we accept that we did not provide sufficient evidence to the tribunal in regard of the costs of processing the request for information, however, we note that the tribunal recognised the efforts made to clarify the request which were rejected by the requester of the information.”

At least the Council, like all right minded people, distrusted the Daily Mail (well, when I say ‘right’ minded people…)

In an interesting, if sad, footnote Christopher Hasting’s Journalisted page lists that he has written more about the BBC than any other subject.

The irony of all this is that after the Council’s woeful performance at the tribunal possibly expensive efforts are being made to review the departments record management procedures.

So there, the epic saga to deny the Mail comments feed the chance to “tut” about the BBC has failed, a Council has been ridiculed and absolutely no money has been saved in the process.

Makes you proud, doesn’t it?


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

5 Responses to Council’s Cyber Complaints

  1. avatar Stlshawn says:

    Ok,,,,, I had no idea where Cardiff was seven years ago, now I’m saving up to take a vacation there next year. So,, doctor who put them on the map with that in a big way.

    Also, the cast and crew camp there and spend money for months on end!

    If the people of Cardiff don’t want who filming there, I’m sure they can shift the rift to a city that appreciates the exposure and the cash influx. I’m sure my town would be more than happy.

    Or,,,,, is this guy just poking for cash???? I really really despise those who do that.

  2. avatar Spag Hoops says:

    Yeah … the lazier journos have now found an easy way to get someone else to do their work for them … make an Freedom of Information request to a few organisations and get them to run round producing the information for the story. It looks like Cardiff City Council just decided not to play ball this time.

  3. avatar Gruff says:

    Do FOI requests apply to the mail, and if so can we raise one about wasting the time of cash strapped councils while persecuting a campaign of hatred against a well loved tv show.

    Mind you it is one of the least despicable things this awful rag is guilty of.

  4. avatar mugen pharoah says:

    Daily Mail = Daily Fail

    This guy is desperate for a story. Still no one who reads the mail has any intelligence beyond that of a dead goldfish, so it hardly matters. The beeb bashing is one thing but the casual racism is another story. Poisonous paper.

  5. avatar Who Cares says:

    What a waste of public money dealing with a request of this nature is. FOI was put in place for the public to obtain information on how authorities operate not for media people to phish for stores

    The commissioner and tribunal should hang their heads in shame – this only demonstrates why FOI needs to change, lets hope more council’s challenge the stupidity of FOI requests from the media and protect the interest of individuals

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