RE: Athritis vs the DDA requirements
by Ibrahim - written 23/03/2010 10:39:03
I do not think this is about creating new information as it clearly exists in your organisational chart. It is about how far you have to go in acceding to his request to put the information into a particular format.
You need to read section 11 of the Act and the ICO Awareness Guidance No: 29 "Means of Communication". This states that you have to give effect to the preference of the applicant "so far as is reasonably practicable". However section 11 only applies if the applicant expresses his preference at the time of making the request. See the ICO decisions in :
Case Ref: FS50094281
Public Authority: Bath and North East Somerset
I discuss this in episode 7 of my podcast.
Case Ref: FS50217416
Public Authority: Student Loans Company Ltd
I discuss this in episode 17 of my podcast.
In considering what is reasonably practicable you can take account of the cost of putting the information into a spreadsheet. Note that these are not allowable costs for fees purposes but it is arguable that they are the cost of putting the information into a particular format (and so chargeable just like photocopying and postage).
Note also your duty of advice and assistance (under section 16 and the Section 46 Code) which requires you to consider your duties under the Disability Discrimination Act (i.e. the applicant's disability and what "reasonable adjustments" you can make). However I agree with you that putting the information into a spreadsheet will not necessarily help him around any obstacles created by his impairment in understanding this information.
In conclusion my view is that, the information should be provided "as is". If he wants it in spreadsheet format you can say that there will be a charge for putting into that format (based on £25 per hour) unless you can argue that it is not practicable.
Hope this helps. Please note that this is just my view as there are no ICO cases directly on this issue. I would be happy to hear other colleagues' views on this.
David Taylor wrote (23/03/2010 09:38:08):
Ibrahim, I though I had an interesting point of clarity below in black so emailed the rest of our local network group. It seems the same gentleman has sent the same email to everyone who responded in the same way as I did. After consulting I have refused to create the spreadsheet however some have felt the DDA requirements mean they have to do this. I'm not so sure their right. I would be very interested to hear which stance you would recommend?
Applicant emails a request for some information (the names and contact details of service heads). They create a spreadsheet for me to put the information held into.
We don't hold the information requested in spreadsheet form but do have an organisational chart showing all the positions requested. We provide as normal.
Challenge arrives just stating 'put the information into the spreadsheet provided as I have arthritis'.
To do so is to create new information which I will always refuse to do.
change my thinking
Should I take into account the fact the request and challenge have been emailed and the spreadsheet to input the data into, must also have been created by the applicant?
How does arthritis affect the way the response is received?
Do DDA requirements alter my response, or rather the way I provide it?
Your thoughts most welcome.
RETURN TO INFORMATIONLAW.ORG.UK