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Paper makes formal FOI complaint over 'compensation claim' request

Bedfordshire on Sunday has made a formal complaint to the information commissioner after its request to see council documents relating to a compensation claim was refused.

The weekly paper asked to see Bedfordshire Council records under the Freedom of Information Act, but was told there was so much paperwork that it would cost too much.

An internal appeal by the paper was also turned down.

But a county councillor who made an identical request under the FOI Act was told she could see the documents.

Now it has taken its case to the Office of the Information Commissioner, in a further bid to obtain the documents.

But editor Steve Lowe told HoldtheFrontPage he did not expect a decision to be made for six months.

He said: “What we are finding is that authorities are not changing their culture to become more open.

“They are finding ways of blocking FOI requests and complaints take too long to resolve – six months is a long time in journalism.

“But we are not going to stop and we are not going to lose interest.”