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FOI answer Bennett....

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FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Catkins on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:07 am

http://www.chaosraptors.com/portal/

Madeleine Foundation: Why the Home Office is taking so long to answer 12 simple FOI questions about Madeleine McCann

Tuesday, 22 June 2010 18:35 idiot Operator From Hell Madeleine Foundation



The latest in the Home Office's attempts to explain why they are taking so long to answer 12 straightforward questions about a possible review or re-investigation of the Madeleine McCann case.


This is not confidential.



Tony Benentt
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation



Dear Mr. Bennett,

Thank you for your email of the 17th June 2010 about your ongoing request under the Freedom of Information Act that we received on the 22nd March 2010, in which you asked the twelve questions which you have detailed below.

I would like to apologise again for the amount of time it has taken to provide a substantive answer to your request. I appreciate that the fact that your request is still ongoing might appear to indicate that we are deliberately delaying our response to you or that we are trying to obfuscate the matter. I would like to reassure you that this is not the case.

The questions that you have asked relate to an investigation into the disappearance of a missing child; an investigation that is still ongoing within the UK at this time, as I am sure you are aware. Whilst your questions ask for the release of simple facts, as you put it, we must be extremely careful that our answers to those questions and the release of any information that we may or may not hold, does not prejudice this investigation, any relations between UK and Portuguese authorities or would be otherwise prejudicial to the effect conduct of public affairs.

I acknowledge that this matter is of significant interest to a large number of people and that there is great deal of ongoing speculation about the stage of investigation. As you have said, there is huge public interest in ascertaining what happen to Madeleine McCann. However, the ‘public interest’ that we consider in conjunction with the Freedom of Information Act, is not the same as what might be of interest to public, or what they might find interesting. In carrying out a Public Interest Test we consider the greater good or benefit to the community as a whole if the information is released or not. The ‘right to know’ that is provided by the FoI Act must be balanced against the need to enable effective government and to serve the best interests of the public.

Furthermore, the FoI Act is ‘applicant blind’. This means that we cannot, and do not, ask about the motives of anyone who asks for information. In providing a response to one person, we are expressing a willingness to provide the same response to anyone, including those who might, in some circumstances, represent a threat to the UK. In this instance, we must also consider whether or not our answers to your questions could be used by some members of the public to prejudice the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

We have to balance, on one hand, the inherent public interest in the Home Office being open and accountable whilst, on the other hand, how the public interest would be served by us providing answers that could prejudice these investigations or be otherwise detrimental to the work of the police, the government and the McCann family in their efforts to locate Madeleine. Would it be in the best interest of the public for the Home Office to be seen as releasing information that might prejudice the investigation? Probably not. Would it be in the public interest for the Home Office to release information that could potentially jeopardise relationships between the United Kingdom and policing authorities with which cooperate around the world? Would these authorities be willing to work with us in the future if we released information that potentially prejudices an ongoing investigation? The answer to both is no. Would it be in the public interest to release information that could help Madeleine’s captor evade detection and arrest? Most certainly not.

These are some of the considerations we are currently considering. Simply because the questions are direct and would only require simple answers, does not mean that potential prejudicial effects of providing those answers would not be far reaching. Whilst we do not doubt that, as a concerned member of the public, you are interested in ascertaining what information the Home Office holds on this matter, we must consider the possibility that some individuals may use this information to their advantage and not for the benefit of the community as a whole.

I would therefore like to apologise once again for the time it is taking us to provide you a response to your questions. Please be assured that this is because the subject matter is extremely sensitive and not because we are trying to obfuscate the matter or be deliberately awkward. Please also be assured that I am aware that we have exceeded the twenty working day deadline provided under s.10(1) of the Act and that, despite legitimately extending this deadline under s.10(3) of the Act, we have also exceed the forty working day guideline provided by the Information Commission. The Home Office does aim to provide a prompt response to all FoI requests but, in some cases, where the information is particularly sensitive, we do need to take some extra time to make sure we have considered all the aspects relevant to that case.

In regards to the four new questions which you have asked us to consider, these will need to be treated as a separate request. This is because a valid FoI request under s.8 of the FoI Act only concerns information that was held at the time a request was received. Because your new questions concern information that might have been recorded since your original request was received, we will need to consider it separately. In light of this, I would be grateful if you can confirm that you would like us to answer these questions separately.

Thank you again for your interest in the Home Office and for your patience in this matter. If you have any more questions about the handling of your request, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to help.

Yours sincerely,

Ian

Ian Lister
Information Access Consultant
Information Access Team
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Catkins on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:17 am

In other words.......sod off you sad git !!
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Mulleena on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:45 am

In this instance, we must also consider whether or not our answers to your questions could be used by some members of the public to prejudice the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.



Organisations like bennetts foundation for a start!!!

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Pedro Silva on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:00 am

"Some members of the public" = TB with his foundation.

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Tinkerbell43 on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:06 am

"Would these authorities be willing to work with us in the future if we released information that potentially prejudices an ongoing investigation? The answer to both is no. Would it be in the public interest to release information that could help Madeleine’s captor evade detection and arrest? Most certainly not."

Did you take this bit in Bennett ? It quite clearly refers to MADELEINES CAPTOR!

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Mulleena on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:44 am

He is now going to bombard them with yet more questions demanding to know which police forces are involved in the ongoing investigation.
Clearly rejection doesnt sit well with bennett.

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by whymadeleine on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:58 am

"The questions that you have asked relate to an investigation into the
disappearance of a missing child; an investigation that is still ongoing
within the UK at this time, as I am sure you are aware."

In providing a response to one person, we are expressing a willingness
to provide the same response to anyone, including those who might, in
some circumstances, represent a "threat to the UK"




It's official then .. and he thought he was just a threat to Kate & Gerry

This poor excuse for a man has done enough damage ... shame on him
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by dianeh on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:38 am

It is only a matter of time before the official rejection comes, because it is an ongoing investigation, and therefore the details should not be available under the FOI Act. Imagine the problems in the court system, if anyone could request information about their case, prior to charges being laid.

It would appear to me that the department is being more than fair and must be looking at each point separately to see if any of them can be answered. They could simply have rejected the request out of hand, immediately, as they are entitled to do with ongoing police investigations. Let alone the implications on foreign relations with Portugal.

And wasnt he made to look a wally as they tore apart his assumptions and his request, as well as his process. Again, as usual, Bennett looks like an amateur trying to bignote himself.
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by bluj1515 on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:08 am

Repeating what I remarked on PFA2...

Any pretendy lawyer learns what "public interest" means and balancing tests. Bennett knows damn well what it means in this context. He'd rather just waste everyone's time and egg his merry band of idiots on in believing that "the public interest" means things the public are interested in. He couldn't look like a bigger fool using the term like that.

It's a fabulous reply. It explains at a 4th grade level (their reading level) all the reasons why, unlike the Portuguese, the Home Office is not just going to throw open its files on a missing child's case for all and sundry to look through. It carefully insinuates that public interference could be detrimental. It suggests the Home Office operates under the assumption that Madeleine was abducted and with no evidence to say otherwise, alive ("captor"). In a perfect understated way, it smashed home the point that the public, and Tony Bennett, are NOT the "stars" of this show, that their interests are NOT the most important interests - the interests of Madeleine and her family and leaving open the possibility of finding her AND bringing the criminals who did this to them to justice, are.

I am truly flabbergasted to see him trying to claim the term "public interest" means something the public is interested in. He qualified as a solicitor, he is a native speaker of the language, he HAS to know that's not what it means here. If he doesn't, he really is stupid. In this context it means "beneficial to the public to know" -- the "common well-being" or "general welfare". There's lots of debate about what that means or doesn't mean but it sure as hell doesn't mean "oh lots of people are interested in X subject so the government must give up the info."

He honestly has never sounded dumber.

The letter made it clear that 19 million people could request something and if it fails the balancing test the information wouldn't get released (at least without a court fight); alternatively 1 person could request something if it passes the test it'd get released. But even then they wouldn't give it to just the 1 person - they'd make a whole announcement, press release, something, because they want to make sure that the information DOESN'T just get into one person's hands -- that's the whole idea of making it "beneficial to the public". The public has to know about it.

Just because you have some vendetta let's say, against your neighbor who works for the government and want to know what he does every hour on the hour -- that information might not be politically sensitive or security sensitive but does it really benefit the public to know??? No! They don't care! (Unless it was representative of endemic corruption or something like that.)
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Mulleena on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:41 am

Its blatantly clear that bennett does have a vendetta and not only against Kate and Gerry but also against the whereabouts of Madeleine being located imo.
Why else would he want information made public information that could help Madeleine’s captor evade detection and arrest?

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Peaceful1 on Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:18 pm

Oh Lord, is that man still breathing?
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by bluj1515 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:56 am

Bennett has displayed a total disrespect for the law, the purpose of the law, and an obstinate and ignorant knowledge of the law, specifically the term "public interest". He still has refused to explain how it would benefit the public to know the details and the answers to the questions that he asked the Home Office; instead he is trying to rely on curiosity of the public. He cherry-picked a quote from Lister's letter that says he is aware that the public is very interested and ignores the sentence after it, that explains that that alone is NOT enough to make releasing said information into the public domain.

Tommy on PFA points out that there are SPECIFIC exceptions written into the law that apply to the case, and there is also the fact that the McCanns are also members of the public, not government officials. They have a right to privacy.
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Catkins on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:58 am

Peaceful1 wrote:Oh Lord, is that man still breathing?
Unfortunately...and still posting sh@t !!
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Cath on Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:02 pm

Still posting sh!t and not answering questions.
He's using chaos as a platform to post his usual spin and insinuations.

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by dianeh on Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:24 am

I took a little time to skim through that thread on Chaos Raptors, and it confirmed the following things.

1. Bennett enjoys being the centre of attention.
2. He does not understand basic concepts such as 'public interest' let alone more advanced concepts of law or science.
3. I think he truly believes the rot that he writes. He thinks its true, which means there is a huge gulf between his beliefs (as evidenced by his writings) and reality.
4. He is still equating a voluminous answer with a good, well argued answer. He answers simple questions with pages of mostly irrelevant BS. Of course somewhere in there, there probably is some relevant point, but it is lost in the waffle. He needs to learn quantity is no substitute for quality.

All in all it was a waste of time, even skimming through the thread.
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by Sabot on Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:29 am


Don't give him any ideas, Dianeh. He's doing a great job.

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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

Post by bluj1515 on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:01 am

I agree with all those points, Diane. He absolutely thinks he's right, even when he has no idea what he's talking about.
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Re: FOI answer Bennett....

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