I think we have to go beyond the strict definition of records for FOI.

For example early pre-consultation drafts of a cabinet report which I am
working on, would never be declared as records, and would not be held as
evidence (I would destroy the early drafts when I have a consultation
version ready), but if a request came in today they would be, I believe
regarded as information held on the issues they cover, and unless it was a
subject where I could refuse to confirm or deny, would be disclosable.
Having said that I am equally certain that it would be exempt under e.g. s36
and that the public interest would be in my favour as it would be
unreasonable to compel disclosure of such no-status working documents.

I would say I 'Hold' information if it exists and I can either access it, or
control access to it.  meaning

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony May [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 29 April 2004 10:11
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: FOI definition - what is held?

Hi all
The UK FOI act continually mentions information we hold, information held by
an organisation. However it never defines the word "held".

Has anyone obtained a definition of the word held?

I am currently using the ISO 15489 definition of a record within our records
management policy;

Records ? information created, received and maintained as evidence or
information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations
or in the transaction of business.

To my mind this could be used as a definition of what is held by the
organisation. However as "held" has not been defined I am looking for other
opinions and thoughts.

Please reply on list as I think this is a very interesting area and could
create a good discussion.

Tony May
Documents Manager
Hertfordshire County Council
Phone: 01992 556 729
Comnet 26729

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