Laura Sharman 19 March 2020

Council clerk convicted of breaking Freedom of Information Act

Council clerk convicted of breaking Freedom of Information Act image

A council employee has been fined for illegally deleting an audio file in the first conviction under the Freedom of Information Act.

Nicola Young, a town clerk of Whitchurch Town Council, has been convicted of deliberately obstructing records with the intent to prevent disclosure.

The investigation by the Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found she deleted the audio file after someone made a FOI request for it to check if the written minutes of a council meeting had been fabricated.

Ms Young pleaded guilty and was fined £400, ordered to pay costs of £1,493 and a victim surcharge £40.

Mike Shaw, group manager in enforcement at the ICO, said: 'This case emphasises the critical importance of transparency for public authorities in the way they carry out their business.

'People should have trust and confidence that they can access public information without the danger of it being doctored, fabricated or corrupted in any way.'

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