Council admits to deleting emails in bonkers IT cockup

We could hardly believe it when we read in a Motor Cycle News article that Westminster City Council were deleting emails sent to them from its reporters. But we’ve been watching this FOI request first submitted back in April this year.

We wondered why the council refused to even acknowledge it’s existence. This was despite reminders being sent on 13 May 2009 and again on 28 May 2009 and again on 10 July 2009 and again (yawn) on 21 July 2009. The lack of response to that FOI question was also drawn to the attention of the council in another FOI request “Westminster ignores Eiger Capital FOI request” on the 13 May 2009, and again on 27 May 2009 (do you see a pattern here yet), and again on 18 June 2009 and again on 28 June 2009, and again on 3 July 2009 and lastly on the 7 July 2009.

Well finally an answer, WCC have been spending all their time cooking up some cock and bull story claiming that their spam filter must have deleted all those emails. Duh, what kind of IT professional would set up an email spam filter which arbitrarily deletes incoming emails? The normal industry practice is to reject emails thought to be spam during the mail server greeting, or at least divert these emails into a separate storage folder just in case of false positives, you council dimwits.

We don’t believe the councils explanation for not replying to this FOI question for months. We think it has everything to do with the question being asked, which has been rejected BTW. Who do you think set up Eiger Capital Ltd, why the councils very own leader, Colin Barrow. You remember him, he’s the councils ‘every penny counts‘ man (see “Accountability does it count if you’re Councillor Colin Barrow?“). But not in this case, as councillor Barrow was reported to us as saying ‘if ever this becomes public………….’, oh dear it seems to have anyway. Why would Councillor Barrow be embarrassed about a company he started which then went into liquidation owing WWC around £20,000 in rates, no, nothing wrong in that, is there? Not even if there is another company with a very similar name operating from the same address, which still seems to be operating, how queer.

Colin Barrow your cover ups sometimes say more about you than what you’re trying to suppress.

We’d like to thank Chalkey boy for the lead on this, no friends in love and war then.

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2 Comments

David BoothroydJuly 28th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

When I get sent a spam email to my council email address, it gets quarantined and I get an email telling me about it. I know of other people who have had email wrongly trapped in Westminster’s spam trap and had it released by the IT team.

One way of assessing what was happening to FOI requests through whatdotheyknow.org would be to look at other requests sent around the same time. Such as this one from the following week: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cllr_burbridge_polluting_mc_repo
Or this one sent two days before: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/city_councils_official_parking_p

One would expect that they would be unacknowledged in the same way. Now unfortunately I don’t have the time to check – could someone else have a look and see if it was just pure bad luck that the Eiger Capital request was the one that fell into the spam trap, and that the officer just accidentally missed the notification and never bothered to fish it out?

John in CamdenJuly 29th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Come on, “The spam filter ate your FOI?”, that’s hardly original. This is 2009, excuses for missing legally required deadlines are some software deleted it? Who do you think you are kidding Westminster Council?

You’ve delayed the answer all this time and still come out with a load of tripe. You can’t even lie properly. You’re a disgrace!

Why don’t you try an excuse that doesn’t make you look like your hiding the embarrassment of Colin Barrow with a an old cock and bull story.

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