from Sunday Herald, 20 August 2006
The Scottish Executive has been condemned for a "perverse" response to a request for information about proposed nuclear waste dumps.
The Scottish Information Commissioner, Kevin Dunion, has found the Executive guilty of breaching the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 by interpreting the request "in the narrowest possible terms".
The Sunday Herald asked for information "on" plans for nuclear waste disposal. Civil servants took that to mean information setting out such plans, and refused the request.
But Dunion pointed out that the preposition "on" was not defined in that way in any dictionary. Instead it should have been more widely interpreted as a request for any information relating to plans for nuclear waste disposal.
"To interpret the request in this way given the general meaning of the words of the request and the applicant's comments strikes me as unreasonable and even perverse," Dunion concluded.
A spokesman for the Executive said: "We have received the Commissioner’s decision and are studying his comments."
Dunion's full decision is available on here on his website.