FoI in Wales: Welsh Assembly Member complains about disclosure of information

Welsh Assembly Member Ann Jones has called for an inquiry after Denbighshire Council authorised details of how she pays her council tax to be made public.

Denbighshire Council's former chief executive Ian Miller authorised the release after a freedom of information request by a councillor before a post office closures debate.

Labour Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones said Mr Miller had overstepped the mark and she has complained to the freedom of information commissioner and the public service ombudsman. The council said releasing the limited information had been in the public interest.

Ms Jones discovered her information had been released when looking through some old council minutes during the summer. "This is a genuine concern over freedom of information because the details that had been released affect my family as well," said Mrs Jones.

The council said it was satisfied that it applied the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act in this case. A spokesman said: "It was considered whether an exemption was appropriate and it was concluded that releasing this limited information was in the public interest because a substantial number of the aforementioned AMs and MPs were taking a public stance on the council and its use of post offices for services when (as the information showed), like the majority of people, they choose to pay council tax by direct debit because it is more convenient."

Welsh AM slams Denbighshire Council for council tax disclosure (Evening Leader, 11 Novemebr 2008)