Wrexham.com placed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to ask for a copy of the Jillings Report into the North Wales child abuse scandal, and have been told a decision on releasing the document is ‘taking longer than anticipated’.
This followed our report that Flintshire officials had found several copies of the report in November (read more here), which was followed a day later with news that Wrexham Council had a copy of the report – more here.
The Council said at the time “It has been established that copies of the investigation report still exist, one of which is in this Council’s possession”.
Wrexham.com has been told that it could be another two weeks before legal advice on publication of the report is reached.
We asked not only for a copy of the report but had several other related queries such as:
- Requesting a copy of any accompanying material found alongside the report in the archive.
- Requesting any accompanying administrative archiving documentation eg. when the document was archived and by whom.
- Requesting any accompanying administrative archiving documentation regarding access to this report since it was archived eg. who has accessed it, or requested access to it, and when.
Wrexham.com was told that a copy of the Jillings Report was not held in the Council’s archives, nor was any information held regarding administrative documentation held – presumably as it was not in an archive.
Our question relating to accompanying material found with the report has been rejected citing such a request is “exempt from disclosure under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000”. Under Section 12 a public authority is not obliged to comply with a request for disclosure where the cost of complying with the request would exceed the statutory limit of £450 calculated at 18 hours at £25 per hour.
Flintshire’s chief executive Colin Everett has previously said that local authorities in North Wales are taking collective and independent legal advice on the question of releasing the report, so there could be a situation where one authority decides to release it, while others do not.
We have this afternoon placed another FOI request to discover where the report was found plus other related questions.