» Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby ‘P’

Put that the Secretary of State for Children, Schools, and Families had said in the House that he was prevented from publishing the Serious Case Review for Baby P after it had been assessed by the Information Commissioner, the PMS replied that as people knew, there was an exchange on this in the house earlier. In a previous case, a Local Authority received an FoI request from the media for a copy of the full Serious Case Overview Report in that particular case, and the Information Commissioner upheld the Local Authorities refusal to release that report. The Information Commissioner said that disclosure of the report would render the Serious Case Review process unable to fulfil its purpose. He recognised the public interest in holding local authorities to account for their performance, and obviously that was something that did need to be taken into account. But he concluded that the overriding public interest must be the protection of children, and our position on this was that disclosure would undermine the process of serious case reviews and their purpose which was to learn lessons. The inspectors were currently in Harringey, they would produce a report by the beginning of December, and Ed Balls did say today that as soon as he had studied their report, he would publish it and the actions that we would take.

Asked if there was not concern that MPs were being denied access to this report, the PMS replied that all he could do was repeat the exchanges that had taken place in the House. There had been an FoI request put in, the Information Commissioner did look at it, and he had to look at the balance of public interest. He recognised that there were arguments in favour of publishing, but he concluded that the overriding public interest must be the protection of the children, and that was best served by not publishing the individual reports.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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