Today I got a response to my FOI request to find out when the Glasgow interrogation centre would open. They had already delayed answering once while they investigated the possibility that the information might qualify for one of the "exemptions relating to the prevention and detection of crime" (FOIA Section 31(1)a). They evidently decided that they couldn't use that excuse and so have just decided to be a bit vague about the date. I have asked them to clarify, but don't doubt for a moment that they will answer me after
it has actually opened.
Reference: FOICR 6486/07
Date: 15 May 2007
Dear Mr Bevan
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
I am sorry for the delay in replying to your e-mail of 30 March requesting information on the opening date and location of the Interview Office in Glasgow. We are now in a position to offer a full reply to your request.
I am pleased to be able to disclose the information that you requested to you.
The passport interview for adults applying for their first passport is an important part of the Identity and Passport Service’s (IPS) commitment to help reduce identity fraud and supports our mission of ‘safeguarding your identity’. It will help us to spot and prevent other people impersonating you and committing fraud in your name. Sadly, this is a growing crime with distressing consequences for its victims.
The interview will confirm that the passport application we have checked actually belongs to the person who made the application and that they are the rightful owner of that identity.
The interviews will be introduced gradually, starting in a limited number of interview offices, with further offices being added progressively through to the end of 2007. Passport interviews will start in the Glasgow interview office (200 West Regent Street) during this month.
There will not be a media event in Glasgow when the interview office opens.
I asked them whether they were planning a media event - unfortunately it doesn't look like they are (unless they are planning one an hour after it opens(!)). It's a shame. It is much easier to get good coverage for a protest when the government invite the media along for you. Looks like we'll have to do it all ourselves ...