The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) will not be able keep the contentious reports on its identity cards scheme confidential anymore, as the Information Tribunal has upheld the Information Commissioner’s decision to publish the ID cards Gateway Reviews.
In its new ruling, the Information Tribunal rejected OGC’s appeal to stop the disclosure of the controversial reviews, which the government stated would threaten the security of the nation.
The Gateway Reviews, which are employed to assess the progress of key government projects at different stages, were done by the OGC for the Home Office back in year 2003 and 2004.
The Tribunal directed the government to publish the reviews, which included reports on the expected success of the ambitious £4.7bn ID cards scheme, within 28 days.
The decision comes after an anti-ID cards activist Mark Dziecielewski used the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to urge the government to publish the reports that was backed the Information Commissioner in 2006.
“The Tribunal upholds the Decision of the Information Commissioner in his Decision Notice dated 31 July 2006 and orders the disclosure of the two Gateway Reports… within 28 days”, the recent ruling underlined.
In its response to the ruling, OGC asserted that the Tribunal’s decision refers to the disclosure of two mentioned Gateway Reviews only, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the reviews.
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Earlier this month, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) underlined the fact that the UK ID Card scheme was the only one in Europe to have declined to publish a number of vital piece of information like whether the card had an electronic information. ID Cards are already being issued since November 2008 and are expected to be more widely available later this year.