Blog

News and views on correspondence case management, FOI, Information rights and more

FOI and Personal Phone Communications - Where is the line?

Recently we have seen more and more examples of politicians communicating about government business using their personal mobile phones. David Cameron’s alleged lobbying of Rishi Sunak and Nadhim Zahawi being one of several examples to come to light in the past few weeks. Whilst some elements of the conversation have been released by the aforementioned people themselves, there have been FOI requests asking for the release of full conversations, including searches of personal phones.

From this, two important questions arise:

1) Should all government business be subject to FOI, no matter what communications channel it has gone through, including personal phone conversations?

2) Given many civil servants are only permitted to perform their duties on work equipment, largely due to security issues, should politicians be sanctioned for using personal equipment to conduct government business?

In the spirit of the FOIA and government transparency, ultimately these conversations should be disclosed in full, any attempted lobbying should be declared, and a loophole to get around FOIA by using personal equipment shouldn’t exist. This would be in an ideal world, but there are obviously greater complexities at play that create boundaries to what is possible.

We’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. Please leave your comments below:

Loading Conversation

Talk to us

eCase is used by the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury, HMRC, DWP, DCMS and more.
Find out how eCase can help you and why it is the correspondence case management service the public sector relies on.

  • Used across central government, local government and police forces
  • Secure UK-based hosting, accredited to OFFICIAL level
  • Crown Commercial Service supplier, available through G-Cloud

Data Protection
The information that you give us and any contact will only be used by Fivium within the scope of fulfilling your request. We won’t share your information with any third party.