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High Court quashes bid to publish ID card reviews

The High Court has quashed a decision by the Information Tribunal that early gateway reviews on the ID card scheme should be published.

The decision on Friday morning means there will be a new hearing of the information tribunal into whether the ID card gateway reviews - independent assessment of the project - should be published.

Judge Stanley Burnton accepted that his decision would lead to further costs for the taxpayer - both sides are publicly funded - but he hoped these would be minimised.

The judge gave qualified support for legal arguments put on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Commons that the decision of the information tribunal had come into conflict with the 1689 bill of rights. The 1689 act said that Parliamentary proceeding ought not to be questioned by the court.

The judge found that the tribunal had relied in part on a parliamentary select committee report which looked into IT projects and whether Gateway Reviews should be published.

By relying so heavily on the committee's report, the tribunal had effectively stopped the Office of Government Commerce, which runs the gateway review scheme, from questioning in court the committee's findings. The judge said the tribunal had significantly relied on matters it should not have done.

The case will now be heard by a different tribunal but if its decision goes to appeal it could be six months before any ruling is made on whether ID cards gateway reviews should be published. Even then it may be open to the Office of Government Commerce to appeal, which could delay a decision even further.

Read more on Tony Collins' IT Projects blog >>





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