Bet the destruction of data happens a lot.
Christopher Graham, the information commissioner, has said that implementation of the justice committee's recommendation for his office to have more time to prosecute people who destroy data requested under freedom of information (FOI) is "still some way off". Although it is an offence to destroy information so as to avoid …
The solution is easy. Come implementation, resubmit the FOI. Then if they delay, they get done.
The data has to be deleted AFTER you submit the FOI request. It is all about evading providing an FOI response not the deletion of data itself. Public authorities delete data all the time as simple housekeeping. They are not allowed to do so if they know someone wants it under FOI. The key word here is 'to know'.
Rather a lot of data got shredded just before 2005 when FOI came into force. All legit because it was 'house cleaning' as no one had requested anything by then.