Dundee City Council has agreed to release details of bin collection routes in the city after originally saying it would take 35 man hours and almost £1,000 to provide the information.
The council emailed Matt Kane on Friday to inform him officials had decided to answer his Freedom of Information request due to overwhelming public interest.
But in a further blunder, they failed to include the information in the email.
The Courier revealed last week the local authority was one of only 10 in the UK that had refused to comply with Mr Kane’s request for information on waste and recycling dates for all properties in the city, organised by address and postcode.
Although Dundee City Council has a searchable database on its website, Mr Kane was told supplying him with the information would cost £945 and take 35 man hours to complete.
It was the only local authority that demanded a fee for providing the information.
Mr Kane wrote to the council asking them to review their decision to refuse his request.
He wrote: “I do not believe the charge is reasonable. My request was for the raw
data that powers the web tool. I do not require the data to be transformed
in any way, nor would I expect routing work to be carried out.
” I just want the database dump from the web tool. Just
export it, attach it to an email, and send it.
“This is work that should take minutes at most. I have made similar requests to every authority in the UK, and none except Dundee has tried to charge for the request.”
It was not until Friday the council’s legal manager Kenneth McKaig decided to release the information.
In an email to Mr Kane he said: “We have reviewed the matter and advise that, in this particular case we have decided not to charge due to the present public interest in this area. We reserve the right to charge in the future.”
Unfortunately, the attachment containing the promised data was not included in the email.
Mr Kane said he was pleased Dundee City Council was now prepared to release the information he is seeking: “Perhaps the people who initially responded did not understand how to export the data. Once it appeared in the press it may have been given to someone who knew how to handle it.
“However, if this is the case, it’s frustrating that they didn’t talk to me earlier when I was trying to help them handle the request.
“Rather than working with me, their response both times was just to refuse the request. This kind of obstructive response helps nobody. My project is supposed to make it easier for people to recycle.
“This would help the people of Dundee, and save the council money.”