The Information Commissioner has recently issued guidance setting out his view that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 "applies to official information held in private email accounts (and other media formats) when held on behalf of the public authority".

That means we all have to take extra care. Even if an email account is a non-work personal email account, the Act is to apply to information which relates to the official business of the public authority.

Staff members can be asked by their public authority employers to search their private email accounts in the event of a request for information being made.

Staff need to be reminded that deleting or concealing information with the intention of preventing its disclosure following receipt of a request for information is a criminal offence. It is suggested in the guidance that knowingly