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Digital Signatures

Requested on
Fri 18th January, 2013
FOI 2623
Information provided


Council Tax Metadata - Electronic Evidence
Local Government Finance Act 1992

Please refer to section 1 (b)

Admissibility of evidence14(1)Regulations under paragraph 1(1)
above may include provision that, in any proceedings before a
magistrates’ court under any provision included by virtue of the
preceding provisions of this Schedule—(a)a statement contained in a
document of record shall be admissible as evidence of any fact
stated in it of which direct oral evidence would be admissible;
and(b)a certificate which is made with respect to a document of
record produced by a computer and purports to be signed by a
responsible person shall be admissible as evidence of anything
which is stated in it to the best of his information and
belief.(2)In this paragraph—“document of record” means a document
constituting or forming part of a record compiled by the authority

“responsible person” means a person occupying a responsible
position in relation to the operation of the computer;

“statement” includes any representation of fact, whether made in
words or otherwise.

I wish to know and request under the FoIA the following documented
information and require all metadata between the Council and the
Magistrates’ Court .

1) Encompassing council produced computer generated evidence that
is presented to Magistrates’ Court in an application to the
Magistrates’ Court for summonses to be granted for a non payment of
council tax liability hearing.

2) Encompassing documented rules, procedure, legislation or policy
you hold that requires the council to produce a signed IT
Certificate that ensures that the council computers that print off
the complaints, summonses and liability orders are working
correctly at the time of printing, to confirm the electronic
signature(s) are authentic.

3) Produce the Council IT certificate (with re-dacted signatures)
but show the rank, name and printed name of the person signing.

4) Produce the rank and printed name(s) of all person(s)
responsible for signing the Council IT Certificate that is
presented as evidence to the Magistrates’ Court that confirms that
the Council computers ( not Magistrates' computers ) were working
correctly at the time they printed off the court documents.


1.      The computer generated complaint listing shows the personal details of our customers and as such is subject to the requirements of The Data Protection Act 1998. We are therefore unable to disclose these reports.

2. We do not hold any written procedures, however the certificate is produced along with the report

3. The Certificates are produced with the report, and as stated in Question 1, due to the nature of the information contained within the reports we cannot send this out.  An example of the certificate may be viewed at the Council offices.  The wording on the certificate is as follows:
'I, ****** certify that this is an accurate extract of information held within the computer operated by the council at the time of printing this document which details names and addresses of persons summonsed for non-payment of Council Tax.
I also certify that at all relevant times the computer system functioned properly and that all information given herein is correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Signature ******** Date **/**/**'

4. The Signatory is the Senior Revenues Control Officer