Department of Energy & Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place
Ref No: FOI 13/0109
18 February 2013
Dear Mr Hough Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000: 'Buddy' or 'Strategic relations'
Thank you for your email of 19 January where you requested information about the
meetings which ‘ministers’ and ‘others’ have had with companies as part of the Strategic
Relations initiative since June 2011.
I am writing to advise you that at the Department of Environment and Climate Change,
only Greg Barker is a Contact Minister under Strategic Relations Management.
Greg Barker is Contact Minister for Atkins and Balfour Beatty. To date he has not had any
meetings with these companies.
The other part of your request relates to information on meetings which ‘others’ have had
with companies as part of the Strategic Relations initiative since June 2011. It is difficult for
me to complete this part of your request because it is not clear precisely who you mean by
‘others’. If by ‘others’ you are referring to everyone in the Department who is not a
Minister, then in order to provide you with all the information falling within the scope of your
request I would need ask all officials and Special Advisors in the whole Department to
confirm whether they have had meetings with the companies in question since June 2011.
From our preliminary assessment, due to the number of individuals this would involve this
would exceed the cost limit of £600 provided under Section 12 of the Freedom of
Information Act. This represents the estimated cost of spending 3.5 working days: (i)
determining whether the department holds the information, and (ii) locating, retrieving and
extracting the information. The Act provides that we are not obliged to comply with
requests where the estimated cost of complying would exceed this limit.
It would be helpful if you could refine your request by providing more specific details as to
the information you particularly wish to obtain. Options for refining this request could
include for example narrowing it down to special advisors only, or specify only civil
servants at Grade 2 (Director General) and above. We would be happy to consider
whether any revised request could be dealt with within the cost limit.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an
internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date
of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner
can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF