Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywJenna Corderoy mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Clearing House/round robin lists

We're waiting for Jenna Corderoy to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government,

I understand that the FOI round robin list is issued daily to Whitehall departments, and that it comprises of FOI requests across departments that either (a) are identical requests that have been sent to multiple departments or (b) are asking about sensitive subjects that have been reported to the Cabinet Office Clearing House. Once a request is added to the list, other government departments who receive the same request also notify Clearing House.

In light of this, I would like to request the following information:

(1) What criteria does the department use - or refer to - when it flags requests to the round robin list? Please provide a copy of the criteria, or guidelines.

(2) What criteria does the department use - or refer to - when it flags requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House? Please provide a copy of the criteria, or guidelines.

(3) Does the department have a list of sensitive subjects which prompt requests being flagged to the Cabinet Office Clearing House? Please disclose it if it exists.

(4) For the past two weeks, please provide a copy of all requests that have been sent to the Cabinet Office Clearing House by this department (please redact requesters’ names).

(5) For the past two weeks, please provide a copy of round robin lists received by the department (please redact requesters’ names).

I would like to remind the department that in Decision Notice FS50841228, the ICO ruled that the Cabinet Office had to release past round robin lists.

I would like to receive this information in an electronic format. If you feel that a substantive response to this request is not possible within a reasonable time frame, I would be grateful if you could contact me and provide assistance as to how I can refine the request. If you need any clarification, please contact me. I look forward to receiving a response in 20 working days. Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Jenna Corderoy

Despatch Box, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

                            
Our reference: 8381853             Information request

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Dear Jenna Corderoy
 
Thank you for your Information Request of 14 July 2020.
 
We will aim to send you a response by 12 August 2020.
 
If you have any questions, please ask by return email. Please leave the
subject line unchanged when replying, to make sure your email gets
straight to us.
 
Yours faithfully
 
 

Knowledge and Information Access Team

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Could I please have an update regarding this request? Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Jenna Corderoy

Despatch Box, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Corderoy
 
Thank you for your request for information request received on 14 July.
Please find our response attached.
 
Unfortunately due to email size limitations, I will need to send the
accompanying document via the [1][email address] email
address. This will be sent shortly after this email.
 
Kind regards
MHCLG FOI Team
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

FoI Requests, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Corderoy,

 

Further to your response letter for the information request received on 14
July 2020, please find the accompanying document with this email.

 

Kind regards

MHCLG FOI Team

 

 

Thank-you for your response.

I would like to request an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Jenna Corderoy

Despatch Box, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

Dear Jenna Corderoy,
 
Internal review under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 14 September 2020. We
are sorry that you are dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your
request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
We are considering your concerns and will aim to provide you with a
response by 9 November 2020.
 
Yours faithfully
 
 
MHCLG FOIA Team
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Despatch Box, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

Dear Ms Corderoy,
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 14 September 2020.
 
I am the Review Officer appointed to undertake the internal review and I
am writing to provide a response.  I had no involvement in the original
response to your request.
 
Background
 
On 14 July 2020 you wrote to the Department requesting:
 
I understand that the FOI round robin list is issued daily to Whitehall
departments, and that it comprises of FOI requests across departments that
either (a) are identical requests that have been sent to multiple
departments or (b) are asking about sensitive subjects that have been
reported to the Cabinet Office Clearing House. Once a request is added to
the list, other government departments who receive the same request also
notify Clearing House.
 
In light of this, I would like to request the following information:
 
(1) What criteria does the department use - or refer to - when it flags
requests to the round robin list? Please provide a copy of the criteria,
or guidelines.
 
(2) What criteria does the department use - or refer to - when it flags
requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House? Please provide a copy of
the criteria, or guidelines.
 
(3) Does the department have a list of sensitive subjects which prompt
requests being flagged to the Cabinet Office Clearing House? Please
disclose it if it exists.
 
(4) For the past two weeks, please provide a copy of all requests that
have been sent to the Cabinet Office Clearing House by this department
(please redact requesters' names).
 
(5) For the past two weeks, please provide a copy of round robin lists
received by the department (please redact requesters' names).
 
On 12 August 2020 the Department wrote to you providing some information
for questions 4 & 5 and exempting redacted information relating personal
information under Section 40(2).  The Department fully exempted all
information relating to questions 1-3 under Section 35(1)(a) relating to
the formulation and development of government policy
 
Request for review
 
On 14 September 2020 you requested an internal review of the handling of
your request, raising the following points:
 
I would like to request an internal review.
 
Appeal Officer's response
 
In my opinion the Department responded correctly to your request and I am
therefore upholding the original response.
 
In my view the information located which falls within the scope of your
request 'relate to' the development of government policy in the form of
the means by which Cabinet Office provide advice to government departments
for requests which cut across government.
 
Because the scope of government is so broad so too are the issues which
would be likely to have an impact on one or more government departments;
for example EU exit work or the COVID-19 response.  Government policy and
priorities change over time as differing themes become more or less
prevalent.
 
Since this policy area is and was under development when you made your
request, the Department believes that this information is covered by the
exemption at Section 35(1)(a) of the FOI Act.
 
This is interpreted broadly, and is described in the ICO guidance as
follows:
 
'This means the information does not itself have to be created as part of
the activity. Any significant link between the information and the
activity is enough. Information may 'relate to' the activity due to its
original purpose when created, or its later use, or its subject matter.
Information created before the activity started may still be covered if it
was used in or affected the activity at a later date. And information
created after the activity was complete may still be covered if it refers
back to the activity.'
 
The purpose of Section 35(1)(a) is to protect the integrity of  the policy
making process, and to prevent disclosures which would undermine this
process and result in less robust, well considered or effective policies.
In particular, it ensures a safe space to consider policy options in
private.
 
Information falling within the Section 35(1)(a) exemption must still be
provided unless it is not in the public interest to do so.
 
The general considerations about transparency and accountability apply to
the information held by the Department. There is a general public interest
in disclosing information in relation to the business of government, as
this allows the Government to be accountable and open to the electorate
and increases public trust and confidence in the workings of government.
 
On the other hand disclosure of the information identified would be likely
to have the prejudicial effect of impacting on the safe space needed for
the Department to operate effectively.  This is an important factor which
must be considered in weighing the public interest: it would be likely to
weaken  officials ability to discuss sensitive topics free from premature
public scrutiny or announcement.
 
I have also given regard to the information that has been exempted under
section 40 of the FOI Act and agree with the original response that it is
still engaged.  This is because it is the personal data, as defined by the
Data Protection Act, of another individual. The first data protection
principle in that Act states that personal data shall be processed
(including any disclosure) fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall
not be disclosed unless at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 of
the DPA is also met. As the affected individuals in this case reasonably
could not have an expectation that their personal data would be disclosed,
to do so would breach the first data protection principle.
 
Conclusion
 
Having reviewed this case, I have concluded that the Department responded
correctly to your original information request and I am therefore
upholding our original response.
 
If you are unhappy with the outcome of this internal review, you can ask
the independent Information Commissioner to investigate. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at email address [email address] or use
their online form at ico.org.uk/concerns or call them on 0303 123 1113.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
FOI Internal Review Officer
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywJenna Corderoy mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.