Dear Hambleton District Council,
We are submitting the following Freedom of Information Request for documents relating to uses of data analytics, predictive analytics, or algorithmic automated systems used for risk assessment, scoring systems or automated decision making within the jurisdiction of your authority. This could include the use of these data systems in order to draw insights from large and integrated datasets, or to influence decisions about resources, funding or service delivery. This could include, but may not be limited to, uses of predictive analytics in child welfare, health care, adult social care, fraud detection, or policing.
Specifically, we are requesting:
· Any briefing notes, reports, evaluations, or summaries concerning uses of algorithmically driven data systems. Ideally this would include information about software, hardware, operations and types of data
· Any overviews about how system outputs are produced.
· Any training manuals or materials (e.g. slides, etc.) for staff about data collection, analysis, assessment and reporting as related to the use of the systems.
. Any impact assessments
· Any data visualisation outputs connected to the systems.
· Any promotional material, presentation material, or staff educational material related to the systems.
. Any contracts relating to the systems. We argue that the release of contracts does not compromise commercial sensitivity. The full argument is provided below.*
Also, please note we are not requesting datasets or any data about individuals.
Please let us know if any information requires clarifying.
We would like to receive electronic copies of this information.
All the very best,
Data Justice Lab
Please note that we are following the Information Commissioner’s guidance on the Freedom of Information Act which specifies that requests can be made by organisations and there is no need for a named individual (pages 9-10, sections 38-39).
*Addressing the commercial sensitivity question:
a) Section 20 of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s ‘Local Government Transparency Code 2015’, which encourages greater transparency in the public interest, notes:
‘The Government has not seen any evidence that publishing details about contracts entered into by local authorities would prejudice procurement exercises or the interests of commercial organisations, or breach commercial confidentiality unless specific confidentiality clauses are included in contracts. Local authorities should expect to publish details of contracts newly entered into – commercial confidentiality should not, in itself, be a reason for local authorities to not follow the provisions of this Code’.
Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk... (page 9, section 20)
b) There is always the potential for a company in any area to act in bad faith, but this should not be a reason to deny access to information about how public money is spent.
c) Contract and tendering details are provided regularly by a range of government bodies in the public interest. For example, many police and fire services release contractual information through the Bluelight database ( https://www.blpd.gov.uk/foi/foi.aspx ).
d) There may be core aspects of the systems contracted that have competitive commercial value and we appreciate that such details will be redacted from any documents released. We argue that commercial interests will not be compromised by revealing other details that may be provided in contracts or related communications with contracted companies. Details that could be released include details about the existence of a system, it's purpose, the tasks being contracted, continued relationships, general descriptions, types of data being used, how this data is shared.
Thank you for your contact. Should a response be required, this will be sent to you within the next 10 working days. Responses to Freedom of Information Requests will be sent within the 20 day statutory period. If you wish to contact Hambleton District Council, our contact details are given below. Please visit our website at www.hambleton.gov.uk<http://www.hambleton.gov.uk>.
Customer Services, Hambleton District Council, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 2UU
Tel: 01609 779977
Fax: 01609 767228
Email: [email address]
Thank you for your Freedom of Information Request, received on the 20^th
of July 2018 and regarding data analytics usage.
In response to your request, ICT have confirmed that it is not aware any
purpose built automated systems for risk assessment, scoring systems or
automated decision making within the jurisdiction of the authority.
However, individual departments might purchase this type of tool for their
Due to the very broad nature of your request, gathering the requested
information from every service area would exceed 18 hours.
Section 12 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 states that the
Council is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the
authority estimates that the costs of complying with the request would
exceed the appropriate limit. The Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 has set the
appropriate limit as £450, based on a charge at £25 per hour.
The appropriate limit equates to one person spending 18 hours on the
* determining whether the Council holds the information requested, and
* locating, retrieving and extracting the information requested.
Unfortunately the large amount of work required to respond to your
request, as described above, would exceed this limit. Consequently the
Council is not obliged to respond to your request.
If you are able to narrow the scope of your request, we would be happy to
consider whether we could respond to a revised request in under 18 hours.
Any reformulated request will be treated as a new FOI request.
Please remember to quote your reference number in any further
The information Governance Team.
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