Dealings with Westhill and Elrick Community Council (March 2018 until now)

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Aberdeenshire Council,

Please provide copies of all notes, working papers, meetings agendas and contents, briefings, emails, correspondence and all other written materials, together with audio and video recordings, to and from

Westhill and Elrick Community Council (including all members, office-bearers, other personnel, activities, initiatives, training / education, committees and sub-commitees thereof)

in connection with

the Garioch Area Office
the Garioch Area Manager
the Legal and Governance Department)
the Chief Executive / his office
any other office or person in the same context

Dates: from 1 March 2018 to 3 August 2017.

Yours faithfully,

F Taylor

Acknowledge email, Aberdeenshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your information request.

If you are making a request for information under FOI(S)A we will respond
within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.

If you are making a request for environmental information under EIRs we
will aim to respond within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.
However, for requests of a complex nature it could take us up to 40
working days. If so we will write and tell you this.

If you are making a request for information under DPA/GDPR we will respond
within the statutory timeframe of one month except in the case of complex
or numerous requests in which case this period may be extended by up to a
further two months. If so we will write and tell you this.

Information Requests Privacy Notice: [1]https://tinyurl.com/yac8kodc

Regards,
Aberdeenshire Information Enquiries

References

Visible links
1. https://tinyurl.com/yac8kodc

Clark Simpson, Aberdeenshire Council

Good morning,

 

I refer to your recent Freedom of Information request which is detailed
below:

 

Dear Aberdeenshire Council,

Please provide copies of all notes, working papers, meetings agendas and
contents, briefings, emails, correspondence and all other written
materials, together with audio and video recordings, to and from Westhill
and Elrick Community Council (including all members, office-bearers, other
personnel, activities, initiatives, training / education, committees and
sub-commitees thereof) in connection with:  the Garioch Area Office, the
Garioch Area Manager, the Legal and Governance Department, the Chief
Executive / his office and any other office or person in the same context
- Dates: from 1 March 2018 to 3 August 2017.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

F Taylor

In order for us to process your request we should be obliged if you would
kindly confirm / clarify the following:

 

·         Your full name.

·         What information it is you are seeking in terms of your request
(e.g. does this relate to a specific or issue or simply to all
correspondence referencing the parties named in your request). 

·         What you mean by the term “any other officer or person in the
same context” (e.g. do you wish your request to cover all of the officers
within the council as well as any third parties).

·         The period covered by your request (e.g. instead of from
01/03/18 to 03/08/17 should this be the “from 01/03/18 to 03/08/18” or
“01/03/17 to 03/08/18).

 

The reason for seeking the above clarification is to ensure that we can
carry out a thorough search of our records and look to provide you with
the relevant information which you seek, as your request stands this would
seem to be fairly wide and without narrowing this down it may well be that
there are cost implications when it comes to providing you with our final
response especially if each officer within the council requires to check
their records to see whether they have ever corresponded with the
Community Council.

 

On a separate note we would also advise that strictly speaking the
provisions contained within the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
do not provide parties with a right to simply request copies of
documentation. The rights provided by the legislation relate to the
information contained within these records and not the documents
themselves.  We will however provide copies where we deem it appropriate
to do so in terms of the legislation and in order to meet the wishes of
the requester.

 

I trust that you find this in order and look forward to hearing from you
in due course.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Business Services: Legal & Governance

 

 

 

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This e-mail may contain privileged information intended solely for the use
of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please accept our apologies and notify the sender,
deleting the e-mail afterwards. Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the e-mail's author and do not necessarily represent those of
Aberdeenshire Council.

Dh’fhaodadh fiosrachadh sochaire, a tha a-mhàin airson an neach gu bheil
am post-dealain air a chur, a bhith an seo. Ma tha thu air am post-dealain
fhaighinn mar mhearachd, gabh ar leisgeul agus cuir fios chun an neach a
chuir am post-dealain agus dubh às am post-dealain an dèidh sin. ’S e
beachdan an neach a chuir am post-dealain a tha ann an gin sam bith a
thèid a chur an cèill agus chan eil e a’ ciallachadh gu bheil iad a’
riochdachadh beachdan Chomhairle Shiorrachd Obar Dheathain.

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Clark Simpson,

Thank you for your response.

Dealing with your points:

>>> Your full name. <<<

I have successfully made previous FOI requests to your council, and other bodies including the Scottish Government, (as who I say I am, i.e. F Taylor), and that was sufficient. Why the current request or requirement? If, for example,someone chooses to call themselves 'AJ' (as in River City), or use a diminutive such as 'Peggy', 'Maggie', 'Maggs', 'Meg' etc. for 'Margaret' (birth name), that is what they are generally known by, and as such is their 'full name'. After all, I am not applying for a loan or a passport or security clearance. That is also how I am registered on WhatDoTheyKnow.com and do not wish to change that.

>>> What information it is you are seeking in terms of your request (e.g. does this relate to a specific or issue or simply to all correspondence referencing the parties named in your request). <<<

ALL correspondence referencing the parties named in your request, please.

>>> What you mean by the term “any other officer or person in the same context” (e.g. do you wish your request to cover all of the officers within the council as well as any third parties). <<<

All duly elected or appointed office-bearers, but including any person (not actually an office-bearer) who has deputised, stood in or acted in that capacity. Dealings with third parties in the same context, would also be usefeul, if available. Apologies for any confusion -- just trying to cover the possibilities.

>>> The period covered by your request (e.g. instead of from 01/03/18 to 03/08/17 should this be the “from 01/03/18 to 03/08/18” or “01/03/17 to 03/08/18). <<<

Sorry, a typo. From 01/03/18 to 03/08/18 please.

>>> The reason for seeking the above clarification is to ensure that we can carry out a thorough search of our records and look to provide you with the relevant information which you seek, as your request stands this would seem to be fairly wide and without narrowing this down it may well be that there are cost implications when it comes to providing you with our final response especially if each officer within the council requires to check their records to see whether they have ever corresponded with the Community Council. <<<

I understsand. Hopefully the previous correction has narrowed down the timeframe and work or cost involved.

>>> On a separate note we would also advise that strictly speaking the provisions contained within the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 do not provide parties with a right to simply request copies of
documentation. The rights provided by the legislation relate to the information contained within these records and not the documents themselves. We will however provide copies where we deem it appropriate
to do so in terms of the legislation and in order to meet the wishes of the requester. <<<

Again I understand. I mean 'information' but recognise that will mainly arise from 'correspondence' or other written material. I think we are on the same page.

Yours sincerely,

F Taylor

Acknowledge email, Aberdeenshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your information request.

If you are making a request for information under FOI(S)A we will respond
within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.

If you are making a request for environmental information under EIRs we
will aim to respond within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.
However, for requests of a complex nature it could take us up to 40
working days. If so we will write and tell you this.

If you are making a request for information under DPA/GDPR we will respond
within the statutory timeframe of one month except in the case of complex
or numerous requests in which case this period may be extended by up to a
further two months. If so we will write and tell you this.

Information Requests Privacy Notice: [1]https://tinyurl.com/yac8kodc

Regards,
Aberdeenshire Information Enquiries

References

Visible links
1. https://tinyurl.com/yac8kodc

Clark Simpson, Aberdeenshire Council

Dear F. Taylor,

 

I thank you for your previous email.

 

On assessing this it is my understanding you are interested in the
following information:

 

Copies of all correspondence received by and sent to Westhill and Elrick
Community Council (WECC) (incl. its members, office-bearers, personnel,
committees and sub-committees) that make reference to the following
parties or offices within the Council: "Garioch Area Office", "Garioch
Area Manager", "Legal and Governance Department", "Chief Executive",
"Chief Executive's Office" and "any duly elected or appointed
office-bearers or deputes" or "third parties in the same context" from the
1st of March 2018 to the 3rd of August 2018.

 

On considering this we are still of the view that in order to provide you
with a full and accurate response all officers and elected members within
the council would require to check their records in order to establish
whether they correspondence with the WECC (incl. any members) during the
period in question and also whether or not this made reference to any of
the parties or offices listed in the request.  

 

As you will no doubt appreciate this is likely to take a substantial
amount of officer and member time to complete and we believe that the
overall response cost would exceed the £600 limit which is provided in the
legislation.

 

As a result we wondered whether you wished to narrow the remit or your
request by either providing further clarity in terms of the specific
information you are after or by perhaps limiting the request to particular
parties (e.g. “The information contained within all correspondences
received from and sent to WECC by the following offices or parties within
the Council during the period: 01/03/18 to 03/08/18 - The Garioch Area
Office; The Garioch Area Manager; The Legal and Governance Department; The
Chief Executive and The Chief Executive's Office.”) as this step may well
significantly reduce the response costs involved and ensure that we are
able to provide you with the specific information which you seek.    

 

I look forward to hearing from you in due course so we can look to
progress your request.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Business Services: Legal & Governance

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This e-mail may contain privileged information intended solely for the use
of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please accept our apologies and notify the sender,
deleting the e-mail afterwards. Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the e-mail's author and do not necessarily represent those of
Aberdeenshire Council.

Dh’fhaodadh fiosrachadh sochaire, a tha a-mhàin airson an neach gu bheil
am post-dealain air a chur, a bhith an seo. Ma tha thu air am post-dealain
fhaighinn mar mhearachd, gabh ar leisgeul agus cuir fios chun an neach a
chuir am post-dealain agus dubh às am post-dealain an dèidh sin. ’S e
beachdan an neach a chuir am post-dealain a tha ann an gin sam bith a
thèid a chur an cèill agus chan eil e a’ ciallachadh gu bheil iad a’
riochdachadh beachdan Chomhairle Shiorrachd Obar Dheathain.

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clark Simpson, Aberdeenshire Council

Dear F. Taylor,

 

I thank you for your previous email.

 

On assessing this it is my understanding you are interested in the
following information:

 

Copies of all correspondence received by and sent to Westhill and Elrick
Community Council (WECC) (incl. its members, office-bearers, personnel,
committees and sub-committees) that make reference to the following
parties or offices within the Council: "Garioch Area Office", "Garioch
Area Manager", "Legal and Governance Department", "Chief Executive",
"Chief Executive's Office" and "any duly elected or appointed
office-bearers or deputes" or "third parties in the same context" from the
1st of March 2018 to the 3rd of August 2018.

 

On considering this we are still of the view that in order to provide you
with a full and accurate response all officers and elected members within
the council would require to check their records in order to establish
whether they correspondence with the WECC (incl. any members) during the
period in question and also whether or not this made reference to any of
the parties or offices listed in the request.  

 

As you will no doubt appreciate this is likely to take a substantial
amount of officer and member time to complete and we believe that the
overall response cost would exceed the £600 limit which is provided in the
legislation.

 

As a result we wondered whether you wished to narrow the remit or your
request by either providing further clarity in terms of the specific
information you are after or by perhaps limiting the request to particular
parties (e.g. “The information contained within all correspondences
received from and sent to WECC by the following offices or parties within
the Council during the period: 01/03/18 to 03/08/18 - The Garioch Area
Office; The Garioch Area Manager; The Legal and Governance Department; The
Chief Executive and The Chief Executive's Office.”) as this step may well
significantly reduce the response costs involved and ensure that we are
able to provide you with the specific information which you seek.    

 

I look forward to hearing from you in due course so we can look to
progress your request.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Business Services: Legal & Governance

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This e-mail may contain privileged information intended solely for the use
of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please accept our apologies and notify the sender,
deleting the e-mail afterwards. Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the e-mail's author and do not necessarily represent those of
Aberdeenshire Council.

Dh’fhaodadh fiosrachadh sochaire, a tha a-mhàin airson an neach gu bheil
am post-dealain air a chur, a bhith an seo. Ma tha thu air am post-dealain
fhaighinn mar mhearachd, gabh ar leisgeul agus cuir fios chun an neach a
chuir am post-dealain agus dubh às am post-dealain an dèidh sin. ’S e
beachdan an neach a chuir am post-dealain a tha ann an gin sam bith a
thèid a chur an cèill agus chan eil e a’ ciallachadh gu bheil iad a’
riochdachadh beachdan Chomhairle Shiorrachd Obar Dheathain.

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Clark Simpson,

>>> As you will no doubt appreciate this is likely to take a substantial amount of officer and member time to complete and we believe that the overall response cost would exceed the £600 limit which is provided in the
legislation. <<<

I don't see why that should be the case, unless you have reason to believe there was a lot of information flowing to and from the "members, office-bearers, personnel, committees and sub-committees" in addition to that to and from "The Garioch Area Office; The Garioch Area Manager; The Legal and Governance Department; The Chief Executive and The Chief Executive's Office." and for the pertiod in question. There is a suspicion that you may be trying to limit or frustrate my FOI request.

>>> As a result we wondered whether you wished to narrow the remit or your request by either providing further clarity in terms of the specific information you are after or by perhaps limiting the request to particular parties (e.g. “The information contained within all correspondences received from and sent to WECC by the following offices or parties within the Council during the period: 01/03/18 to 03/08/18 - The Garioch Area Office; The Garioch Area Manager; The Legal and Governance Department; The Chief Executive and The Chief Executive's Office.”) as this step may well significantly reduce the response costs involved and ensure that we are able to provide you with the specific information which you seek. <<<

So perhaps as a compromise, and for now, please comply with the request based on: “The information contained within all correspondences received from and sent to WECC [including all members, office-bearers and other directly-connected personnel], by the following offices or parties within the Council during the period: 01/03/18 to 03/09/18 - The Garioch Area Office; The Garioch Area Manager; The Legal and Governance Department; The Chief Executive and The Chief Executive's Office.”

Please note that I have also now extend the request end-date to today's date (see above), as it is A FULL MONTH since I submitted my original request. That also adds to my suspicions and concerns.

I hope that helps, and now look forward to receiving all the amended information requested sooner rather than later, following the delays which you appear to have created or promoted, and which I find disappointing.

The point here is about absolute transparency.

Yours sincerely,

F Taylor

Acknowledge email, Aberdeenshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your information request.

If you are making a request for information under FOI(S)A we will respond
within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.

If you are making a request for environmental information under EIRs we
will aim to respond within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.
However, for requests of a complex nature it could take us up to 40
working days. If so we will write and tell you this.

If you are making a request for information under DPA/GDPR we will respond
within the statutory timeframe of one month except in the case of complex
or numerous requests in which case this period may be extended by up to a
further two months. If so we will write and tell you this.

Information Requests Privacy Notice: [1]https://tinyurl.com/yac8kodc

Regards,
Aberdeenshire Information Enquiries

References

Visible links
1. https://tinyurl.com/yac8kodc

Dear Clark Simpson,

[Subject: Dealings with Westhill and Elrick Community Council (from March 2018 until 'now', i.e. 3 August 2018, being the date of my original FOI request.]

Aberdeenshire Council have delayed and failed to reply to my FOI request promptly, as is normally required by law.

In your response dated 3 September 2018, you stated: "If you are making a request for information under FOI(S)A we will respond within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days." That period began on 3 August 2018. As of 3 September, 21 working days had already expired since the original request.

You continued: "If you are making a request for environmental information under EIRs we will aim to respond within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days. However, for requests of a complex nature it could take us up to 40 working days. If so we will write and tell you this."

That was your last communication. You did not "write and tell [me] this". I therefore have no idea whether the request was considered to be "of a complex nature". Nevertheless, my assumption was that you would require up to the full 40 working days to respond. However, as of today, 42 working days have now expired (excluding public holidays) since my original request.

You will also recall that during our communications between 29 August and 3 September, I agreed to clarify and limit certain information within my original FOI request to accommodate you and remain within the cost budget of £600 stated. I therefore endeavoured to make it easier for you to comply with my FOI request.

Please advise within the next 48 hours when this FOI request will be complied with, otherwise the matter will be referred to Information Commissioner without further reference.

Yours sincerely,

F Taylor

Clark Simpson, Aberdeenshire Council

Mae'r neges hon wedi cael ei chuddio. This response is hidden from public view on WhatDoTheyKnow due to the presence of personal and potentially defamatory information apparently accidentally released by Aberdeenshire Council. An annotation below explains further. Cysylltwch â ni os oes gennych gwestiynau. Os chi sy'n gwneud y cais, gallwch fewngofnodi i weld y neges.

Wendyanne Pegler, Aberdeenshire Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Sir / Madam,

 

Please find attached a redacted version of the requested information.  The
previous version included some identifying personal details.  These have
been removed.

 

If you have any further queries, please advise.

 

Kind regards,

Wendyanne

 

Wendyanne Pegler

Solicitor (Commercial)

 

Legal & Governance

Business Services

Aberdeenshire Council

Woodhill House

Westburn Road

Aberdeen

AB16 5GB

 

Tel: 01467 536839

Email: [1][email address] 

 

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This e-mail may contain privileged information intended solely for the use
of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please accept our apologies and notify the sender,
deleting the e-mail afterwards. Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the e-mail's author and do not necessarily represent those of
Aberdeenshire Council.

Dh’fhaodadh fiosrachadh sochaire, a tha a-mhàin airson an neach gu bheil
am post-dealain air a chur, a bhith an seo. Ma tha thu air am post-dealain
fhaighinn mar mhearachd, gabh ar leisgeul agus cuir fios chun an neach a
chuir am post-dealain agus dubh às am post-dealain an dèidh sin. ’S e
beachdan an neach a chuir am post-dealain a tha ann an gin sam bith a
thèid a chur an cèill agus chan eil e a’ ciallachadh gu bheil iad a’
riochdachadh beachdan Chomhairle Shiorrachd Obar Dheathain.

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Gadawodd Richard Taylor anodiad ()

We have reviewed the council's replacement response. They have redacted more material than they did in their initial response

Some of the newly redacted material includes:

*Initials, names and email signatures of a council officer, and the name of another council officer.
* The covering letters which accompanied complaints against the community council and named councillors. This material identifies the complainant and the councillors in question.
* The names of a councillor and council officer engaged in correspondence.
* Sections of what looks like advice from Aberdeenshire Council to the community council.

The requester still has access to the material as originally released and they can be contacted by clicking on their name. We at WhatDoTheyKnow are not currently republishing the original response. We are primarily concerned about potentially defamatory content in the advice to the community council.

--
Richard - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

Dear Aberdeenshire Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Aberdeenshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Dealings with Westhill and Elrick Community Council (March 2018 until now)'.

Some parts were heavily redacted for no good reason. Other parts (according to their solicitor and WDTK) contained revealed various individuals' personal data and potentially defamatory information. Something cannot be right. It looks like both incompetence and a cover-up.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

F Taylor

FOI Reviews, Aberdeenshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REVIEW REQUEST

 

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 16 October, 2018,
requesting a review of the Council’s response to your request for ‘Dealing
with Westhill and Elrick Community Council (March 2018 until now).

 

The Council’s Internal Review Procedure provides for a Review Panel of
senior officers to consider written submissions from both sides.  If there
is anything more you wish to put before the Review Panel in addition to
the comments in your review request, please let me have that as soon as
possible and by no later than Friday 2 November, 2018.  You are entitled
to have the decision of the Review Panel sent to you within 20 working
days of my receipt of your email.  That means my reply with the decision
of the Review Panel has to be sent by 13 November, 2018.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Ann Riddell

Clerk to Review Panel

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This e-mail may contain privileged information intended solely for the use
of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please accept our apologies and notify the sender,
deleting the e-mail afterwards. Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the e-mail's author and do not necessarily represent those of
Aberdeenshire Council.

Dh’fhaodadh fiosrachadh sochaire, a tha a-mhàin airson an neach gu bheil
am post-dealain air a chur, a bhith an seo. Ma tha thu air am post-dealain
fhaighinn mar mhearachd, gabh ar leisgeul agus cuir fios chun an neach a
chuir am post-dealain agus dubh às am post-dealain an dèidh sin. ’S e
beachdan an neach a chuir am post-dealain a tha ann an gin sam bith a
thèid a chur an cèill agus chan eil e a’ ciallachadh gu bheil iad a’
riochdachadh beachdan Chomhairle Shiorrachd Obar Dheathain.

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ann Riddell, Aberdeenshire Council

2 Atodiad

Dear F Taylor

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REVIEW REQUEST

 

I refer to my e-mail of 17 October, 2018 in connection with the above
matter and now write to advise you of the decision of the Freedom of
Information Review Panel relating to your request for information.

 

The Review Panel found in favour of the authority and I attach the
Decision Notice from the Panel and the Statement of Reasons.

 

I hope that this will make it clear how the Panel arrived at their
judgement.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk to Review Panel

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This e-mail may contain privileged information intended solely for the use
of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please accept our apologies and notify the sender,
deleting the e-mail afterwards. Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the e-mail's author and do not necessarily represent those of
Aberdeenshire Council.

Dh’fhaodadh fiosrachadh sochaire, a tha a-mhàin airson an neach gu bheil
am post-dealain air a chur, a bhith an seo. Ma tha thu air am post-dealain
fhaighinn mar mhearachd, gabh ar leisgeul agus cuir fios chun an neach a
chuir am post-dealain agus dubh às am post-dealain an dèidh sin. ’S e
beachdan an neach a chuir am post-dealain a tha ann an gin sam bith a
thèid a chur an cèill agus chan eil e a’ ciallachadh gu bheil iad a’
riochdachadh beachdan Chomhairle Shiorrachd Obar Dheathain.

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------