Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

FOI2020/01810 has clearly shown that Jim Harra and other very senior officials are personally crafting and/or vetting the response to FOI requests, with the objective to “control the narrative”.

This is definitely an unexpected behaviour and suggests there is a desire to hide or omit information, or to ‘spin it’ in a way which is useful to HMRC . To clear that doubt, can you please:

1. Confirm if Jim Harra examines the responses to ALL FOI requests?

2. If that’s not the case, please report what percentage of the RESPONSES to FOI requests received in 2020 were vetted/examined by Jim Harra.

3. Please disclose all emails to/from Jim Harra in 2019 and 2020 that contain the keywords “FOI” or “freedom of information”. Please note:
- the keyword “FOI” should also match “FOIA”.
- If the search returns too many results , please restrict its scope to 2020 only.
- if the search still returns too many results, further restrict it to only emails FROM Jim Harra.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Matt Smith

FOI Team, Cyllid a Thollau Ei Mawrhydi

Our ref: FOI2021/01085

Dear Mr Smith,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Acknowledgement

Thank you for your communication of 7th February which has been passed to
HMRC's Freedom of Information Team.

We have allocated the above reference which you should quote if you need
to contact us.

The Team will arrange for a reply to be sent to you which will either
comply with HMRC's obligations under Freedom of Information Act or, if we
think it's an enquiry that we don't need to address under the terms of the
Act, let you know why. If it is the latter we will, if possible, pass it
on to a more appropriate part of the Department fo r answer.

As you will appreciate, the coronavirus pandemic has provided
unprecedented challenges for Government Departments including HMRC. Over
the coming weeks our priorities are to provide critical existing and new
Public Services for Government to support customers during this difficult
time. As a result, resources may be diverted away from usual compliance or
information rights work. HMRC aims to respond to all FOIA Requests within
20 working days. If for whatever reason this timescale cannot be complied
with HMRC will, where possible, write to you explaining the reason for the
delay and providing an estimated time for response.

Yours sincerely

HMRC Freedom of Information Act Team

FOI Team, Cyllid a Thollau Ei Mawrhydi

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Smith,

We are writing in response to your request for information, received 7
February.

Yours sincerely,

HMRC Freedom of Information Team

FOI Team, Cyllid a Thollau Ei Mawrhydi

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Smith,

We are writing in response to your request for information, received 7
February.

Yours sincerely,

HMRC Freedom of Information Team