Finance Minister Correspondence

Ed Robb made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Department of Finance (Northern Ireland) Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Department of Finance (Northern Ireland),

I would ask that this letter is accepted as a Freedom of Information request.

Please provide a copy of a letter received by Minister Hamilton on or around 02/05/2015. The letter in question was received from a Small Business Owner and apparently contained a number of allegations.

In addition please also provide:
1) a copy of any response letter issued to the Small Business Owner by or on behalf of the Minister,
2) a copy of any emails sent or received during the time between receipt of and response to the Small Business Owner's letter,
3) a copy of any meeting notes prepared during the time between receipt of and response to the Small Business Owner's letter.

Please acknowledge receipt of this Freedom of Information request.

Yours faithfully,

Ed Robb

DoF FOI, Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)

Good morning,

The Department of Finance acknowledges receipt of your request for information - your reference number is DOF/2020-0007

A link to the Departments Information Access Requests Privacy Notice is provided below.

https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/sites/defa...

Transparency and Open Government

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

DoF FOI, Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon,

Please see attached response to your recent request for information.

Kind regards

Transparency and Open Government

------< HPE Records Manager record Information >------

Record Number : FI1/20/93864
Title : FOI DOF/2020-0007 Response

Dear Department of Finance (Northern Ireland),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)'s handling of my FOI request 'Finance Minister Correspondence'.

In my view the Department's attempt to seek to take advantage of the cost exemption is no more than a "shameful" attempt to avoid disclosing information which could/may have the potential to embarrass both the Department and the former Minister.

On the basis that behaviours / failures acknowledged in evidence to the RHI enquiry there is a level of probability that the detail requested in 2) & 3) of my request may never have existed in the first place - requests 2) and 3) are hereby withdrawn.

Since the terms of my request are now reduced there are two less reasons why cost should be the reason why a letter to a Minister and the Minister's response cannot be located and published.

Of course you will already know that the legislation provides no exemption for either cover-ups or avoidance of scrutiny

As far as cost is concerned it shouldn't take a competent official long to search through Ministerial and Departmental correspondence/emails etc for a few days around the date stated on the original request. Maybe start with the TRIM system.

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

I await your responses to this Internal Review request.

Yours faithfully,

Ed Robb

Dear DoF FOI,

Please acknowledge receipt of my request for an internal review of the Department's responses to my Freedom of Information request.

At the same time please confirm work on the review has actually commenced.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Robb

DoF FOI, Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)

Good afternoon,

Please accept my apologies, your acknowledgement was forwarded to an incorrect email address on the 29th January, work has commenced on the refined request.

Please see below. Your previous emails have been copied into the chain below.

Transparency and Open Government

From: DOF FOI Approval
Sent: 29 January 2020 12:27
To: XXXXX
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - DOF/2020-0043 acknowledgement

Good afternoon,

The Department of Finance acknowledges receipt of your refined request for information - your reference number is DOF/2020-0043

"to provide a copy of a letter received by Minister Hamilton on or around 02/05/2015. The letter in question was received from a Small Business Owner and apparently contained a number of allegations.

In addition please also provide:
1) a copy of any response letter issued to the Small Business Owner by or on behalf of the Minister,

A link to the Departments Information Access Requests Privacy Notice is provided below.

https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/sites/defa...

Transparency and Open Government.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

DoF FOI, Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon,

Please see attached response to your recent request for information.

Transparency and Open Government

------< HPE Records Manager record Information >------

Record Number : FI1/20/146021
Title : FOI DOF/2020-0043 Final Response

Gadawodd Ed Robb anodiad ()

Is it only in Northern Ireland that a Department of State is unable to locate a former Minister's formal correspondence?

What is the normal policy for the retention of such correspondence?

Assuming there is such a policy was the policy followed in this instance?