FOI questions

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Northern Ireland),

1. To detail the travel and subsistence costs incurred by the Department for the First Minister and deputy First Minister on trips outside Northern Ireland in each year of the 2007-11 mandate, broken down by the costs incurred by (i) the First Minister; (ii) the deputy First Minister; (iii) special advisers; and (iv) support staff?

2. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister (i) to detail the arrangements relating to the recruitment, status and payment of their ministerial drivers; (ii) whether the arrangements differ from those that were in place prior to 1 April 2011; and (iii) if so, how the arrangements differ?

3. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister to detail (i) how many traffic accidents the deputy First Minister’s driver has been involved in since May 2007; (ii) how many of these were his responsibility; (iii) how many resulted in prosecution; and (iv) how much has been paid in compensation to third parties?

4. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister (i) whether they were consulted on, and consented to, the decision taken by the Department of Finance and Personnel on 18 July 2011 to increase the upper limit of the Band B salary scale for Special Advisers to £90,000; (ii) when they became aware of the planned increase; and (iii) what input they had to the decision?

5. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister to detail (i) the total cost of their visit to the USA in September/October 2011 and (ii) who accompanied them on their visit?

6. How does OFMDFM determine which nomination form for an honour to submit to the Cabinet Office when a person who resides outside Northern Ireland submits a form to their office?

7. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister to detail the results of the market research that was carried out by Colliers International on the proposed Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre at the Maze/Long Kesh site?

8. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister whether the Executive is currently making any plans to mark the occasion of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, in consultation with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports?

9. What funding is available for community groups to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee?

10. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister what plans they have to mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee by way of a gift on behalf of her subjects in this part of the UK?

11. Please detail the number of children in the (i) Upper Bann; (ii) Banbridge; (iii) Lurgan; and (iv) Portadown areas who were deemed to be living in (a) relative poverty; (b) mixed poverty; and (c) absolute poverty in each of the last five years?

12. Has the First Minister and/or deputy First Minister have had any discussions with the Secretary of State to ensure that the Irish Government is invited to play a central role in any discussions to find a comprehensive mechanism for dealing with the past?

13. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister (i) how many children have been living in poverty in the last three years; and (ii) for their assessment of the potential impact of the Welfare Reform Bill on the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020?

14. Will the First Minister and deputy First Minister give an assurance that their Department has given all possible help to the Gallagher family, from Londonderry, in their humanitarian quest to identify the murderer of their 9 year old son, Gordon?

15. To ask the First Minister and deputy First Minister whether they will assist the relatives of victims by calling on all persons in elected office who have information on terrorist-related crimes to report this information?

16. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister (i) whether the serving Commissioners of the Commission for Victims and Survivors will be offered a four year extension, which is an option within their current contracts; and (ii) if not, what is the future of the Commission?

17. Will the First Minister and deputy First Minister clarify (i) whether officials were asked to investigate and report urgently on the issue of the Crossmaglen republican monument; (ii) by what date; and (iii) whether a report has been received and if it will be published.

18. Will OFMDFM detail the process, including Ministerial involvement, in the drafting of the Civil Service’s submission to the review of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act by the Westminster Justice Committee?

19. In relation to the First Minister and deputy First Minister how much has been paid to photographers, or other service providers, for the provision of photographic services to the Executive for work outside Northern Ireland since May 2007?

20. In light of the Peter Hain controversy, whether the Attorney General still enjoys the confidence of both the First and Deputy First Ministers?

Yours faithfully,

Ben

Dear Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Northern Ireland),

Just to clarify as you will need it my surname is Brown.

Yours faithfully,

Ben

Davidson, Karen,

1 Atodiad

Mr Brown

Please see attached correspondence.

Many thanks

Karen Davidson
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
OFMDFM
A5.18 Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SR

Dear Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Northern Ireland),

Why is the response to this request delayed? By law OFMDFM should have responded by the 20 June 2012. When will a reply be issued?

Yours faithfully,

Ben

OFMDFM FOI,

Mr Brown

We are not in a position to respond to your request at this time as it is still under consideration.

Many thanks

Karen Davidson
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
OFMDFM
A5.18 Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SR

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

1 Atodiad

Mr Brown
 
Please see attached correspondence.
 
Many thanks
 
Karen Davidson
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
OFMDFM
A5.18 Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SR
 
 
 
 

Dear Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Northern Ireland),

I have revised my questions. Please therefore treat this as a new request.

1. To detail the travel and subsistence costs incurred by OFMDFM for all staff and Ministers for travel outside of Northern Ireland in the financial year 2011/2012?

2. What consultation took place between OFMDFM and DFP in relation to increases for special advisers in July 2011?

3. What was the cost to the department for the junket that the First Minister and deputy First Minister went on to the USA in September/October 2011?

4. What material was produced for the First Minister and deputy First Minister to base their opinion to give the go ahead to the Conflict Resolution Centre at the Maze/Long Kesh site?

5. What was the cost incurred to OFMDFM for the gift that the First Minister presented to the Queen to mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee?

6. What assistance has OFMDFM given to the
Gallagher family, from Londonderry, in their humanitarian quest to identify the murderer of their 9 year old son, Gordon?

7. What protection does OFMDFM give to staff who hold information on crimes that would send an Executive Minister or advisers to prison?

8. What plans has OFMDFM for the serving Commissioners of the Commission for Victims and Survivors?

9. What action OFMDFM took to investigate and report urgently on the issue of the Crossmaglen republican monument?

10. Will OFMDFM detail the process, including Ministerial involvement, in the drafting of the Civil Service’s submission to the review of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act by
the Westminster Justice Committee?

11. How much has the department spend on photographers and the provision of photographic services to the Executive since May 2007?

12. How much has the department spent on stationery each year since 2007?

Yours faithfully,

Ben Brown

1 Atodiad

Mr Brown

Please see attached correspondence.

Many thanks

Karen Davidson
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
OFMDFM
A5.18 Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SR

Dear OFMDFM FOI,

Where is my response? You should have issued me a response months ago.

Yours sincerely,

Ben

Dear Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Northern Ireland),

According to your website "the FOI Act empowers people, giving everyone a general right of access to the information they want to see, that is held by public authorities in the UK."

It also states the FOI act "places a statutory duty on bodies covered by the act". Furthermore your website states "We will provide you with a response within 20 working days of receiving the request."

Where is my response? By law, under all circumstances, OFMDFM should have responded by now.

Yours faithfully,

Ben

OFMDFM FOI,

Ben,

I acknowledge receipt of your email below. I have to inform you that your FOI request is still under consideration within the department, and I would like to apologise for the delay.

Moira Anderson
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch (IMCAB)
OFMDFM
Room A5.18
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
BELFAST
BT4 3SR

Tel: 028 9052 8634
Email: [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Rodney Breen anodiad ()

Ben - they have failed to answer your enquiry within the statutory period. You are entitled, under the law, to appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

If you appeal to the ICO, they will investigate and ask the authority to respond. My advice would be to appeal straight away.

Gadawodd Ben anodiad ()

Hi thanks for your message. I have had regular contact with the ICO about this incompetent authority. OFMDFM have a history of poor performances -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ir...

Anderson, Moira,

1 Atodiad

Mr Brown,
Please see the attached response in relation to your requests to this Department.

Moira Anderson
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch (IMCAB)
OFMDFM
Room A5.18
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
BELFAST
BT4 3SR

Email: [OFMDFM request email]

Anderson, Moira,

1 Atodiad

Mr Brown,
I'm forwarding this email again as I'm not sure from looking at the below that it has in fact gone to the second 'whatdotheyknow' address that you provided. Please let me know if there are any problems with receipt.
Thanks,
Moira Anderson

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Rodney Breen anodiad ()

Ben,

the grounds of this refusal - that failure to meet the appropriate deadline on responses to Assembly questions entitles the Department to withhold the same response to a Freedom of Information request - is based on a bizarre interpretation of the public affairs exemption, and I very much doubt the Information Commissioner would uphold this. If you have not already appealed to the Commissioner I would urge you to do so, as a matter of public interest.