FOI Request - Communication with Vote Leave

Guy Basnett made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Electoral Commission

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

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Electoral Commission,

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for:

1. A list of all email and document-based (for example but not limited to letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission and Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1 January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017. For each item in the list, please provide the date the communication was sent or received, the name of the sender and recipient, the title or reference of the item, and a summary description of the item's contents.

2. Copies of all the email and document-based (for example but not limited to letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission and Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1 January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017.

If my request is refused either in whole or in part, please make specific reference to exemptions within FOIA.

Yours faithfully,

Guy Basnett

FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Guy,

 

Our Ref: FOI 186/17

 

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act dated 26
November 2017 received by the Commission on 27 November 2017 concerning:

 

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for:

 

1. A list of all email and document-based (for example but not limited to
letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission and
Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1
January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017. For each item in the
list, please provide the date the communication was sent or received, the
name of the sender and recipient, the title or reference of the item, and
a summary description of the item's contents.

 

2. Copies of all the email and document-based (for example but not limited
to letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission
and Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1
January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017.

 

If my request is refused either in whole or in part, please make specific
reference to exemptions within FOIA.

 

 

The Commission aims to respond to requests for information promptly and
within the statutory timeframe of twenty working days.

 

You may expect to receive a reply sent from the Commission by 27 December
2017.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Humayra Siddika

Information Management Adviser

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

[1]electoralcommission.org.uk

[2]yourvotematters.co.uk

 

[3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Blog

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
2. https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
3. https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK
4. https://www.facebook.com/electoralcommis...
5. http://ukelectoralcommission.wordpress.c...

FOI, Electoral Commission

FOI 186/17

 

Dear Louise,

 

The Commission has received the following FOI request:

 

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for:

 

1. A list of all email and document-based (for example but not limited to
letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission and
Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1
January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017. For each item in the
list, please provide the date the communication was sent or received, the
name of the sender and recipient, the title or reference of the item, and
a summary description of the item's contents.

 

2. Copies of all the email and document-based (for example but not limited
to letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission
and Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1
January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017.

 

If my request is refused either in whole or in part, please make specific
reference to exemptions within FOIA.

 

For information, here is a link to the [1]FOI Internal Procedure 

 

You have been identified as the MT member responsible for preparing the
response and ensuring that it is sent out to the requester as soon as
possible and within the 20 working days statutory deadline for FOI
requests. For this request the 20 working day deadline falls on 27/12/17
but we should aim to get the response out in advance of that date if
possible.

 

If you are not the right MT member to lead on this request, it is your
responsibility to pass on the request to that person as a matter of
urgency.

 

Please update the FOI log every Friday with details of the progress in
responding to the request.  This should include the risk level and who is
involved in preparing the response. 

 

o If Third Party consultation is required, please ensure that this is
done at the earliest opportunity, preferably by the end of day 3. This
will ensure little hold up in made in preparing the response.
o If you decide that this FOI is deemed high risk, please inform me as
soon as possible so that we can plan a realistic schedule to meet the
deadline.

 

Please insert your answer to the request into this relevant [2]FOI
Response Letter Template.docx

 

Once the draft has been completed, and approved if it is a higher risk
request, please send it to the Information Management team who will send
the response out to the requester.

 

All emails and documents that need to be retained as a record of the
Commission’s actions in responding to the request should be stored in this
folder: Skynet/DM/Functions/Information Management/FOI DPA Requests/
Communication with Vote Leave.

 

As MT lead for this request, is your responsibility to ensure that they
are there ready for review in the event of a request for internal review
of an FOI response, or a request for information from the Information
Commissioner’s Office.

 

Please could you also fill in the time recording sheet for this FOI
request here [3]Time Recording FOI 186_17.xlsx

 

Enter time in 15 minute segments  e.g. 15 minutes = 1; 30 mins = 2; 45
minutes = 3; 60 minutes = 4, etc.  This is cumulative time per task across
the entire FOI rather than by day.  Select your team from the dropdown
menu options.

 

Please get back to me with any questions.

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Humayra Siddika

Information Management Adviser

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
020 7271 0618

[4]electoralcommission.org.uk

[5]yourvotematters.co.uk

 

[6]Twitter | [7]Facebook | [8]Blog

 

References

Visible links
1. http://skynet/HowTo/Manage%20information...
2. http://skynet/dm/Functions/IM/Requests%2...
3. http://skynet/dm/Functions/IM/Requests%2...
4. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
5. https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
6. https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK
7. https://www.facebook.com/electoralcommis...
8. http://ukelectoralcommission.wordpress.c...

FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Guy Basnett,

 

I am writing to update you on the progress of the FOI request our
reference FOI 186/17 which you submitted to the Commission on 26 November
2017, related to correspondence with Vote Leave.

 

The Commission does hold information that is related to your request. 
 Your first questions asks the commission to create a document and extract
details of the correspondence including the dates of correspondence with
Vote Leave.  The FOI scheme does not require the Commission to create
information or analyse information sets to fulfil a request.   We consider
that this question requests us to do this so falls outside of the scope of
FOIA. 

 

In relation to your second question the Commission has already published
through a previous FOI response FOI 149/17 correspondence with Vote Leave
up to 30 June 2017 and it is accessible to you via the link below on our
website.

[1]https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/_...

 

The Commission is therefore considers that your request covers only
information not previously reviewed or released under FOIA dating from
from the 01 July 2017 up to the date of your request was received.   The
Commission regrets that we have not been able to complete this within the
20 working day statutory deadline due to the volume of requests at this
time and the number of items.     

 

We are considering the appropriate public interest test on the information
we hold.  The Commission is applying the public interest deadline
extension of 20 working days to respond to this request. The Commission
will aim to respond before the extended deadline if possible.

 

Please expect to hear from us by Thursday 25 January 2018.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Ashley  

 

Ashley Lardner

Information, Knowledge and Systems Manager

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
[2][Electoral Commission request email]

[3]electoralcommission.org.uk

[4]yourvotematters.co.uk

 

[5]Twitter | [6]Facebook | [7]Blog

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/_...
2. mailto:[Electoral Commission request email]
3. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
4. https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
5. https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK
6. https://www.facebook.com/electoralcommis...
7. http://ukelectoralcommission.wordpress.c...

FOI, Electoral Commission

11 Atodiad

Dear Mr Basnett,

 

Our Ref: FOI 186/17

 

Thank you for your email to the Electoral Commission dated 26 November
2017.

 

The Commission aims to respond to requests for information promptly and
regrets that on this occasion we have not done so.

 

Your request is in bold below followed by our response.

 

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for:

 

1. A list of all email and document-based (for example but not limited to
letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission and
Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1
January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017. For each item in the
list, please provide the date the communication was sent or received, the
name of the sender and recipient, the title or reference of the item, and
a summary description of the item's contents.

 

2. Copies of all the email and document-based (for example but not limited
to letter, memo, fax, etc) communication between the Electoral Commission
and Vote Leave (including any recognised members of Vote Leave), between 1
January 2016 and today's date, 26 November 2017.

 

If my request is refused either in whole or in part, please make specific
reference to exemptions within FOIA.

 

Our response is as follows:

 

We hold the information you have requested.

 

The Commission has previously released correspondence under a FOI request
from 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2016 between us and Vote Leave (see
[1]here). This includes correspondence with individuals associated with
Vote Leave. Therefore, this request releases relevant correspondence
between 1 July 2016 and 26 November 2017. 

 

You will find the name of the sender/ receiver of the correspondence and
dates in the attached correspondence. We have not provided you with a list
or a summary of the items’ contents as we are not required to do this
under the Act. 

 

Exemptions under Section 31

 

You will be aware that the Commission has opened an investigation into
Vote Leave’s EU referendum spending return (see statement on our website
[2]here). In light of this investigation, the Commission has applied
exemptions to some correspondence which relates to this investigation.
This includes correspondence prior to the opening of the investigation
which forms part of our investigation. Section 31(1)(g) of the FOI Act
provides for exemption from disclosure of information which has been held
at any time for a variety of law enforcement interests. For example,
information may be exempt under section 31(1)(g) if its disclosure under
the FOI Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or
detection of crime. The exemption under section 31(1)(g) is subject to the
public interest test. We are satisfied that given the ongoing
investigation it is not in the public interest to release this
information.

 

Exemptions under Section 40

 

You will notice that certain personal details have been redacted from the
documents we are releasing. This redaction is necessary because section
40(2) and (3)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) Act provides
that personal data, where its disclosure would breach one of the data
protection principles, is exempt from disclosure. The first data
protection principle states that personal data must be processed fairly
and lawfully. The Commission considers that it would be unfair to release
the names and personal contact details of junior officials, who were not
employed in public facing roles and did not act as spokespersons for their
employer, as those individuals would have a reasonable expectation that
this personal data would not be disclosed to the general public.

 

I trust that this information satisfies your request. The Commission
strives to be an open, transparent authority. If you are not satisfied
with this response, please note that the Commission operates a review
procedure, details of which can be found on the Commission website at:
[3]http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/ab....

 

Please also note that if you have exhausted all internal Commission review
procedures and you are still not satisfied you have the right to appeal to
the Information Commissioner. Details of this procedure can be found on
the ICO website: [4]https://ico.org.uk/

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Humayra Siddika

Information Management Adviser

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

[5]electoralcommission.org.uk

[6]yourvotematters.co.uk

 

[7]Twitter | [8]Facebook | [9]Blog

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/_...
2. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i...
3. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/ab...
4. https://ico.org.uk/
5. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
6. https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
7. https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK
8. https://www.facebook.com/electoralcommis...
9. http://ukelectoralcommission.wordpress.c...