Impact of Covid-19 on FOI responsiveness E&W

Dr Karen Mc Cullagh made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Flintshire County Council as part of a batch sent to 156 authorities

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Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dr Karen Mc Cullagh

Dear Sir/Madam,

1. For the period 16th March – 17th July 2020 (i.e., when ICO had indicated a sympathetic approach to delay), provide precise data if available e.g., 15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate e.g., 10%, for these questions:
(a) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 20 working days of receipt by your organisation?
(b) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 20 working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?
(c) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 21 and 60 working days of receipt by your organisation?
(d) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 21 and 60 working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?

2. For the period 18th July – 8th October 2020 (i.e., during the ‘preparing for recovery’ phase), provide precise data if available e.g., 15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate e.g., 10%, for these questions:
(a) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 20 working days of receipt by your organisation?
(b) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 20 working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?
(c) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 21 and 60 working days of receipt by your organisation?
(d) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 21 and 60 working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?

3. During the period 1st March to 30th October 2020, provide precise data if available e.g., 15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate e.g., 10%, for these questions:
(a) how many responses to FOI requests were issued more than 60 working days after receipt of the request?
(b) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued more than 60 working days after receipt of a request for an internal review?

4. When FOI request or review responses were issued more than 21 working days after receipt during the period 1st March and 30th October 2020, what were the main reasons for the delay? e.g., closure of premises due to Covid-19, reallocation of resources due to Covid-19, staff shortages due to Covid-19, absence of key staff due to Covid-19, limited access to necessary systems due to Covid-19, other issue related/unrelated to Covid19.

5. In relation to the FOI requests received by your organisation between 1st March and 30th October 2020, what proportion related directly to Covid-19, your organisation's Covid-19 response or impact of the pandemic on your organisation? (Provide precise data if available e.g., 15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate e.g., 10%)

6. On 17th July 2020 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched a self-assessment Freedom of Information toolkit (FOI self-assessment toolkit | ICO) to help public authorities respond to FOI requests as they prepared to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Does, or has your organisation ever, use/d the toolkit? If so, please explain whether it has it had any positive outcomes.
- If your organisation has not/does not make use of the toolkit, please explain why not.

7. In response to Covid19, has the volume of information your organisation publishes:
- not changed
- significantly increased
- significantly decreased
- don’t know

8. Has your organisation taken steps to proactively publish information relating to Covid-19, your organisation's Covid-19 response or the impact of the pandemic on your organisation? If it includes a dedicated webpage, please provide a link to the webpage.

If you wish to contact me for more information before responding, please see my contact details below.

Thank you for your time and effort in responding to these questions.

Yours faithfully,

Karen

Dr Karen Mc Cullagh, Lecturer in Law
UEA Law School, 205 Earlham Hall, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ

Research webpage: https://www.karenmccullagh.co.uk/covid-1...
About me: https://research-portal.uea.ac.uk/en/per...

Flintshire County Council

Good Morning,

Thank you for your recent request for information.

This request has been allocated reference number: F00020496

The Contact Officer for Governance will respond to your request in line
with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We will respond to your request
as soon as possible and no later than 07/07/2022. In some cases, however,
we may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this occurs, we will advise
you of the likely timescale within which the response will be provided. We
will contact you as soon as possible should we need to clarify your
request.

Should you send any further correspondence about this request, please
include the reference number and either email it to [Flintshire County Council request email],
or post it to Freedom of Information, Flintshire County Council,
Information Governance, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 6NB.

Kind regards

Contact Officer

Privacy Notice

Your data will be processed by Flintshire County Council only for the
specific purposes of processing your information request. The processing
of your personal data is necessary in order to complete your information
request in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004. 

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If you feel that Flintshire County Council has mishandled your personal
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Officer by emailing [email address] 

For further information on our complaints procedure please follow this
link
https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/cy/PDFFile...

Alternatively you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office by
visiting their website or by calling their helpline on 0303 123 1113.

For further information about how Flintshire County Council processes
personal data and your rights please see our privacy notice on our website
-
https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Residen...

FOI Contact Officer

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

FOI Contact Officer  |  Swyddog Cyswllt Rhyddid Gwybodaeth
Governance  |  Llywodraethu
Flintshire County Council   |  Cyngor Sir y Fflint  

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Email   |  Ebost   |  [Flintshire County Council request email]  
http://www.flintshire.gov.uk   |  http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk  
http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc   |  http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint
 

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

The contents of this communication and any enclosed documents may be
subject to copyright protection. It has been sent to you for your
information and you may use it for any non-commercial research you may be
doing or undertaking. Its contents can also be used for the purposes of
news reporting. Any other re-use, for example, commercial publication or
publication on a website, requires the permission of this Council. If you
wish to re-use this information please contact us, letting us know how you
wish to re-use it and what the intended audience will be so that we can
consider your request. This information should be sent to: The Information
Governance Manager, Information Governance Team, Flintshire County
Council, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire CH7 6NB, or
[email address].

If you are dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request for
information, you can ask for an internal review within 2 months of the
date of this response. Where your complaint is a complex one it may not be
possible to deal with it within the above timescales. In such a situation
a progress report will be sent within the above timescales.

Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Council’s
Information Governance Manager at:

Information Governance Team, County Hall, Mold, CH7 6NA

Or by emailing [Flintshire County Council request email]

Please remember to quote your original request’s reference number.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a
complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Gellir cynnwys y ddogfen gyfathrebu hon ac unrhyw ddogfennau amgaeêdig yn
amodol ar hawlfraint. Hyn anfonwyd atoch er gwybodaeth i chi a gallwch ei
ddefnyddio ar gyfer unrhyw ymchwil anfasnachol yr ydych yn ei wneud neu
ymgymryd â. Gellir hefyd defnyddio ei gynnwys at ddibenion adrodd
newyddion. Os oes angen i chi ailddefnyddio’r wybodaeth mewn unrhyw fordd
arall, er enghraifft, cyhoeddi neu gyhoeddi masnachol ar wefan, mae angen
caniatâd gyn y Cyngor. Os hoffech ailddefnyddio’r wybodaeth, cysylltwch â
ni, gan roi gwybod i ni sut rydych chi yn bwriadu ei ailddefnyddio a beth
fydd y gynulleidfa a fwriadwyd fel y gallwn ystyriwch eich cais. Dylid
anfon y wybodaeth hon at: Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Tîm
Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Neuadd Y Sir, Yr Wyddgrug, Sir Y Fflint, CH7 6NB,
neu drwy e-bostio [email address].

Os ydych yn anfodlon â’r modd y mae’r Cyngor wedi ymdrin eich cais am
wybodaeth, gallwch ofyn am adolygiad mewnol o fewn 2 fis o dyddiad yr
ymateb hwn. Lle mae’ch cwyn yn un cymhleth efallai na fydd yn bosib delio
ag ef o fewn yr amserlen uchod. Mewn sefyllfa o’r fath, bydd adroddiad
cynnydd yn cael ei anfon o fewn yr amserlen.

Dylech anfon cais am adolygiad mewnol i’r Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth
y Cyngor:

Team Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Neuadd y Sir, Yr Wyddgrug, Sir Y Fflint, CH7
6NB

Neu drwy e-bostio [Flintshire County Council request email]

Cofiwch ddyfynnu rhif cyfeirnod eich cais gwreiddiol.

Mae gennych hawl hefyd i gwyno wrth y Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth. Gallwch
gysylltu â’r Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth yn y cyfeiriad canlynol:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Fodd bynnag, dylech nodi nad yw’r Comisiynydd fel arfer yn ymchwilio i
gwyn nes ei fod wedi bod drwy ein proses adolygu fewnol.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Flintshire County Council

Dear Dr Cullagh

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. Please see responses to
your questions below:

1. For the period 16th March – 17th July 2020 (i.e., when ICO had
indicated a sympathetic approach to delay), provide precise data if
available e.g., 15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate
e.g., 10%, for these questions: 

(a) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 20 working days
of receipt by your organisation?  

Out of the 199 requests responded to for the period above, 147 were
responded to within 20 working days. 

(b) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 20
working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?  

Out of the 2 requests logged for the period above, 2 were responded to
within 20 working days. 

(c) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 21 and 60
working days of receipt by your organisation? 

Out of the 199 requests responded to for the period above, 46 were
responded to within 21 and 60 working days. 

(d) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 21 and 60
working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?

N/A as all responded to on time. 

2. For the period 18th July – 8th October 2020 (i.e., during the
‘preparing for recovery’ phase), provide precise data if available e.g.,
15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate e.g., 10%, for
these questions: 

(a) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 20 working days
of receipt by your organisation?  

Out of the 184 requests responded to for the period above, 136 were
responded to within 20 working days. 

(b) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 20
working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?  

Out of the 2 requests logged for the period above, none were responded to
within 20 working days. 

(c) how many responses to FOI requests were issued within 21 and 60
working days of receipt by your organisation? 

Out of the 184 requests responded to for the period above, 38 were
responded to within 21 and 60 working days. 

(d) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued within 21 and 60
working days of receipt of the request for an internal review?

Out of the 2 requests logged for the period above, none were responded to
within 21 and 60 working days. 

3. During the period 1st March to 30th October 2020, provide precise data
if available e.g., 15 out of 30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate
e.g., 10%, for these questions: 

(a) how many responses to FOI requests were issued more than 60 working
days after receipt of the request? 

Out of the 480 requests responded to for the period above, 19 were
responded to more than 60 working days after their reciept. 

(b) how many responses to FOI review requests were issued more than 60
working days after receipt of a request for an internal review? 

Out of the 5 requests logged for the above period, 3 responses were issued
more than 60 working days of the date they were logged. 

4. When FOI request or review responses were issued more than 21 working
days after receipt during the period 1st March and 30th October 2020, what
were the main reasons for the delay? e.g., closure of premises due to
Covid-19, reallocation of resources due to Covid-19, staff shortages due
to Covid-19, absence of key staff due to Covid-19, limited access to
necessary systems due to Covid-19, other issue related/unrelated to
Covid19.

This information is not recorded by the Council. 

5. In relation to the FOI requests received by your organisation between
1st March and 30th October 2020, what proportion related directly to
Covid-19, your organisation's Covid-19 response or impact of the pandemic
on your organisation? (Provide precise data if available e.g., 15 out of
30 requests, and if not, provide an estimate e.g., 10%)

Out of the 480 responses issued for the period above, 49 of those related
to Covid-19

6. On 17th July 2020 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched
a self-assessment Freedom of Information toolkit (FOI self-assessment
toolkit | ICO) to help public authorities respond to FOI requests as they
prepared to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.  

- Does, or has your organisation ever, use/d the toolkit? If so, please
explain whether it has it had any positive outcomes. 

This information is not recorded by the Council. 

- If your organisation has not/does not make use of the toolkit, please
explain why not.

This information is not recorded by the Council. 

7. In response to Covid19, has the volume of information your organisation
publishes: 

This information is not recorded by the Council. 

8. Has your organisation taken steps to proactively publish information
relating to Covid-19, your organisation's Covid-19 response or the impact
of the pandemic on your organisation? If it includes a dedicated webpage,
please provide a link to the webpage. 

Flintshire County Council played a leading role in the Covid19 response
and published a wide variety of information through various channels with
our different services. This included newspaper advertising and letter
drops to vulnerable residents. If you would like to narrow your request to
specific topics or service areas, we would be more than happy to provide
further details. 

Please see links below to some useful areas where information was
published:

Flintshire County Council
website: [1]https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Home.as...

Flintshire County Council Twitter: [2]https://twitter.com/flintshirecc 

E-Bulletins: [3]https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/...
      

Kind regards

FOI Contact Officer

FOI Contact Officer

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

FOI Contact Officer  |  Swyddog Cyswllt Rhyddid Gwybodaeth
Governance  |  Llywodraethu
Flintshire County Council   |  Cyngor Sir y Fflint  

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Email   |  Ebost   |  [Flintshire County Council request email]  
http://www.flintshire.gov.uk   |  http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk  
http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc   |  http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint
 

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

The contents of this communication and any enclosed documents may be
subject to copyright protection. It has been sent to you for your
information and you may use it for any non-commercial research you may be
doing or undertaking. Its contents can also be used for the purposes of
news reporting. Any other re-use, for example, commercial publication or
publication on a website, requires the permission of this Council. If you
wish to re-use this information please contact us, letting us know how you
wish to re-use it and what the intended audience will be so that we can
consider your request. This information should be sent to: The Information
Governance Manager, Information Governance Team, Flintshire County
Council, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire CH7 6NB, or
[email address].

If you are dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request for
information, you can ask for an internal review within 2 months of the
date of this response. Where your complaint is a complex one it may not be
possible to deal with it within the above timescales. In such a situation
a progress report will be sent within the above timescales.

Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Council’s
Information Governance Manager at:

Information Governance Team, County Hall, Mold, CH7 6NA

Or by emailing [Flintshire County Council request email]

Please remember to quote your original request’s reference number.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a
complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Gellir cynnwys y ddogfen gyfathrebu hon ac unrhyw ddogfennau amgaeêdig yn
amodol ar hawlfraint. Hyn anfonwyd atoch er gwybodaeth i chi a gallwch ei
ddefnyddio ar gyfer unrhyw ymchwil anfasnachol yr ydych yn ei wneud neu
ymgymryd â. Gellir hefyd defnyddio ei gynnwys at ddibenion adrodd
newyddion. Os oes angen i chi ailddefnyddio’r wybodaeth mewn unrhyw fordd
arall, er enghraifft, cyhoeddi neu gyhoeddi masnachol ar wefan, mae angen
caniatâd gyn y Cyngor. Os hoffech ailddefnyddio’r wybodaeth, cysylltwch â
ni, gan roi gwybod i ni sut rydych chi yn bwriadu ei ailddefnyddio a beth
fydd y gynulleidfa a fwriadwyd fel y gallwn ystyriwch eich cais. Dylid
anfon y wybodaeth hon at: Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Tîm
Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Neuadd Y Sir, Yr Wyddgrug, Sir Y Fflint, CH7 6NB,
neu drwy e-bostio [email address].

Os ydych yn anfodlon â’r modd y mae’r Cyngor wedi ymdrin eich cais am
wybodaeth, gallwch ofyn am adolygiad mewnol o fewn 2 fis o dyddiad yr
ymateb hwn. Lle mae’ch cwyn yn un cymhleth efallai na fydd yn bosib delio
ag ef o fewn yr amserlen uchod. Mewn sefyllfa o’r fath, bydd adroddiad
cynnydd yn cael ei anfon o fewn yr amserlen.

Dylech anfon cais am adolygiad mewnol i’r Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth
y Cyngor:

Team Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Neuadd y Sir, Yr Wyddgrug, Sir Y Fflint, CH7
6NB

Neu drwy e-bostio [Flintshire County Council request email]

Cofiwch ddyfynnu rhif cyfeirnod eich cais gwreiddiol.

Mae gennych hawl hefyd i gwyno wrth y Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth. Gallwch
gysylltu â’r Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth yn y cyfeiriad canlynol:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Fodd bynnag, dylech nodi nad yw’r Comisiynydd fel arfer yn ymchwilio i
gwyn nes ei fod wedi bod drwy ein proses adolygu fewnol.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Home.aspx
2. https://twitter.com/flintshirecc
3. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/...

Dr Karen Mc Cullagh

Dear FOI Contact,

Re: reference number: F00020496

Thank you for responding so quickly and fully to my request for information.
I really appreciate it.

Yours faithfully,

Karen