Independent Board Member

Richard Hamilton made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Department of Finance (Northern Ireland)

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

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

Dear Department of Finance and Personnel (Northern Ireland),

The appointment of Professor Dolores O'Reilly as an Independent Board Member is confirmed in a press release which can be found at:
http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-d...

Professor O'Reilly was originally appointed as an Independent Board Member on 10/08/2010 with an appointment period of 3 years.

Please provide a copy of (a) a Press Release or (b) any other official confirmation issued either (i) by the Minister or (ii) on the Minister's behalf at some point in the summer/autumn of 2013 confirming that Professor O'Reilly term as an Independent Board Member had been extended for a further period of years.

Please acknowledge receipt of this Freedom of Information request.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Hamilton

Torrens, Ann,

1 Atodiad

Mr Hamilton

Acknowledgement letter attached. Please confirm receipt.

Regards

Ann M Torrens
CSG Business Area Information Manager
Department of Finance & Personnel
Balloo Annex
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Bangor BT19 7NA
Telephone:02891 858060/ext 68060
E-mail: [email address]

Dear Torrens, Ann,

My request of 6 March 2016 refers.

By my reckoning your Department has now had more that 20 working days to deal with my request. That being so I would remind you that the Freedom of Information legislation indicates:

"Authorities must respond to requests promptly, and by the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of the request."

By failing to respond your Department has placed itself in breach of its obligations under the Freedom of Information legislation. As a first step to bringing the Department back into compliance with its FoI obligations I would ask that by return you confirm the date by which a response to my request will be issued.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Hamilton

Torrens, Ann,

Mr Hamilton

I can only advise that your request remains under consideration.

Apologies for the delay.

Regards

Ann M Torrens
CSG Business Area Information Manager
Department of Finance & Personnel
Balloo Annex
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Bangor BT19 7NA
Telephone:02891 858060/ext 68060
E-mail: [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Torrens, Ann,

The Department's delayed responses to my FoI request refers.

Having failed to provide a response promptly the Department has also failed to reply within the days allowed by statute and as a result is now in breach of its obligations under the Freedom of Information legislation.

Such a breach gives me 2 options namely to request an internal review or appeal directly to the Information Commissioner. Before deciding which course of action to follow I think it is fair and reasonable to give the Department a period of grace until close of business (5.00pm) on Monday 11 April 2016 to provide the information requested.

If at that time the information requested has still not been disclosed I will decide which of the 2 options to follow. At this time I would be very much minded to go down the route of appealing/complaining directly to the Information Commissioner himself and all the more so in light of his presentation to the Permanent Secretaries Group on Friday 31 October 2014.

Clearly the nature of the Department’s failings are likely to be of the type that the Information Commissioner will have no difficulty acting on.

For the record can I assume that Professor Dolores O'Reilly is by now fully aware not only of the existence of this FoI request but also of the Department's inability to disclose the information requested.

I now await full disclosure of the information requested before close of business on Monday 11 April 2016.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Hamilton

Torrens, Ann,

1 Atodiad

Mr Hamilton

Response to your request for information attached. Please confirm receipt.

Regards

Ann M Torrens
CSG Business Area Information Manager
Department of Finance & Personnel
Balloo Annex
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Bangor BT19 7NA
Telephone:02891 858060/ext 68060
E-mail: [email address]

Dear Department of Finance and Personnel (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 and Personnel (Northern Ireland)'s handling of my FOI request 'Independent Board Member' (DFP 2016-0181):

On the 6 March 2016 I submitted a Freedom of Information request seeking:
“.. a copy of (a) a Press Release or (b) any other official confirmation issued either (i) by the Minister or (ii) on the Minister's behalf at some point in the summer/autumn of 2013 confirming that Professor O'Reilly term as an Independent Board Member had been extended for a further period of years.”

On the 8 April 2016 the Department responded:
“I can advise that the Department has carried out a search which has revealed that no information is held.”

My concerns with regards the handling of my request are two-fold:
1) The Departments response of 8 April 2016 was issued outwith the period allowed by statute and then only after my communications of 7 April 2016.
2) The FoI legislation explicitly states that information requests should be dealt promptly yet the Department's response issued outwith the days allowed by statute and then only in response to my "complaint" indicated "...that no information is held.”

With regards concern 1) why did the Department not seek an extension of time before the dead-line if the search was taking so long? Like-wise with concern 2) why, assuming my request was dealt with promptly in the first place did it take so long to establish that no information was held all the more so bearing in mind the very specific information being sought by my request?

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

I await your further responses.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Hamilton

Lynn, Jenny,

1 Atodiad

  • Attachment

    DFPIR2016 0007 Internal Review Acknowledgement Letter for FOI DFP2016 0181.DOCX.docx

    306K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Hamilton

Please see attached acknowledgement letter for your request for internal
review.

Kind regards
Jenny

Jenny Lynn
FOI & Records Manager
Information Management Unit
Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP)
Room 26, Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast
BT4 3SB

Ext: 24957
Tel: 028 9052 4957

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hamilton

Please see response to your request for internal review attached.

Kind regards
Jenny

Jenny Lynn
Information Management Unit
Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP)