Iraq Inquiry referrals to government of evidence with risks of legal liability

christopher lamb made this Freedom of Information request to Cabinet Office

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

Cabinet Office Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Cabinet Office,

I note that a disclosure recently made by the Cabinet Office of six papers containing official advice to Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, for the setting up of the Iraq Inquiry, includes a memo from the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O'Donnell, to Gordon Brown (dated 28 May 2009) with an Annex describing 'Draft Terms of Reference' for the Inquiry.

The last paragraph of this Annex states that;

'The primary objective of the committee will be to identify lessons learned. In its Report, the Committee should not reach any conclusions on questions of law and fact which create circumstances which expose organizations, departments and/or individuals to criminal or civil proceedings or judicial review. If the Committee in the course of its work identifies such issues which warrant further consideration, it should discuss these with the government'.

Under the terms of the FoI Act 2000, I request;

a) confirmation that this was a term of reference adhered to by the Iraq Inquiry
b) disclosure of all issues identified by the Inquiry in its course of work which it referred to the 'government' for discussion as posing risks of exposing 'organizations, departments and/or individuals to criminal or civil proceedings or judicial review'.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI323942

Dear CHRISTOPHER LAMB

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received
on 7/12/2016 and we are considering if it is appropriate to deal with
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the FOI team.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

 Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

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FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Atodiad

Please find attached the reply to your FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

E-mail -[1][Cabinet Office request email] 

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Dear FOI Team Mailbox,

I am requesting an internal review as I must confess I can only respond to your reply that you do not hold this information with incredulity.

You provide a link to an announcement by Sir John Chilcot about the terms of reference for his Inquiry. This announcement, which is general and opaque, is evidently for public consumption. It covers the 'essential points', or what is officially considered essential for the public to know. The draft terms of reference, contained in the document signed by 'Gus O'Donnell' on 29 May 2009 and referred to in the request clearly is not an 'essential point' officially approved that the public should know.

Furthermore, your reply poses the question of who was devising and drafting terms of reference for whom. Sir John Chilcot was not devising terms of reference to put to the government. The facts were the exact opposite; the government devised and drafted terms of reference for the Chilcot Inquiry.

The memo sent by Gus O'Donnell to Sir Peter Ricketts, Sir Bill Jeffrey and Minouche Shafik, dated 10 June 2009, records that 'the Prime Minister has agreed the recommendations on; timing of the announcement, length of the Inquiry, format, and Terms of Reference.

Gordon Brown had clearly agreed to the Draft 'Terms of Reference' appended to O'Donnell's memo dated 28 May 2009 and referred to in my request.

Consequently, I am in a position where I cannot suspend disbelief to accept your explanation that you hold no records relating to documents bearing the signature of a Cabinet Secretary which had effectively been accepted as government policy by the Prime Minister.

I ask again for disclosure of the information contained in the original freedom of information request.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  IR323942

Dear CHRSITOPHER LAMB

Thank you for your request for an internal review. Your request was
received on 3/1/2017 and is being dealt with under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the FOI team.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Atodiad

Please find attached the reply to your IR request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

E-mail -[1][Cabinet Office request email] 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]