Job titles of staff members

Mae'r ymateb i'r cais hwn yn hwyr iawn. Yn ôl y gyfraith, ym mhob amgylchiad, dylai Cabinet Office fod wedi ymateb erbyn hyn. (manylion). Gallwch gwyno drwy yn gofyn am adolygiad mewnol.

Dear Cabinet Office,

From available records, please kindly provide the job titles of staff members working in Downing Street who have been fined by the MPS for breaking the lockdown regulations to-date.

Yours faithfully,

Amanda Hart
for Stop UK lies and Corruption.

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

Our ref: FOI2022/06348

Dear Amanda Hart,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 31st
March. Your request is being handled under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 ('the Act').

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event
within 20 working days. We will therefore aim to reply at the latest by
3rd May.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

1 Atodiad

Dear Amanda Hart,

Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request (reference FOI2022/06348).

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Dear Cabinet Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Job titles of staff members'. Ref FOI2022/06348.

Thanks for your response. We would have accepted the content of which IF these fines were issued by way of postal delivery to the private addresses of each of those concerned. However, we know at least some of these fines were delivered to the government email addresses of those concerned. It was widely reported that a portion of them ended up in spam and so were not initially seen. With it being the case that at least some of these fines were delivered to the government email addresses of those concerned, it would therefore be the case that you do in fact know the job titles of such people, which is the information we asked for.

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

Yours faithfully,

Amanda Hart
for Stop UK lies and Corruption.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Pass onto ICO if information not provided by 1st July 2022

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

1 Atodiad

Dear Amanda Hart,

Please find attached our response to your request for an Internal Review
(reference IR2022/08227).

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Reported to ICO. We find it difficult to believe Cabinet Office standards are so low that they do not know the job titles of staff who committed illegal activity in Downing Street.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

ICO have informed us the case reference for this is IC-177525-S7P5

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Asked ICO to provide an update on this case. The last information we have from them on this is dated 7th July 2022 - 218 working days ago (315 calendar days).

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

We received an update on this case from ICO. Action on the matter is pending.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

We submitted flaws and inconsistencies with the Cabinet Office responses to the ICO. This matter is due to be assigned a case officer in June 2023.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Asked ICO for an update on this case.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

ICO have notified us that this case has now been assigned to an officer.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Next chase due 25th September 2023

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Asked ICO for an update with this case.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Why we are requesting this information

The request for the job titles of individuals involved in the gatherings at the Cabinet Office stems from our dedication to transparency and accountability within the organisation. Our aim in seeking this information is to bring to light the specific areas within the Cabinet Office where lapses in judgement by staff persisted without intervention until the information was leaked, ultimately resulting in the imposition of fines. It is vital to underscore that this request exclusively pertains to job titles and does not intend to identify specific individuals.

By gaining insight into the job titles of those involved, the public can evaluate the specific areas of the organisation that may have experienced ineffective leadership, leading to a failure to prevent these individuals from breaking the law. We also acknowledge that individuals involved bear responsibility for their actions, and this request places focus on the broader context of accountability within the Cabinet Office. It is our belief that this incident has highlighted a more extensive issue where staff may have felt empowered to act without proper oversight.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

ICO has previously stated in Decision Notices that job titles are not 'personal information'

Decision Notice dated 7th March 2019, relates to a case where job titles were also requested. The ICO ruled that job titles were not considered personal information and therefore advised the authority to release them.

The Decision Notice is referenced as FS50796134, and you can access it through this link:[https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Here are key points we presented to the ICO regarding job titles being classified as 'personal information':

1 Treating job titles as 'personal information' would imply that government departments, companies, and organisations that openly display job titles on their websites during job postings or in organisational charts would be in violation of data privacy regulations.

2 Searching for 'Cabinet Office' or 'Cabinet Office staff names' in a search engine is more likely to yield identifiable information than job titles.

3 Such classification would lead to excessive data protection measures.

4 In data anonymisation and de-identification processes, job titles are considered non-identifying information, reinforcing their non-personal data status.

5 Imagine the confusion if job titles were labeled as 'personal information,' where companies would refuse to disclose job titles during applications, only revealing them after employment.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

In this Decision Notice from 2014 The Information Commissioner stated that the job titles of junior roles without their names does not constitute their personal data.

[https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

"54 The Commissioner has concluded that none of the officials who are named in the document would expect the disclosure of their names and that this expectation is reasonable, given the relatively junior roles that they fulfil. As such, disclosure of their names, in the circumstances of this case, would be unfair. However, he is satisfied that their job titles without names is not their personal data. They cannot be identified from the job titles. The provisions of the DPA therefore do not apply and the information cannot be exempt under section 40(2)."

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Since government plans to take a more relaxed approach for data handling it would be inappropriate for ICO to seriously consider claims by its departments that job titles are personal information. Informed ICO.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/k...

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Next chase 4th January 2024.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

Chased ICO on this case

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

ICO have today advised us that a Decision Notice on this case is currently being prepared.

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

ICO released their Decision Notice and asked the Cabinet Office to release the information it holds or choose a valid exemption of why they feel it cannot be released. They must do this within 35 calendar days (by 27th February 2024).

Gadawodd Amanda Hart anodiad ()

The Cabinet Office is appealing to the Tribunal against this decision.