Late responses to FOI requests

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Northern Ireland),

For each of the 98 Freedom of Information / Environmental Information requests received by the OFMDFM during the year 2011, and listed in the Seventh FOI Annual Report as 'late response' or 'still being processed' (Table 3, page 30), please provide the following details:

The date the request was received;

The number of working days which elapsed, beyond the 20 day deadline or any permitted extension, before the request was answered;

The subject of the request;

The source of the request (ie Business, Campaigning Group, etc).

Please indicate any request which were dealt with under EIR rather than FOI.

Please indicate any request where an internal review was requested, and how many working days elapsed before the response was provided.

Please indicate any request where there was an appeal to the Information Commissioner.

In addition, please supply:

Copies of the Minutes of any meetings of the FOI Practitioners Group held during the calendar year 2012;

Copies of the Minutes of all meetings between the OFMDFM Central FOI team and representatives of the ICO in the calendar years 2011 and 2012.

Yours faithfully,

Rodney Breen

Blakley, Carol,

1 Atodiad

Mr Breen

 

Please see attached acknowledgement letter.

 

Many thanks.

 

Carol Blakley

OFMDFM
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
Room A5.18
Castle Buildings
Stormont
Belfast
BT4 3SR

Dear Blakley, Carol,

I have not yet had a response to this request, and it is well overdue. Can I expect a response shortly, or must I deem it as a refusal to respond, and appeal to the Information Commissioner?

Thanks,

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Breen

Blakley, Carol,

1 Atodiad

Mr Breen

 

Please see attached.

 

Thanks.

 

Carol Blakley

OFMDFM
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
Room A5.18
Castle Buildings
Stormont
Belfast
BT4 3SR

 

 

 

Dear Carol,

"Thank you for your email of 2 March relating to the outstanding response to your FOI request: OFMDFM/2012-0138. The request is still under consideration, and we are unable to advise you as to when a response is likely to issue."

This is a completely unacceptable response.

Having worked as a Freedom of Information Officer, I am aware that requests sometimes take longer than the legal limit of 20 working days, for reasons which are unavoidable. I would have been prepared to allow your department some latitude ifn that case.

Your reply offers no explanation for your failure to respond within the statutory limit, and no hint of apology about this. The period allowed for consideration of the request is now long past. From experience, I know that if a public authority is still considering a response after this long, it is because it does not want to respond.

I am not willing to be brushed off with such an offhand reply. The tone clearly implies that your department does not take its responsibilities seriously, and lacks a real commitment to transparency in government.

If I do not receive an adequate reply to my enquiry by next Friday, 15 March, I will appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office, asking them to treat this as a refusal to respond to a Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Breen

Blakley, Carol,

Dear Mr Breen

 

Thank you for your email of 8th March 2013 regarding FOI Request
2012-0138.  First of all please let me say that I acknowledge both your
concern and the dissatisfaction you have expressed that you have not yet
received a response from the Department. 

 

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the fact that your
response has been delayed, and to assure you that we are continuing to do
all we can to progress your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Carol Blakley

OFMDFM
Information Management and Central Advisory Branch
Room A5.18
Castle Buildings
Stormont
Belfast
BT4 3SR

Gadawodd Rodney Breen anodiad ()

Since the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has failed to respond to my request within the legally allowed time, I have now appealed to the Information Commissioner's Office. I will update this page with any responses I get.

Gadawodd Rodney Breen anodiad ()

I have now had a response from the ICO, who have written to the OFMDFM asking them to answer within 10 working days (29 April).

Blakley, Carol,

6 Atodiad

Mr Breen

Please see attached response to FOI Request 2012-0138.

Apologies for delay.

Regards.

Carol Blakley

 

 

 

 

Dear Carol,

Thank you for providing the information requested. I have not had time to examine it in detail, but it appears to be what I was looking for.

There are fifteen requests in Report B, requests which were 'still being processed'. Could you indicate if any of these are still outstanding, and if so the relevant ID number?

Thanks very much.

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Breen

Dear Carol,

Please could you clarify the completion date of request number OFMDFM/2011-0054? The field is blank.

Thanks,

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Breen