Library statistics 2021

Dave Rowe made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to South Ayrshire Council as part of a batch sent to 221 authorities

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear South Ayrshire Council,

FAO The Library Service.

Hello, I have two freedom of information (FOI) queries that should be quick. This is being sent to all UK library services so be assured you aren't being singled out! If the operating of the library service has been outsourced to a separate organisation then please fulfil this request by retrieving the response from that body.

1. Does the library service complete annual library statistics to be sent to CIPFA? And specifically, have these been completed for the financial year 2020/2021?

2. If the answer to the above is Yes, please include a copy of your 2020/2021 CIPFA library statistics return in your response. This should be sent in the same format as was sent to CIPFA (e.g. an Excel spreadsheet).

It is important that this should be an exact copy of the data sent to CIPFA. I am not requesting any data that is owned by CIPFA, such as their own aggregated reports. As the data is compiled by the library service it is public library data, and subject to Freedom of Information.

To try and cover any concerns about the second part of this request, I have answered a number of potential worries below. Please have a quick look through these before responding!

- Data Format. The data should be sent as structured data in spreadsheet format. Guidelines from the Information Commissioner's Office specify that it is reasonable to request data in a re-usable and "Machine-readable" formats. For example, if the data were exported to a PDF file then that would not be acceptable, as that is a document rather than structured data.

- FOI exemption: accessible by other means. Occasionally, requesters in the past have been told that this data could be exempt from FOI as it accessible from CIPFA when it is published. However this fails the test of being 'reasonably' accessible due to the high cost for a member of the public. This exemption would certainly be overturned on appeal.

- FOI exemption: commercial interest. Commercial interest exemptions do exist in FOI legislation but this would not apply to a single third party (e.g. CIPFA) who use public data. Their commercial interests are in the value they provide in reporting on that data.

Thank you in advance!

Yours faithfully,

Dave Rowe

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Thank you for contacting South Ayrshire Council, Freedom of Information. 
This automatic reply is just to let you know we have received your email
and will be in touch soon.

 

Freedom of Information - requests will be processed in line with the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
([1]www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2002/13/contents)

 

Environmental Information - requests will be processed in line with the
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
([2]www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2004/520/contents/made)

 

We may need to get in touch with you to seek more information or request
clarification from you to allow us to process your request.

 

To view how we process your personal data when you make a request to us,
please visit our website at [3]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/privacy-notices

 

You can also find out more information about our FOI service at: 
[4]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/foi and your information rights at:
[5]www.itispublicknowledge.info/YourRights

 

We will be in touch with you again when we have the response to your
request, or need further information from you, but meantime please do not
hesitate to contact us further on the contact details provided below.

 

Regards

 

Information Governance | Chief Executive's Office |
[6][email address] | Tel: 01292 612223 | County Buildings,
Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR | [7]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, South Ayrshire Council



Thank you for contacting South Ayrshire Council, Freedom of
Information. This automatic reply is just to let you know we have received
your email and will be in touch soon. 

 

Freedom of Information requests will be processed in line with the Freedom
of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
([1]www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2002/13/contents)

 

Evironmental Information requests will be processed in line with the
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
([2]www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2004/520/contents/made)

 

We may need to get in touch with you to to seek more information or
request clarification from you to allow us to process your request.

 

To view how we process your personal data when you make a request to us,
please visit our website at [3]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/privacy-notices

 

You can also find out more information about our FOI service at: 
[4]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/foi and your information rights
at: [5]https://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Your...

 

We will be in touch with you again when we have the response to your
request, or need further information from you, but meantime please do not
hesitate to contact us further on the contact details provided below.

 

Regards

 

Information Governance | Chief Executive's Office |
[email address] | Tel: 01292 612223 | County Buildings,
Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR | [6]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Good afternoon

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry which was given the above reference
number.

 

The information requested is available from CIPFA direct.  Although there
is a charge for this information, it is in line with industry rates.  As
such, the information requested is exempt under Section 25 of the Act
which states that the information requested is accessible by other means. 
For your information, the information can be requested here -
[1]https://www.cipfa.org/policy-and-guidanc...

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request you can ask for
a review.  A request for a review must be submitted within 40 working days
and should be put in writing to Deborah McVey, Information Governance Team
Leader, South Ayrshire Council, County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr
KA7 1DR, Tel: 01292 612223, Email: [2][South Ayrshire Council request email].  If you
remain dissatisfied after a review, you have the right to apply to the
Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. This must be submitted
within 6 months after the review and should be put in writing to the
Scottish Information Commissioner at Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St.
Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS, Tel: 01334 464610 Email:
[3][email address] or use the online portal
[4]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR...
     

 

Kind regards

Andrew

 

Information Governance | Chief Executive’s Office |
[5][email address] | Tel: 01292 612223 | South Ayrshire Council
| County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR |
[6]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear South Ayrshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of South Ayrshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Library statistics 2021'.

You have responded:

"The information requested is available from CIPFA direct. Although there is a charge for this information, it is in line with industry rates. As such, the information requested is exempt under Section 25 of the Act which states that the information requested is accessible by other means. "

I think this is a misunderstanding of what is being requested. CIPFA offer a commercial product which is "added value data analysis" (their own terms) of a large set of UK library services. I am not requesting that. From you I am directly requesting the underlying data that is submitted to CIPFA by your library service only. There is no industry rate for this data unless you yourselves have examples of how much you sell that data for. I am requesting something clearly different to the commercial product available from CIPFA.

Regardless of that, CIPFA have not yet even started selling their added value product for 2020/2021 data actuals, so it is incorrect to say it is reasonably available, as it is not currently available at all.

Further to this, the exemption allows for situations where a fee is involved, but in this case it is clearly beyond any member of the public plus provides far more than I am asking you for. Guidance also states that this exemption should be used to relieve the burden on local authorities but not to obstruct access to information. Given that all you need to do is forward a spreadsheet that you have completed, it's clear that it is more burden for everyone in denying the request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dave Rowe

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Thank you for contacting South Ayrshire Council, Freedom of Information. 
This automatic reply is just to let you know we have received your email
and will be in touch soon.

 

Freedom of Information - requests will be processed in line with the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
([1]www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2002/13/contents)

 

Environmental Information - requests will be processed in line with the
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
([2]www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2004/520/contents/made)

 

We may need to get in touch with you to seek more information or request
clarification from you to allow us to process your request.

 

To view how we process your personal data when you make a request to us,
please visit our website at [3]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/privacy-notices

 

You can also find out more information about our FOI service at: 
[4]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/foi and your information rights at:
[5]www.itispublicknowledge.info/YourRights

 

We will be in touch with you again when we have the response to your
request, or need further information from you, but meantime please do not
hesitate to contact us further on the contact details provided below.

 

Regards

 

Information Governance | Chief Executive's Office |
[6][email address] | Tel: 01292 612223 | County Buildings,
Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR | [7]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Good afternoon Mr Rowe

 

Thank you for your email.  I note that you seek a formal Internal Review
of the response you received to your information request.  The statutory
timescale to undertake the Review under FOISA is 20 working days, and I am
now arranging the investigation into the Council’s handling of your
request, based on your specific comments below. 

 

Kind regards

Andrew

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Dear Mr Rowe

Thank you for your email. I note that you are seeking a Review of the Council's handling of your information request. Can I please clarify with you that my understanding for your basis for review is as follows:

1. That the Council has applied Section 25 to your request, but that you do not seek the information that is publicly available but instead the raw data that is submitted by South Ayrshire Council for their CIPFA return.
2. That you seek this raw data for the reporting year 2020/21

Many thanks for your clarification of these points. Upon receipt of your clarification I will carry out my investigation. Meantime if you require any further advice or assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards
Deborah McVey

Information Governance (Freedom of Information) | Chief Executive’s Office | County Buildings, Wellington Square | Ayr, KA7 1DR |[email address] | Tel: 01292 612223| www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Hi Deborah

Thank you - I think that's a good summary. Yes, those two things are correct.

Perhaps a small clarification is that I don't think the data from CIPFA is 'publicly available', as it a tailored corporate product which isn't accessible to a public audience. It's a bit of a moot point as CIPFA haven't released information for the year I am requesting anyway, so I believe the exemption is not valid. But I would reference the following briefing note:

"If the requester’s means are limited or the fee payable to access the information is high, the information may not be reasonably obtainable to that requester and the exemption may not apply"

Yours sincerely,

Dave Rowe

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Thank you for contacting South Ayrshire Council, Freedom of Information. 
This automatic reply is just to let you know we have received your email
and will be in touch soon.

 

Freedom of Information - requests will be processed in line with the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
([1]www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2002/13/contents)

 

Environmental Information - requests will be processed in line with the
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
([2]www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2004/520/contents/made)

 

We may need to get in touch with you to seek more information or request
clarification from you to allow us to process your request.

 

To view how we process your personal data when you make a request to us,
please visit our website at [3]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/privacy-notices

 

You can also find out more information about our FOI service at: 
[4]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/foi and your information rights at:
[5]www.itispublicknowledge.info/YourRights

 

We will be in touch with you again when we have the response to your
request, or need further information from you, but meantime please do not
hesitate to contact us further on the contact details provided below.

 

Regards

 

Information Governance | Chief Executive's Office |
[6][email address] | Tel: 01292 612223 | County Buildings,
Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR | [7]www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

Mr Rowe

Thank you for clarifying the basis of Review, I am now carrying out my investigation and I will respond to within statutory time scales. I will also address the point you have raised within the review in respect of the application of Section 25 to publicly available information where a fee requires to be paid.

Meantime, if you require any advice or assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards
Deborah McVey

Information Governance (Freedom of Information) | Chief Executive’s Office | County Buildings, Wellington Square | Ayr, KA7 1DR |[email address] | Tel: 01292 612223| www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, South Ayrshire Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Rowe

INTERNAL REVIEW DECISION: FOI/2021/11548
SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL

I refer to previous correspondence regarding your request that the Council carries out an Internal Review of the Decision to withhold library data on the basis that this data is publicialy available to you, and accordingly Section 25 of FOISA has been applied.

Following my investigation, I have concluded that it is reasonable to provide you with the raw data held by South Ayrshire Council and on that basis this raw data is now enclosed. Should you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your information request, I have also enclosed Guidance on how you can contact the Scottish Information Commissioner to see an independent investigation into our handling of your request.

Regards
Deborah McVey

Information Governance (Freedom of Information) | Chief Executive’s Office | County Buildings, Wellington Square | Ayr, KA7 1DR |[email address] | Tel: 01292 612223| www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir