Dear Greater London Authority,

Can you tell me who approved the car that Mayor Sadiq Khan has? Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone did not have cars.

How much is this costing Londoners?

Yours faithfully,

Abdul Hai

Greater London Authority

    From: [FOI #544324 email]
    To: [Greater London Authority request email]
    Subject: Freedom of Information request - Mayor's car

Thank you for contacting us about the work of the Mayor and/or City Hall.

 

We aim to respond to written communication as quickly as possible and
within 20 working days.

 

However, please note that we may not reply to correspondence we consider:

• Is addressed to another party and where the Mayor has been copied-in for
information only.
• Contains comments that do not require a response.
• Includes unsolicited job applications or CVs.
• Is trying to sell or market a product.
• To be vexatious or contains abusive or discriminatory language.

 

In addition, we will not respond where we specifically state that we are
unable to enter into correspondence (for example, when inviting responses
to consultation documents).

 

If you have written to request the release of information under the
Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) or Environmental Information Regulations
(EIR), please take this message as confirmation your request has been
received. We will aim to provide a response within the statutory 20
working day deadline.
Further information on our service standards, is available on our website
at: [1]http://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/contac....

 

Thank you again for writing.

 

Yours sincerely,
Public Liaison Unit

References

Visible links
1. http://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/contac...

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hai

Please find attached our response to your request of 13 January 2019.

Yours sincerely

Ruth Phillips
Information Governance Officer

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Greater London Authority,

Can you tell me who approved the car that Mayor Sadiq Khan has? Boris
Johnson and Ken Livingstone did not have cars.

How much is this costing Londoners?

Yours faithfully,

Abdul Hai

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #544324 email]

Is [Greater London Authority request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Greater London Authority? If so, please contact us using this
form:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

#LondonIsOpen

 
GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY NOTICE:
The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged
materials. For more information
see [1]https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/email...

References

Visible links
1. https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/email...

Dear Greater London Authority,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Greater London Authority's handling of my FOI request 'Mayor's car'.

I believe the GLA have made the wrong decision and are trying to stop the public from finding out how Mayor Sadiq Khan uses public funds.

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

Yours faithfully,

Abdul Hai

Greater London Authority

    From: [FOI #544324 email]
    To: [Greater London Authority request email]
    Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Mayor's
car

Thank you for contacting us about the work of the Mayor and/or City Hall.

 

We aim to respond to written communication as quickly as possible and
within 20 working days.

 

However, please note that we may not reply to correspondence we consider:

• Is addressed to another party and where the Mayor has been copied-in for
information only.
• Contains comments that do not require a response.
• Includes unsolicited job applications or CVs.
• Is trying to sell or market a product.
• To be vexatious or contains abusive or discriminatory language.

 

In addition, we will not respond where we specifically state that we are
unable to enter into correspondence (for example, when inviting responses
to consultation documents).

 

If you have written to request the release of information under the
Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) or Environmental Information Regulations
(EIR), please take this message as confirmation your request has been
received. We will aim to provide a response within the statutory 20
working day deadline.
Further information on our service standards, is available on our website
at: [1]http://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/contac....

 

Thank you again for writing.

 

Yours sincerely,
Public Liaison Unit

References

Visible links
1. http://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/contac...

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

1 Atodiad

Dear Abdul Hai

Please find attached response in relation to your request for an internal
review.

Yours sincerely

Paul Robinson
Information Governance Officer

Dear Greater London Authority,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Greater London Authority's
handling of my FOI request 'Mayor's car'.

I believe the GLA have made the wrong decision and are trying to stop the
public from finding out how Mayor Sadiq Khan uses public funds.

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

Yours faithfully,

Abdul Hai

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #544324 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

#LondonIsOpen

 
GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY NOTICE:
The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged
materials. For more information
see [1]https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/email...

References

Visible links
1. https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/email...

Gadawodd Abdul Hai anodiad ()

Response from ICO. I have not published the officers name.

Case Reference Number FS50836455

Dear Mr Hai

I am writing with regard to the complaint you have submitted to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about the Greater London Authority’s handling of your information request.

Your complaint has now been allocated to me for consideration and I will be your point of contact for any queries you may have about our handling of your case.

Where possible the ICO prefers complaints to be resolved by informal means. If this does not prove to be possible we will usually issue a decision notice to you and the public authority once an investigation has been completed. This will inform you of our decision and the reasons for it.

Where the ICO decides that a request has not been handled properly we may specify what steps we believe are necessary to remedy the situation. This can include requiring a public authority to release information which has previously been withheld. A copy of the decision notice will be placed on our website (with your details omitted). If you disagree with the decision that has been reached you have a legal right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights).

The request

I understand that you submitted the following request to the GLA on 13 January 2019:

‘Can you tell me who approved the car that Mayor Sadiq Khan has? Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone did not have cars.
How much is this costing Londoners?’

The GLA responded to the request on 4 February 2019 and refused to confirm or deny whether it held any information falling within the scope of the request on the basis of section 31(3) by virtue of section 31(1)(a) (law enforcement), and section 38(2) by virtue of sections 38(1)(a) and (b) (health and safety) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

You contacted the GLA on the same day and asked it to conduct an internal review of this decision.

The GLA informed you of the outcome of the internal review on 10 April 2019. The internal review upheld the decision to refuse to confirm or deny whether any information was held on the basis of sections 31(3) and 38(2) of FOIA.

Nature of complaint

You have complained to the ICO about the GLA’s refusal to provide you with the information that he requested. You have argued that the GLA has made the wrong decision because it is public knowledge that the Mayor has a car.
At this stage I think it may be useful if I clarify what the scope of my investigation will be into the GLA’s handling of your request.

The right of access provided by FOIA is set out in section 1(1) and is separated into two parts: Section 1(1)(a) gives an applicant the right to know whether a public authority holds the information that has been requested. Section 1(1)(b) gives an applicant the right to be provided with the requested information, if it is held of course. Both rights are subject to the application of exemptions. When a public authority receives a request it therefore has the option of relying on an exemption(s) to refuse to even confirm or deny whether it holds the requested information.

In cases where a public authority has adopted a ‘neither confirm nor deny’ (NCND) position, as the GLA has in response to your request, the ICO will initially only consider whether the public authority has a duty to comply with the right of access contained at section 1(1)(a) of FOIA. That is to say any decision notice will simply address whether the public authority is entitled to refuse to confirm whether or not it holds the requested information. If the decision notice does order a public authority to confirm whether it holds any information, once a public authority has complied with the notice by providing such a confirmation, then it can seek to rely on exemptions to refuse to provide the information itself. In other words it can then refuse to comply with the right of access at section 1(1)(b).

If at that point an applicant is dissatisfied with the public authority’s decision to withhold the information, the ICO will then consider, by way of a further decision notice, whether the public authority is in fact entitled to withhold the information itself, i.e. whether it has to comply with the duty contained at section 1(1)(b) of FOIA . (This assumes of course that the information is in fact held by the public authority).

Practically then in terms of your complaint, you will only be given a decision notice that deals with the issue as to whether the GLA has a duty to comply with section 1(1)(a). If – and I should stress if – this decision notice ordered the GLA to comply with section 1(1)(a), and if – and again I should stress if – it did hold information, then in all likelihood I would imagine that the GLA would seek to withhold the information itself. At that stage you could then complain to the ICO again and it would be as a result of this further complaint that we would issue a decision notice that either orders the information to be disclosed or concludes that the information itself is in fact exempt from disclosure.

I wanted to emphasise the above so that you are clear as to the limits of my investigation at this stage.

I have now contacted the GLA and asked it to provide me with any further submissions it wishes to rely on to support its application of the exemptions it has cited.

Once I have received a response from the GLA I will contact you again and provide you with an update on the progress of my investigation.

Yours sincerely

Gadawodd Abdul Hai anodiad ()

Dear Mr Hai

Further to the email below, I am writing with regard to your complaint to the ICO about the GLA.

After some delay, I have now received a response from the GLA in relation to my enquiries. I am in the process of considering this response and will then draft a decision notice setting out the ICO’s findings in respect of your complaint.

This notice will be reviewed by my colleagues before being signed and issued.

I cannot provide you with a definitive date by when this notice will be issued, but I will keep you updated if there are any significant delays to this process.

Gadawodd Abdul Hai anodiad ()

Reference: FS50836455

1
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
Decision notice

Date: 29 November 2019

Public Authority: Greater London Authority
Address: City Hall
London
SE1 2AA

Complainant: Abdul Hai
Address: ahai11london@yahoo.co.uk

Decision (including any steps ordered)
1. The complainant submitted a request to the Greater London Authority
(GLA) seeking information as to whether the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, had an
official car and if so the costs of providing this. The GLA refused to
confirm or deny whether it held any information falling within the scope
of the request on the basis of sections 31(3) (law enforcement) and
38(2) (health and safety) of FOIA. The Commissioner has concluded that
section 38(2) is engaged and that the public interest favours
maintaining this exemption.
2. The Commissioner does not require any steps to be taken.
Request and response
3. The complainant submitted the following request to the GLA on 13
January 2019:
‘Can you tell me who approved the car that Mayor Sadiq Khan has?
Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone did not have cars.
How much is this costing Londoners?’
4. The GLA responded to the request on 4 February 2019 and refused to
confirm or deny whether it held any information falling within the scope
of the request on the basis of section 31(3) by virtue of section 31(1)(a)

Reference: FS50836455

2
(law enforcement), and section 38(2) by virtue of sections 38(1)(a) and
(b) (health and safety) of FOIA.
5. The complainant contacted the GLA on the same day and asked it to
conduct an internal review of this decision.
6. The GLA informed him of the outcome of the internal review on 10 April
2019. The internal review upheld the decision to refuse to confirm or
deny whether any information was held on the basis of sections 31(3)
and 38(2) of FOIA.
Scope of the case
7. The complainant contacted the Commissioner on 10 April 2019 in order
to complain about the GLA’s refusal to provide him with the information
he had requested.
8. In relation to this complaint it is important to note that the right of
access provided by FOIA is set out in section 1(1) and is separated into
two parts: section 1(1)(a) gives an applicant the right to know whether
a public authority holds the information that has been requested.
Section 1(1)(b) gives an applicant the right to be provided with the
requested information, if it is held. Both rights are subject to the
application of exemptions.
9. As explained above, the GLA is seeking to rely on sections 31(3) and
38(2) to refuse to confirm or deny whether it holds information falling
within the scope of the request. Therefore, this notice only considers
whether the GLA is entitled, on the basis of these exemptions, to refuse
to confirm or deny whether it holds the requested information. The
Commissioner has not considered whether the requested information – if
held – should be disclosed.
Reasons for decision
Section 38 – health and safety
10. Section 38(1)(b) of FOIA states that:
‘Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to—

…(b) endanger the safety of any individual.’
11.
Section 38(2) removes the duty to confirm or deny:

Gadawodd Abdul Hai anodiad ()

Reference: FS50836455

5
it then replied by confirming that information was not held, this would
indicate there had been a change in the Mayor’s travel arrangements.
The GLA argued that this would have the prejudicial effects described
under the provisions of section 38 of FOIA.
19. In its submissions to the Commissioner the GLA explained that its
rationale for relying on section 38(2) remained that as set out in its
responses to the complainant. Namely, that any statement confirming or
denying whether the requested information was held would itself be
confirmation or denial about whether to not the Mayor uses a vehicle.
20. The GLA argued that when it comes to a request for information that
relates to the transport arrangements involving a high-profile political
figure – regardless of their nature, complexity or even whether any
formal arrangements exist – there will always be the potential for any
statement in relation to those arrangements to potentially impact on the
effectiveness of those arrangements to keep that individual safe.
21. The GLA noted that in an interview in The Times in May 2019, Sadiq
Khan announced that he had been forced to have 24 police protection
after receiving hundreds of threats on social media, including threats to
his life. However, the GLA explained that it had never publicly
commented on any specific security arrangements which may or may
not be in place. Rather, it had maintained a consistent NCND position in
response to all FOIA requests which requested information about any
security or transport arrangements. It also argued that it was not aware
of any information in the public domain which undermined its NCND
position.
22. Furthermore, the GLA argued that a response under FOIA which
confirms, denies or infers the existence of information would be a
potentially valuable piece of information in the puzzle of those looking to
understand what the Mayor’s security arrangements are and then used
by those determined to attack the Mayor or otherwise cause him harm.
The complainant’s position
23. The complainant argued that it is well known the Mayor of London has a
car. He also argued that it was not plausible to refuse his request on the
basis of security reasons as Theresa May (the Prime Minister at the point
he submitted his request) has a car and the government has not denied
this.
The Commissioner’s position
24. With regard to the first limb, the Commissioner is satisfied that this is
clearly met given that the nature of prejudice envisaged by the GLA,
namely harm to the safety of the Mayor, is clearly one that falls within
the scope of the exemption contained at section 38(1)(b).
Reference: FS50836455

6
25. Furthermore, the Commissioner is satisfied that there is a causal link
between confirming whether or not the GLA holds the requested
information and harm occurring to the Mayor’s safety. This is because
the Commissioner accepts a statement confirming or denying whether
the requested information was held is likely to be taken to imply
whether or not the Mayor uses a vehicle. Moreover, the Commissioner
agrees with the GLA’s argument that any such information would be a
potentially valuable piece of intelligence to those looking to harm the
Mayor. With regard to third criterion, the Commissioner notes that the
threats to the Mayor are clearly ones that are actual and real. In her
view, given the potential insight complying with section 1(1)(a) of FOIA
would provide to any would be attackers, the Commissioner accepts that
the risk of harm occurring is clearly one that is more than hypothetical.
Furthermore, the Commissioner agrees with the GLA that it is necessary
to adopt a consistent NCND approach given the wording of this request.
26. In reaching this conclusion, the Commissioner appreciates that the
complainant has argued that it is well known that the Mayor has a car.
Furthermore, she also accepts that The Times article highlighted by the
GLA includes some information relating to the Mayor’s security
arrangements. Nevertheless, the Commissioner is not aware of any
information in the public domain that would undermine the GLA’s
position in respect of this request. Moreover, to the extent that there is
some information in the public domain about the Mayor’s security
arrangements, for the purposes of assessing the validity of an FOI
exemption, the Commissioner considers it important to draw a
distinction between an official confirmation as to whether such
information is held or not, and any other sources of potential
information.
27. The Commissioner has therefore concluded that section 38(2) is
engaged.
Public interest test
28. Section 38(2) is a qualified exemption. Therefore, the Commissioner
must consider the public interest test contained at section 2 of FOIA and
whether in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in confirming
whether or not the requested information is held.
29. The GLA acknowledged that there is a legitimate interest in it being
transparent and accountable.
30. However, it argued that there is a strong public interest in not making
any public statement that confirms or denies the existence of
information that would be likely to endanger the health and safety of
any individual. In this case, it argued that the exclusion of the duty to

Reference: FS50836455

7
confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in confirming or denying
whether the requested information is held.
31. The Commissioner agrees that there is a public interest in the GLA
confirming whether or not it holds information in order to ensure that it
is transparent about the procedures it has in place in order to protect
the Mayor. However, in the Commissioner’s view there is a very strong
public interest in ensuring the safety of individuals. In the circumstances
of this case, given the real and present threat to the safety of the Mayor
she is firmly of the view that the balance of the public interest favours
maintaining the exemption contained at section 38(2).
32. In light of this finding, the Commissioner has not gone on to consider
the GLA’s reliance on section 31(3).
Reference: FS50836455

8
Right of appeal
33. Either party has the right to appeal against this decision notice to the
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights). Information about the appeals
process may be obtained from:
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights)
GRC & GRP Tribunals,
PO Box 9300,
LEICESTER,
LE1 8DJ

Tel: 0300 1234504
Fax: 0870 739 5836
Email: grc@justice.gov.uk
Website: www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/general-reg...
chamber

34. If you wish to appeal against a decision notice, you can obtain
information on how to appeal along with the relevant forms from the
Information Tribunal website.
35. Any Notice of Appeal should be served on the Tribunal within 28
(calendar) days of the date on which this decision notice is sent.

Signed

Jonathan Slee
Senior Case Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Gadawodd Abdul Hai anodiad ()

Gadawodd Abdul Hai anodiad ()