Meetings between Iraq Inquiry Secretary and the Cabinet Office

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.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Cabinet Office.

christopher lamb

Dear Cabinet Office,

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I request disclosure of all information held, on paper and electronically, of meetings and other communications between Margaret Aldred, the Secretary of the Iraq Inquiry, and Cabinet Office officials between 2009 and 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Lamb

McCabe, Bob - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

  • Attachment

    Freedom of Information request Meetings between Iraq Inquiry Secretary and the Cabinet Office.txt

    1K Download View as HTML

 

 

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI318371

Dear CHRISTOPHER LAMB

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received
on 2/9/2013 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]

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear McCabe, Bob - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

I am writing to remind you that both Freedom of Information requests I have sent to the Cabinet Office seeking disclosure of information about meetings and other communications between Margaret Aldred, Secretary to the Iraq Inquiry, and Cabinet Office officials have yet to receive a full response, even though the statutory period to reply has elapsed in both cases.

Could you please expedite matters by providing responses as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

Dear Cabinet Office,

In the light of the Cabinet Office's failure to respond to my two FOI requests for minutes of meetings and other communications between Margaret Aldred, the Iraq Inquiry Secretary, and Cabinet Office officials, I take this a step further by requesting an internal review which provides the response and an explanation for the delay.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

Dear Mr Lamb

Could you please provide us with the reference numbers as assigned to your two request mentioned below, in order for us to pursue this matter further.

Regards

FOI Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

The reference numbers are FOI318264 and FOI318371.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

Please find attached a response to your FOI request.

 

FOI Team

Cabinet Office

1 Horse Guards Road

SW1A 2HQ

[1][email address]

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

Please find attached a response to your FOI request.

 

FOI Team

Cabinet Office

1 Horse Guards Road

SW1A 2HQ

[1][email address]

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

Thank you for your response. As the meetings and other communications appear very extensive, and wishing to find a realistic measure of cost, I wish to refine the request in this instance to seek disclosure of minuted meetings and other communications between the Iraq Inquiry Secretary and Cabinet Officials for the first six months of the Inquiry after it was set up in 2009 and the last six months (June 2013-November 2013).

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

 

 

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI318703

Dear CHRISTOPHER LAMB

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received
on 15/11/2013 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]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

Please find attached an extension notice with regard to your recent FOI
request.

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please find attached further information about your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please find attached further information about your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

I am afraid that I am not satisfied with the progress of this internal review. This is the third extension of time you have put in for. I must ask for further clarification as to why you are finding it so difficult to weigh the question of disclosure against the public interest.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please find attached the reply to your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

Okay, to reduce costs further I refine my request to refer to Ms. Aldred's communications with Cabinet Office officials in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat and officials directly charged with administering the Cabinet Office Protocol relating to the Chilcot Inquiry and I also reduce the time frame to the last six months leading up to the date of the request in November of last year.

I hope this elicits a constructive response as I am tiring of this cat and mouse game.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

 

 

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI319158

Dear CHRISTOPHER LAMB

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received
on 04/03/2014 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]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Team - Cabinet Office,

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please find attached in regard to to your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Team - Cabinet Office,

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please find attached the reply to your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

christopher lamb

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 'Meetings between Iraq Inquiry Secretary and the Cabinet Office'.

I am seeking an internal review because this is the first reply refusing disclosure since I first made the request and had to refine it a number of times to satisfy criteria of cost.

My request for internal review seeks answers to the following questions;

Section 27:

a) I ask for further clarification of how the application of this exemption has protected against genuine damage to international relations allegedly threatened by disclosure rather than preventing information from being disclosed which would be deeply embarrassing to the Blair government and even pointing to possible wrong-doing in relation to international treaty law (ie. the UN Charter);

b)as the Iraq invasion took place eleven years ago, how does it still generate the potential for damage in current international relations?;

c) how can such an exemption be maintained when the diaries and memoirs of politicians and Special Advisors of the time place such material in the public domain (eg. Alastair Campbell's diaries)?:

Section 35;

As the Iraq Inquiry is meant to be independent of government, the expectation is that the Report would be published and put before Parliament for its deliberations before the Government discussed its potential contents to develop policy. The application of this exemption strongly infers that the Government not only intends to discuss the Report's contents before publication but uses communications with Margaret Aldred- seconded from the Cabinet Office and thus still a Cabinet Office employee- as an active means for this discussion with the purpose of developing government policy before the Report is published or put before Parliament. This seems to be backed up by your application of the Section 42 exemption ('legal privilege')where this applies to protecting legal advice in the context of early Government policy development. Can you confirm or deny whether this inference from the use of the Section 35 exemption has any merit?

Section 40;

Can you confirm whether redactions of names and personal references rather than blocking the entire request would be an appropriate use for this exemption?

Section 41;

I ask whether an express agreement has been made between the Iraq Inquiry and the Cabinet Office to keep the information requested confidential. Mindful of this, I enquire whether the Iraq Inquiry would, if consulted, agree to disclosure in the public interest.

It strikes me that the application of this exemption is more in the interests of the Cabinet Office than the Iraq Inquiry because the Cabinet Office has placed restrictions upon key information declassification, and is thus delaying, progress toward completing and publishing the Report while the Iraq Inquiry has sought for the information at the heart of this request to be put in the public domain (in conjunction with its Report). Can you provide a satisfactory answer to the complaint that the Cabinet Office is the main beneficiary of such confidentiality?

There is also a potential issue with Ms. Aldred herself who was seconded to the Iraq Inquiry as its Secretary but remains an employee of the Cabinet Office. In 2010, according to a letter sent by Cabinet Secretary, Gus O'Donnell' to Dame Janet Paraskeva of the Civil Service Commissioners, it was confirmed that Ms. Aldred was a member of the Cabinet office Approvals Panel. Thus, her role in communicating with Cabinet Office officials on behalf of the Iraq Inquiry will not be so straightforward as might be claimed since it will evidently also reflect her Cabinet Office background and alleged continuing loyalties to this Government department. This complicates, as far as I see it, the formula referring to the 'other person' in Section 41 because there is an argument that Ms. Aldred remains attached to the Cabinet Office and its 'interest'.

Lastly, I ask for further clarification of how the alleged 'breach of confidence' if this information is disclosed would be made 'actionable'.

Section 42;

I ask for clarification whether this exemption has been applied in conjunction with Section 35 for the purpose of protecting legal advice which the Government aims to seek to test the legal implications of policy considerations with a view to early policy development. That is, policy development on the most sensitive and controversial issues addressed by the Report before the Report itself is published or presented to Parliament.

If this is the case, it casts significant doubt over the independence of the Iraq Inquiry and the process by which the Report is publicized and opened to scrutiny.

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,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office,

1 Atodiad

  • Attachment

    Internal review of Freedom of Information request Meetings between Iraq Inquiry Secretary and the Cabinet Office.txt

    6K Download View as HTML

 

 

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  IR319158

Dear CHRISTOPHER LAMB

Thank you for your request for an internal review. Your request was
received on 02/05/2014 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]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI Team - Cabinet Office,

May I remind you that this request is still outstanding.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

FOI Team - Cabinet Office,

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please find attached the reply to your recent Internal Review request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Jonathan Keeling, Cabinet Office

1 Atodiad

Dear Dr Lamb,
I attach a letter from the Cabinet Office regarding your FOI request of 3
March 2014.
Regards,
FOI Team
Cabinet Office