This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Correspondence with Legatum Institute'.


 
 
 
 
 
 
Freedom of Information Team 
xxx@xxxxx.xxx.xx 
Correspondence Unit 
www.gov.uk 
9 Downing Street 
SW1A 2AG 
 
 
 
Kristian Healey-Ryder 
Via: ​xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
 
Our ref: DEX000853 
 
12 December 2017 
 
Dear Kristian Healey-Ryder​, 
 
I refer to your request, where you asked: 
 
 
Please provide me with copies of correspondence (including letters, reports and emails) 
from Ministers and/or Directors sent to and received from Legatum Institute. 
 
 
I can confirm the information you have requested is held by the Department for Exiting the 
European Union (DExEU).  
 
There has been no correspondence between Directors at the DExEU and the Legatum 
Institute. 
  
Information contained in the correspondence between DExEU Ministers and 
representatives from the Legatum Institute falls into two categories, one category contains 
administrative correspondence between Ministerial Private Offices and the Legatum 
Institute relating to meeting arrangements. The release of this information is exempt 
under section 35(1)(d), which exempts information if it relates to the effective operation of 
a Ministerial Private Office. The other category relates to correspondence exempt from 
release under section 35(1)(a), which exempts information if it relates to the formulation or 
development of government policy.  
 
Section 35 is a qualified exemption and I have considered whether the public interest 
favours releasing or withholding this information. There is a public interest in releasing 
information that increases transparency, which in turn increases public trust and 
confidence in government. Further to the general reasons to support disclosure, under 
section 35(1)(d) there is a public interest in ensuring Ministerial public offices are cost 
effective in line with public expectations. In addition, under section 35(1)(a) there is a 
public interest in the transparency of policy deliberations as policy decisions can have a 
significant impact on the lives of citizens.  
 
Against the public interest for disclosure, under section 35(1)(d) the principle of safe 
 

 
space is used for the effective operation of Ministerial private offices to ensure that they 
operate free from interference or distraction. The protection of safe space allows private 
offices to focus on the day to day management of the Minister’s office and diary, thereby 
ensuring the time and cost effective administration of private offices. Any release of 
correspondence or information that will impact on the safe space needed for the effective 
operation of a Ministerial Private Office may hinder the effective administration of private 
office. Furthermore, there is little objective public interest in releasing correspondence that 
relates to routine administrative functions and day to day management of private offices.  
 
Furthermore, under section 35(1)(a)  there is a strong interest in policy making associated 
with our exit from the EU being of the highest quality and being fully informed by a 
consideration of all options. It is important that policy officials can consider and exchange 
views on all available options and openly discuss and understand potential implications, 
especially on live issues. The Information Commissioner's Office recognises the role of 
external organisations in the policy formulation process and that government departments 
engage with a range of external organisations to ensure all possible options are 
considered during the policy process. DExEU engages with external organisations from 
different sectors and industries to understand how the individual sectors and industries 
function to assist in the formulation and development of policy relating to the ongoing exit 
negotiations and future relationship with the EU. Releasing the information in scope may 
result in a chilling effect that will prevent policy officials from considering all available 
views and options. This may create unintended consequences which could potentially 
jeopardise policy formulation or development in the future, which may play a key part in 
our negotiation strategy regarding our exit from the EU.  
 
I have determined that the circumstances of this case favours withholding the information 
we hold in scope of your request over releasing it.  
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact the FOI team. Please remember 
to quote the reference number above in any future communications. 
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request or wish 
to request an internal review, you should write to ​xxx@xxxxx.xxx.xx​ or: 
Freedom of Information Team (internal review) 
Department for Exiting the European Union 
9 Downing Street 
SW1A 2AG 
You should note that DExEU will not normally accept an application for internal review if it 
is received more than two months after the date that the reply was issued. 
If you are not content with the outcome of your internal review, you may apply directly to 
the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner cannot make 
a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by DExEU. The 
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: 
The Information Commissioner’s Office 
Wilmslow 
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF 
 

 
Yours sincerely, 
 
 
Freedom of Information Team, DExEU.