Assurance and Governance
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
020 7035 4848 (switchboard) www.gov.uk
8 January 2020
Dear Ms Esslemont,
Freedom of Information request (our ref: 56357 internal review)
Thank you for your email, in which you asked for an internal review of the
response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request above.
On 8 October 2019 you initially made a request for the number of
potential/confirmed human trafficking and modern slavery victims held in
detention. This was allocated the reference 55811 and on 18 October you
were sent a letter asking for clarification (8 working days after receipt of your
You then submitted a further request on 8 November and this was allocated
the reference 56357. On 15 November you were sent another clarification
letter, in which you were provided with 4 scenarios where the department
could provide the information to one of the four scenarios detailed (5 working
days after receipt). The full text of the original response can be found in Annex A.
You requested an internal review on 20 November and stated that the policy
unit had not provided the right advice in time, which led to a delay in respect
of your original request. The full request for the internal review can be found in Annex B.
Having looked into your two recent requests (55811 and 56357) I understand
that Immigration Enforcement considered that it was necessary to ask you to
clarify what exact information you were requesting. I understand that this
caused you inconvenience, however, under the FOI Act the department can
ask for clarification, if it is considered that a request is unclear. This is to
ensure that public authorities identify all of the information that is in scope,
particularly where a request could be interpreted in more than one way. By
doing this, it reduces the chance of providing information that is not relevant to
the request, and the need for the applicant to then have to submit a further
I note that Immigration Enforcement did respond to both of your requests
within the set deadlines and have made every effort to provide you with
advice and assistance.
In your email of 20 November, you explained specifically what information you
were requesting, and that request is being dealt with under the reference of
56588. Immigration Enforcement will reply to you separately concerning this
This completes the review.
Annex A – full text and response
41 Homer Road
15 November 2019
Dear Ms Esslemont
Re: Freedom of Information - 56357
Thank you for your e-mail of 8 November in which you clarified your original
request of 8 October in which you asked:
Please outline the number of potential/confirmed human trafficking and
modern slavery victims held in detention whose last NRM outcome was
• Withdrawal, positive decision or negative decision at Reasonable
• Withdrawal, positive decision or negative decision at Conclusive
Grounds stage Please present these figures separately, according to the NRM ‘stage’ (e.g.
Referral. Reasonable Grounds stage and Conclusive Grounds stage) in 2017
and 2018. The time period for this data should be 1 January 2017- 31
December 2017 and 1 January 2018- 31 December 2018
On 8 November you clarified your request:
In response to your request for clarification over FOI 55811, I would like to
clarify that 'detention' refers to those held under Immigration Powers
Your request is being handled as a request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.
Unfortunately, your recent e-mail still does not provide us with sufficient
details to identify or locate the information you require. However, we can
of the following four interpretations of your request:
1. People whose latest trafficking outcome was as listed, whilst they were in
detention (i.e. the outcome given during detention)
2. People whose latest trafficking outcome was as listed, who were also
detained (at any point before / during / after the outcome)
3. People entering detention whose latest trafficking outcome was as listed 4.
People entering detention whose latest trafficking outcome was as listed OR
their latest trafficking outcome given during detention is as listed
Once you provide this information, we will aim to send you a full response to
your request within twenty working days.
Yours sincerely Immigration Enforcement Secretariat
Annex B - Text of the internal review request
From: M Esslemont <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 20 November 2019 13:38
To: IE PQs, FOIs and Correspondence <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: FW: FoI Case Ref 56357 - (M Esslemont) - 2019-11-08 - (IE)
Dear IE PQs, FOIs and Correspondence,
Please copy in the team dealing with internal reviews, as this email pertains to
both satisfying my original request and the initiation of an internal review of
your handling of clarifications in case ref case ref 56357.
I am unsure of the source of your confusion regarding case ref 56357, which
seems to have changed in nature over the one month period it has taken for
you to make contact with me.
Initially, you asked for the nature of the powers under which detainees must
be held in order to meet the criteria of my original request (18th October
2019). This was a simple question, and I confirmed that my request was in
reference to detainees held under Immigration Powers. I received an email
acknowledgement, and no indication that further clarification was required.
A month later, I was asked to provide an entirely different clarification as to
the nature of the data requested (15th November 2019). Your second email
outlines that my clarification "still" doesn't provide enough information about
the formatting of requested data, despite the fact that I had never been given
an opportunity to address this concern when contact was first made.
Firstly, please forward this email on to the third party responsible for internal
reviews, as I would like to ask for a review into the failure to include
clarifications in the first instance, which has led to a significantly delayed
response to my FOI.
Secondly, please take my below copy as a confirmation of the exact nature of
data requested. I see that you have outlined four possible questions, which do
not align with what I have asked, so I will outline the data specifications to the
best of my ability. If there is any further need for clarification, do contact me in
the first instance.
My original email reads:
"Please outline the number of potential/confirmed human trafficking and
modern slavery victims held in detention whose last NRM outcome was
• Withdrawal, positive decision or negative decision at Reasonable Grounds
stage • Withdrawal, positive decision or negative decision at Conclusive
Please present these figures separately, according to the NRM ‘stage’ (e.g.
Reasonable Grounds stage and Conclusive Grounds stage) in 2017 and
2018. The time period for this data should be 1 January 2017- 31 December
2017 and 1 January 2018- 31 December 2018"
To clarify, I am asking for the number of people held in detention, under
Immigration Powers, in 2017 and 2018, who have - during any time period -
interacted with the National Referral Mechanism and received a 'latest
decision' through this mechanism at either the Reasonable Grounds (RG) or
Conclusive Grounds (CG). As per the original email, I require withdrawals as
an outcome also (in addition to positive and negative decisions).
Please note that whilst the time criteria for the detention period is 2017-2018,
the data requested on the latest NRM outcome should apply to any period.
This data should be disaggregated by:
- Year of detention
- NRM most recent decision stage and outcome
If there are any issues, do not hesitate to clarify in a more timely manner.
Annex C –Complaints Procedure
If you remain dissatisfied with the response to your FoI request, you have the
right of complaint to the Information Commissioner at the following address:
The Information Commissioner
Cheshire SK9 5AF