Stella House, Goldcrest Way
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Our ref: 11674
Tel: 0191 2035352
Date: 7 April 2021
Dear U Winfield,
Freedom of information request
I am writing to advise you that I have decided not to disclose the information you
requested on 7 February 2021. You requested the fol owing:
1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewal Diversity Champion” or to
be included on Stonewal ’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or
appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.
2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either
application or programme.
3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewal in 2019 or 2020 unless
privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in
relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on
which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).
4. Ful details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of
these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier
application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).
5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewal (i) in 2019; (i ) in 2020,
whether or not as payment for goods or services.
6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewal scheme in the
future, and if so which.’
On 8 March 2021 you clarified your request as fol ows:
‘You are hinting that there has been a lot of communication with Stonewal .
Q1: Can you please send me the original application form(s) for 2019 and/or 2020 for the
Stonewal Diversity Champion or the Workplace Equality Index? These may be long
document(s)! If you cannot, then can you please just tel me whether you made an
application for one or either or both scheme(s) and what year(s), please?
Q2 and Q3: Again, the feedback may be extensive. Can you please say in broad terms
what the feedback is about?
You seem to have "condensed" Q2, Q3 and Q4 in my original FoI request. You have not
copied Q2, Q3 and Q4 correctly from my request. Q3 is missing in your copy.
Q4: Did you carry out an Equality Impact Assessment for the application(s)?
Q6: I am interested in the two Stonewal schemes mentioned in Q1, please.’
The information you requested is being withheld as it fal s under the exemption in section
14(1) the Freedom of Information Act.
Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for
information if the request is Vexatious.
The reasons we are refusing to comply with your request are several, and are listed below;
1. During the course of handling of this request it has come to light that responses to
FOI requests made by the campaign are being posted on social media with the sole
intention of criticising any organisation which submits applications to Stonewal .
2. The request has been made as part of a wider campaign against Stonewal with the
intention of discrediting and undermining them as a charitable organisation, whose
role is to support people in the LGBT community and to help organisations promote
and encourage diversity in the workplace.
3. The request could be characterised as a “fishing trip” as for the most part, the
request doesn’t describe the information it seeks to obtain. Rather it is formed in the
broadest terms to determine what information may have been shared between the
NHSBSA and Stonewal .
4. The request is not made in the spirit of FOI, which is enacted to promote and
require transparency in relation to spending of public funds and in effective conduct
of public services. The spirit of this request is to further a campaign against
Stonewal and its partners/clients.
5. The value/purpose of the information is of little to no interest to the wider public, and
the focus of the request is not on the information itself, given that the broad nature
of the request demonstrates that you do not know what information you expect or,
indeed, wish to receive.
For the reasons set out above, we consider this request to be unjustified and an improper
use of formal procedure1 namely using FOIA as a means to damage Stonewal , rather
than its intended purpose as an information access regime which promotes transparency
in the public sector in the public interest.
We would also value your feedback regarding the way in which your request was handled.
You can provide us with direct feedback on our website at the fol owing web link:
1 Lee v the Information Commissioner paragraph 69.
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish
to make a complaint or request a review of my decision, please write within 6 months of
the date of this letter to:
Information Governance Manager
NHS Business Services Authority
Stel a House
Newburn Riverside Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
Details of how we wil handle your review request are available on our website at:
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. Please note that general y, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the NHS Business Services
Authority’s complaints procedure.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please quote the reference
number above in any future.
Information Governance Specialist