Access information ICO cases and Section 8

mark thompson made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner's Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

In 2016, how many FOI complaints (applications for a decision over access information complaint) have been stopped/withdrawn over Section 8 of the 2000 Freedom of Information Act 2000 act?

Please break the numbers on which part of Section 8 they apply to.

Yours faithfully,

mark thompson

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

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[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Contact us: 0303 123 1113, www.ico.org.uk, livechat and twitter @ICOnews

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Information Commissioner's Office

24th August 2016

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0639794

 

Dear Mr Thompson

Thank you for your correspondence of 28 July 2016. We handled your request
in line with your rights under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) and our response is below.
 
 
Your request
 
“In 2016, how many FOI complaints (applications for a decision over access
information complaint) have been stopped/withdrawn over Section 8 of the
2000 Freedom of Information Act 2000 act?
Please break the numbers on which part of Section 8 they apply to.”
 
 
Our response
 
We confirm that in 2016 a total of 3 complaints were closed by the ICO
with the outcome withdrawn/ informally resolved where the technical breach
was about section 8.
 
The three cases were concerning;
 
FS50619696- use of pseudonym
FS50622268- requester required to provide ID
FS50630632- written format issues
 
I have also looked at all the complaints closed in 2016 with the outcome
“not section 50”. I confirm that 4 complaints were considered ineligible
for consideration by the ICO under section 50 of the FOIA because of the
absence of a valid name of the requester.

Description of outcomes

Withdrawn informally resolved outcome:
Used when, after negotiation with one or both parties, the customer agrees
to withdraw their complaint. 

Not s50 outcome:
Used when the matters raised are not eligible for consideration under s50
of the FOIA.
 
 
I hope you find the provided information of assistance.
 
Iman Elmehdawy
Information Access Service Manager
 
 
 
 
Complaint procedure
If you are dissatisfied with the response you have received and wish to
request a review of our decision or make a complaint about how your
request has been handled you should write to the Information Access team
at the address below or e-mail [1][ICO request email].

Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request received
after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please visit
the ‘Concerns’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure is available [2]here
 
 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

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If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Is it possible to search for FOI complaints without a decision notice for the word Pseudonym in the system note? In addition, the words in sentence:

request which is submitted under a pseudonym will be invalid

in the correspondence sent to the person complaining? In each instance, how many in 2016?

Yours faithfully,

mark thompson

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

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Information Commissioner's Office

21 September 2016

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0644212

 

Dear Mr Thompson

Information request
 
I write in response to your correspondence of 25 August 2016 in which you
submitted a request for information to the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO). Your request has been dealt with in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
 
Your request
 

 1. “Is it possible to search for FOI complaints without a decision notice
for the word Pseudonym in the system note?
 2. In addition, the words in sentence:
“request which is submitted under a pseudonym will be invalid”
in the correspondence sent to the person complaining?

 
In each instance, how many in 2016?”
 
Our response
 
I can confirm we hold information that falls in the scope of your request.
However, in response to the first part of your request we are unable to
provide the information you are requesting. The reasons for this are
explained in detail below.
 
With regards to the first part of your request for ‘FOI complaints without
a decision notice with the word pseudonym in the system note’; our
electronic case management system allows us to search for cases we have
dealt with in a number of different ways, however, we must use fixed
criteria which are pre-built into the system. We do not have a field on
our electronic case management system that corresponds to a ‘system note’.
Therefore we performed a number of searches to try and identify the
information you requested.
 
We initially conducted a search of FOI complaints for the word ‘pseudonym’
in the ‘case description’ field, however this returned no results.
Generally the case description field for FOI complaints we deal with will
solely consist of the name of the complainant and the name of the
complained about organisation.
 
We are able to conduct a search of our electronic case management system
for any document created since 1 January 2016 with the word ‘pseudonym’ in
the text. However, there are some limitations to this search. Our case
management system uses optical character recognition which digitises
printed texts so that they can be electronically searched. However, the
system will not recognise any image files which include .tiffs or any
poorly handwritten instances of this text.
 
Consequently, in order to provide a definitive figure of how many FOI
complaints contain the word ‘pseudonym’ somewhere in the case
correspondence and were concluded without a decision notice we would need
to individually check every document on every FOI complaint case concluded
without a decision notice since the start of 2016. Therefore, in
accordance with section 12 of the FOIA we are not obliged to comply with
your request for information. Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA) makes clear that a public authority (such as the Information
Commissioner’s Office – the ICO) is not obliged to comply with an FOIA
request if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the
request would exceed the ‘appropriate limit'. The ‘appropriate limit’ for
the ICO, as determined in the ‘Freedom of Information and Data Protection
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004’ is £450.  We have
determined that £450 would equate to 18 hours work. Since the 1 January
2016 we have concluded 2709 items of FOI complaint casework without a
decision notice. Assuming that checking each case would take approximately
five minutes (and knowing that some searches would take longer), this
would equate to over 225 hours worth of searching.  This is well in excess
of the 18 hours which would accrue a charge of £450. It is for this reason
that we are not obliged to comply with your request for information.
 
However, as a matter of advice and assistance we did conduct a search for
all the documents created since 1 January 2016, held on FOI complaint
cases that we hold on our electronic case management system, and which our
system recognises as featuring the word ‘pseudonym’.  It appears that
there are 398 FOI complaint cases closed without a decision notice and
which feature the word ‘pseudonym’ in one or more documents held on the
case.

 
In response to the second part of your request we conducted a search for
documents containing the phrase: “request which is submitted under a
pseudonym will be invalid”. We would not consider that section 12 applies
here on the basis that any correspondence we send to a complainant would
be produced via our electronic case management system, either as an email
or held as a word document, and would therefore be electronically
searchable. Since 1 January 2016 there are three items of correspondence
sent to the complainant which contain this phrase and these relate to
three FOI complaint cases. All three cases were closed without a decision
notice.

 
This concludes our response to your request. I hope the information
provided is helpful.
 
Review Procedure

If you are not satisfied that your request for information has been dealt
with correctly, please write to the Information Access Team at the address
below, reply directly to this email (with the reference number contained
within the square brackets left intact), or email us at
[1][ICO request email], quoting the reference number
IRQ0644212.

Your request for a review should be submitted to us within 40 working days
of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request received after this
time will only be considered at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Ultimately if you are not satisfied that your request for information has
been dealt with correctly you have a further right of appeal to this
office in our capacity as the statutory complaint handler under the
relevant legislation.  To make such an application, please write to our
Customer Contact Team at the address below, or visit the ‘Report a
Concern’ section of our website.
A copy of our review procedure is available here:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...

Yours sincerely

Ian Goddard
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545823  F. 01625 524510  [3]ico.org.uk  [4]twitter.com/iconews
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The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
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2. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
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