Advice provided by the Deputy Information Commissioner in relation to specific FOI cases

Information Commissioner’s Office did not have the information requested.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

In an email sent to the Ministry of Justice on 7 July 2014, the Information Commissioner said the following: "Graham Smith is increasingly consulted by the Cabinet Office and others on specific FOI cases".

Please provide me with a copy of any correspondence relating to the provision of advice by the Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith in specific Freedom of Information cases following consultation by the Cabinet Office or other Public Authorities during 2014.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am referring to instances where parties external to the ICO have approached the Deputy Information Commissioner for advice in relation to specific individual Freedom of Information Act requests. I am not interested in correspondence relating to section 50 FOI cases that Mr Smith has been consulted on by other ICO staff as part of his role as Deputy Information Commissioner, nor about any other advice he has provided internally. By "correspondence relating to the provision of advice" I mean both the initial request for advice by the Public Authority, any response by Mr Smith and any further related correspondence .

If you require any clarification of my request, please let me know at the earliest opportunity.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Cross

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

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Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

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Information Commissioner’s Office

16 April 2015

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0576605

 

Dear Ms Cross
 
I am writing in response to your information request, received 27 March
2015. We have dealt with your request under the provisions of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and we are now in a position to provide our
response.
 
You requested:

“Please provide me with a copy of any correspondence relating to the
provision of advice by the Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith in
specific Freedom of Information cases following consultation by the
Cabinet Office or other Public Authorities during 2014.”
 
You confirmed that:
 
“I am referring to instances where parties external to the ICO have
approached the Deputy Information Commissioner for advice in relation to
specific individual Freedom of Information Act requests. I am not
interested in correspondence relating to section 50 FOI cases that Mr
Smith has been consulted on by other ICO staff as part of his role as
Deputy Information Commissioner, nor about any other advice he has
provided internally. By "correspondence relating to the provision of
advice" I mean both the initial request for advice by the Public
Authority, any response by Mr Smith and any further related correspondence
.”
 
We have conducted searches of the ICO’s records and no information is
held.
 
By way of helping to clarify a little more about the nature of Graham
Smith’s contact with the Cabinet Office (and other public authorities), he
has provided the following commentary:
 
“My meetings and discussions with the Cabinet Office occur only on an “as
and when” basis. We do not have regular scheduled meetings. We never have
a formal written agenda or minutes. When we do meet or talk on the phone
the discussions are not always about specific cases. When they are, it
could be one or any number of cases. Those cases may or may not be with
the ICO. They might be Tribunal appeals or requests which have not and may
never reach the ICO. It’s all very much in the nature of informal
work-related contact, keeping up to date with any relevant developments
and doing what we can to unblock any blockages or clear channels of
communication on specific issues.”

He has confirmed that the situation is much the same for ‘other Public
Authorities’ and that he very rarely gets approached about individual
requests before they become complaints to the ICO (dealt with under
section 50 of FOIA). He explained that on the odd occasion where he might
have been approached it would be oral conversation, usually incidental to
something else. Consequently no correspondence relating to the provision
of advice would be held in any event.
 
This concludes our response to your request. I hope that this is of some
help to you.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Steven Dickinson                
Lead Information Access Officer
 
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545676  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
 
 
 
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 above or e-mail [3][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 write
to the Customer Contact department, at the address above or visit the
‘Complaints’ 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 [4]here.
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/
2. https://twitter.com/iconews
3. mailto:[ICO request email]
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...

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