Advice to remuneration committee from Willis Towers Watson

Peter C. Bell made this Freedom of Information request to Post Office Limited Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Post Office Limited,

The Annual Report and Accounts for 2021/22 states:

"Willis Towers Watson were appointed as remuneration advisers to the Committee in September 2020 and remain as the remuneration advisers to the Committee." (where the committee referred to is the Remuneration committee).

Please provide a copy of any advice provided by Willis Towers Watson in their role as remuneration advisers to the remuneration committee whether in a report prepared by Willis Towers Watson or as recorded in minutes of meetings where Willis Towers Watson provided advice.

Please also provide details of the remuneration paid to Willis Towers Watson for advice as above during the financial year 2021/22.

Please provide the information in electronic form.

Yours faithfully,

Peter C. Bell

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Our ref: FOI2023/00443

Dear Peter C. Bell,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 25th
July. Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event
within 20 working days. We will therefore reply at the latest by 23rd
August.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Peter C. Bell

We are writing in respect of your information request, FOI2023/00443. At
present our view is that your request falls within the scope of the
qualified exemption at section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act ("
FOIA"), relating to commercial interests.

As permitted by section 10 of the FOIA, Post Office Limited (" Post
Office") requires further time to consider the public interest test in
relation to this exemption. An extension is permitted until such time as
is reasonable in the circumstances. Having considered the FOIA Code of
Practice, Post Office considers that an extension of 20 working days is
appropriate in this instance and will therefore aim to respond to you by
21st September.

With kind regards

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

[1][email address]

Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information
about how we do this can be found on our website at
www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Peter C. Bell

We are writing in respect of your information request, FOI2023/00443.
Although we had hoped to respond by 21st September, we are still
considering the public interest test in respect of the exemption as we
previously advised.

As permitted by section 10 of the FOIA, Post Office Limited (" Post
Office") requires further time to consider the public interest test in
relation to this exemption. An extension is permitted until such time as
is reasonable in the circumstances and, having considered the FOIA Code of
Practice, Post Office considers that a further extension of 20 working
days is appropriate in this instance and will therefore aim to respond to
you by 19th October.

Regards

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

[1][email address]

Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information
about how we do this can be found on our website at
www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Peter C. Bell

As per our emails of 23 August and 19 September, we are writing to you
once again in respect of your information request, FOI2023/00443. Our view
is still that your request falls within the scope of the qualified
exemption at section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA"),
relating to commercial interests.

As previously explained, section 10 of the FOIA permits Post Office
Limited (" Post Office") further time to consider the public interest test
in relation to this exemption, and considers that a further extension of
20 working days is appropriate in this instance and will therefore aim to
respond to you by 16th November. However, we expect to be in a position to
respond early next week.

Kind regards

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

[1][email address]

Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information
about how we do this can be found on our website at
www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Peter C. Bell,

Please find the response attached relating to your Freedom of Information
request.

Kind regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

Dear [email address],

Thank you for your response to my Freedom of Information Request which was submitted on Tuesday 25 July 2023 (a working day).

I note that your initial response was made on the following day (26 July 2023) and indicated that you were aware of the legal requirement to respond "promptly", and as a separate legal obligation, to respond within 20 working days. You indicated that I should expect a response on or before 23 August 2023.

On Wednesday 23 August 2023 (20th working day) you advised me that further time was required the public interest test and that you considered that an extension of 20 working days was reasonable and you would aim to respond by Thursday 21 September 2023. (Monday 28 August 2023 was a bank holiday in England and Wales and therefore not a working day).

On Tuesday 19 September 2023 (39th working day) you advised that further time was needed to consider the public interest test and that you considered that a further extension of 20 working days was appropriate and would now aim to respond by Thursday 19 October 2023 (60th working day).

You finally provided a response on Friday 20 October 2023, the 61st working day after the request was submitted.

The ICO provides guidance on the law related to FOI requests. See - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/foi...

"FOIA does not define what a ‘reasonable’ extension of time might be. However, our view is that you should normally take no more than an additional 20 working days to consider the public interest. This means the total time spent dealing with the request should not exceed 40 working days. An extension beyond this should be exceptional.

Examples of such circumstances could include extreme pressures placed on you by a major incident or exceptional levels of complexity involving a number of external parties. You will need to demonstrate that the length of any time extension is justified. "

Could you please provide your reasons as to why you consider that this request was so exceptional that an extension beyond a total of 40 working days was required. Please provide your reasons and any evidence you might have, such as evidence of a major incident or evidence that this request included an exceptional level of complexity involving a number of external parties, or some other substantive reason why a further extension after the initial 20 working day extension was needed, and provide evidence and justification as to why a clearly wholly exceptional period of 61 working days was required.

I reserve the right to bring this matter to the attention of the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Peter C. Bell

Peter C. Bell left an annotation ()

Have asked Post Office to explain why this particular request required over 60 working days for them to decide the public interest test.
The ICO guidance states that they consider that more than 40 working days should be "exceptional" and the public body should be able to demonstrate that the length of any time extension is justified.
Will be interesting to read Post Office's reasons for taking so long.

information.rights, Post Office Limited

Dear Peter C. Bell,

Thank you for your email.

We can only apologise for the length of time it took to process your information request, FOI2023/00443. As you can imagine, the information requested was complex and as explained in our response letter, required consultation with the third party.

We would like to remind you that if you are not content with the response or handling of your information request, you are welcome to request an internal review. Alternatively, you also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
http://www.ico.org.uk/foicomplaints

With kind regards,

Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street
London
EC2V 7ER

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