age assessment of unaccompanied children seeking asylum and the available guidance (26 05 09) H & F

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Concerning the age assessment of unaccompanied children seeking asylum and the available guidance, can you please provide copies of:

1) Confirmation or denial that it is the practice of your local authority to always send the UKBA/Home Office a full copy of the age assessment and that doing so complies with your Confidentiality and Data Protection Act duties and policies and is done so with the informed consent of the person age assessed or with the written agreement of the assessed person's legal representative.

1.1) If you do send the UKBA/Home Office a full copy of the age assessment, but only in certain circumstances, can you give details of these circumstances and that doing so complies with your Confidentiality and Data Protection Act duties and policies and is done so with the informed consent of the person age assessed or with the written agreement of the assessed person's legal representative.

1.2) Confirmation or denial that it is the practice of your local authority to always only send the UKBA/Home Office a summary of the outcome of the age assessment and that doing so complies with your Confidentiality and Data Protection Act duties and policies and is done so with the informed consent of the person age assessed or with the written agreement of the assessed person's legal representative.

In connection with (1) , (1.1) and (1.2) above can you please provide copies of any procedures, operational policy or guidance that explains the manner by which these age assessments or summaries are shared with the UKBA/Home Office and that doing so is perfectly legal and professionally ethical. Together with copies of the relevant age assessment forms or summaries you currently use.

Background information:

"A full copy of the 'age assessment' pro forma is forwarded to the Home
Office"
http://www3.northamptonshire.gov.uk/NR/r...

: Your correspondence :

Please ensure that any of your general correspondence,
acknowledgements or holding letters etc are included or
cut-and-pasted into the body of the email messages, using plain
text, rather than as attachments. As this will mean your
correspondence is much easier to access, read and respond to.

: Accessibility :

When providing any information disclosures please provide it in the
original unrestricted format such as:

a. MS Word .doc or Rich Text Text .rtf format or equivalent
(suitable for disclosure of email messages)

b.Spreadsheets in MS Excel .xls format or equivalent

c.Presentations in MS Powerpoint .ppt format or equivalent

or converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), ONLY if none of the
above formats are available

if you only have a paper version (hard copy) available, please
provide a Digital Photo Copier Scanned version in PDF format. If
you do provide disclosures in PDF from a Digital Photo Copier Scan,
please state that you have done so because no other format, such as
a, b or c above, are available.

If you need to redact text elements of any disclosure can you
please ensure that the rest of text based information remains
accessible to a Screen Reader.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_reader>

Please ensure any electronic disclosures are absolutely free of any
Document Restrictions and Encryption or Passwords, as this is
likely to render them less usable on a general basis and more
specifically, inaccessible to Assistive Technology.

Please do not send any information in compilation archive formats,
such as .zip.

Providing correspondence and disclosed information via these means
will help ensure that text based information is accessible for use
with a Screen Reader or a Magnifier for none text based information
and will prevent any further and separate representations under the
Disability Discrimination Act. If you are unable to meet these
reasonably practicable accessibility requests please state why and
provide a copy of any internal information, such as a policy relied
upon that would explain such a decision.

Yours faithfully,

Cassidy, J

FOIRequests, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

REF: 2009/COR0320 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION - INFORMATION REQUEST

I acknowledge your request received on 27 May 2009.

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.

If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font size, or electronically. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large print, etc. then please let me know.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.

There may a fee payable for this information. This will be considered and you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.

If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact me.

Further information is available from the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, Telephone: 01625 545 700, http://www.ico.gov.uk

Yours faithfully,

Jon Hill
Senior Information Management Officer
Information Management Team
FCS Business Technology
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Tel: 020 8753 5865

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