Appointment of Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain

Waiting for an internal review by Greater Manchester Police of their handling of this request.

Dear Greater Manchester Police (GMP),

A post on social media by Chief Constable Hopkins was made on Tuesday 4th September, 2018 to the effect that C/Supt Mabs Hussain of West Yorkshire Police (WYP) had been appointed as an Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) with GMP.

Please disclose the following information:

1. The date upon which it was decided to recruit an ACC that ultimately led to this appointment.

2. The section of any meeting minutes or briefing note that records the information at Q1.

3. Copies of media advertisements that were placed to announce the recruitment of an ACC.

4. Rationale supporting choice of media.

5. Cost of such advertisements.

6. If other methods were used to 'advertise' the post, please disclose. For example, circulation to other chief officers.

6. How many applicants responded to the advertisements or other methods of circulation, notification.

7. How many applicants were (a) shortlisted (b) interviewed.

8. Blank copy of forms candidates were required to complete in support of their application, plus any other materials that would inform the wider public as to how this crucial policing role was filled. For example, a tick list of required competencies, experience.

9. Copies of email, letter correspondence, briefing notes, meeting notes relating to the subject appointment between any, or all, of the following:
GMP: Ian Hopkins, Ian Pilling, Annette Anderson (or their secretary/PA).
WYP: Dee Collins, John Robins, Julie Sykes, Osman (Oz) Khan, Mabs Hussain (or their secretary/PA).
College of Policing (CoP): Mike Cunningham (or his delegate).
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC): Sara Thornton (or her delegate).

For the avoidance of doubt, this includes internal communications between those GMP officers named. A separate request under the Act has been made to WYP to capture their internal communications and those with CoP and/or NPCC.

Information requested under Q9 should cover period up to and including the date upon which this request is acknowledged by GMP.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Dear Greater Manchester Police (GMP),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Greater Manchester Police's handling of my FOI request 'Metropolitan Police Peer Review of Greater Manchester Police Professional Standards Board.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. Section 10 of the Act requires a response to an information request PROMPLY and, in any event within 20 working days.

2. Section 17 of the Act requires a refusal notice to be served within 20 working days if a public authority seeks to rely on any exemption in order not to disclose the requested information.

3. GMP is plainly in breach of both sections 10 and 17 of the Act. Given the wider history of delayed responses to information requests made by me to GMP, the matters set out above can only be interpreted as deliberate on the part of GMP, and a continuation of a course of conduct designed to vex, harass and annoy a journalist attempting to pursue his vocation.

4. I made a seperate complaint on 27th September, 2018 concerning nil reponse to a request concerning the 'Metropolitan Police Peer Review of Greater Manchester Police PSB'

5. The College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice (APP) reinforces the matters set out at paras 1. and 2 above. Failure of an officer of a police force to comply with APP engages the College of Policing's Code of Ethics. Accordingly, please arrange with the Professional Standards Board of PSB for a conduct complaint to be recorded against the Head of the Information Services Department of GMP. That complaint should address disrespect, discourtesy, neglect of duty, discrimination, harassment. This is quite seperate to the complaint dated 27th September, 2018 referred to at para 4. above.

6. This request which, of course, involves disclosure to the wider world, is a matter of considerable public interest. GMP has a troubled recent history of sub-optimal NPCC ranked officers. Ttransparency is therefore urged upon the force, and ACC Hussain, to ensure that the appointment process was diligent, robust, thorough and that all requisite, and independent, checks were made.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

A non-recording appeal has been filed with the Independent Office of Police Conduct concerning the matter set out in para 5 of the Internal Review.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Email: neilwilby.com

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

The failure to acknowledge, or respond, to either the information request, or the internal review request, has resulted in a complaint being lodged with the Information Commissioner's Office earlier today.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Greater Manchester Police

2 Attachments

Good evening Mr Wilby,

Please find attached GMP's response to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please accept my apologies for the delay in you receiving this request.

Please note, due to the size of the documents I will be attaching I will be sending two emails, this is the first of those two.

Kind regards
David

David Kynaston
Information Compliance and Records Management Officer

Information Compliance and Records Management Unit   |   Information Services Branch   |   Greater Manchester Police

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Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Good evening Mr Wilby,

Further to my previous email, due to the size of the documents I will be attaching I will be sending two emails, this is the second of those two.

Kind regards
David

David Kynaston
Information Compliance and Records Management Officer

Information Compliance and Records Management Unit   |   Information Services Branch   |   Greater Manchester Police

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Dear Greater Manchester Police (GMP),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request a second internal review of Greater Manchester Police's handling of my FOI request 'Appointment of Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain'. The first, made on 6th October, 2018, was completely ignored by GMP and necessitated referrals to both the Information Commissioner and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. An explanation is still required for the breaches of sections 10 and 17 of the Act. That should include disclosure of any lessons learned data accruing from the instant request.

2. No response has been provided to Question 8 in the information request and no disclosure made. Please remedy this defect as a matter of urgency. It appears that the disclosure officer has confused the answer to Question 8 with Question 7(b).

3. It would be readily apparent to any independent reviewer that not all disclosure of the emails has been made. There are glaring deficiencies. Some by plain, and obvious, inference. Others within my certain knowledge. That may be down to oversight, but that would be a generous characterisation given the already vexed history of ACC Hussain's appointment, just over one month ago.

4. The officer carrying out the review is, accordingly, invited to concern themselves, particularly, with the type of searches that were made, and by whom. That same officer should be independent of the influence of those very senior officers whose emails form part of the instant information request , particularly DCC Pilling.

5. To assist with the first principles of the Act, and the chief constable's very public and repeated commitments to transparency, the internal reviewer is invited to disclose all internal GMP correspondence, notebook, or day book (paper or electronic) entries of those officers concerned with the finalisation of this request and those who were subject of it. From the date the request was made (9th September, 2018) until the date it was finalised (6th November, 2018). If this matter progresses from the complaint already lodged with the Information Commissioner, such disclosure would, doubtless, assist her investigation.

6. Nothwithstanding the issues raised in the preceding paragraphs, please note my appreciation and thanks for the disclosure made, so far. This assistance, when police resources are particularly precious, gives visible support to the vocation of journalist and "social watchdog" - and helps maintain public confidence in the police service.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Greater Manchester Police

Dear Mr Wilby,

Thank you for your email.

Please take this email as acknowledgement of your request for an internal review of your recent FOI request (our ref 2435/18).

Kind regards

Pamela Hughes
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit
Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Greater Manchester Police

Good morning Mr Wilby,
 
I note you have already been informed by my colleague Pamela Hughes this
morning that your request for an internal review of your FOI regarding the
appointment of ACC Hussain has been logged.
 
However, prior to that review I would like to address points 1 and 2 from
your internal review request email (dated 07/11/18) if that is ok.
 
 
 
1. Regarding the lateness of our response to you and your complaint
regarding Section 10 of the Act I can only apologise for this delay. GMP
are experiencing a high volume of FOI requests and our unit is currently
short-staffed due to long term sickness and we unfortunately not been able
to meet the deadlines for all requests. I would note though that as a
public interest test was required within our response we were able to
claim a further 20 working days processing time, which would have extended
the deadline from 05/10/18 to 02/11/18. Obviously even had we claimed
those additional days we would have still failed to meet the extended
deadline and again for that I apologise.
 
Regarding a breach of Section 17, my response letter indicates:
 
"Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires Greater
Manchester Police, when refusing to provide such information (because this
information is exempt) to provide you, the applicant, with a notice which:
(a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c)
states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies"
 
There then follows an explanation of the two claimed exemptions and the
reasons we believe they apply, including the necessary harm/public
interest test required when claiming S31.
 
 
 
2. You have stated that no response has been provided for question 8 of
your request and for that to be remedied as a matter of urgency. I would
like to clarify any confusion if I may.
 
Your original request asked the following (please note the error of the
sixth and seventh questions both being labelled “6”):
 
"A post on social media by Chief Constable Hopkins was made on Tuesday 4th
September, 2018 to the effect that C/Supt Mabs Hussain of West Yorkshire
Police (WYP) had been appointed as an Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) with
GMP.
Please disclose the following information:
 
1. The date upon which it was decided to recruit an ACC that ultimately
led to this appointment.
2. The section of any meeting minutes or briefing note that records the
information at Q1.
3. Copies of media advertisements that were placed to announce the
recruitment of an ACC.
4. Rationale supporting choice of media.
5. Cost of such advertisements.
6. If other methods were used to 'advertise' the post, please disclose.
For example, circulation to other chief officers.
6. How many applicants responded to the advertisements or other methods of
circulation, notification.
7. How many applicants were (a) shortlisted (b) interviewed.
8. Blank copy of forms candidates were required to complete in support of
their application, plus any other  materials that would inform the wider
public as to how this crucial policing role was filled. For example, a
tick list of required competencies, experience.
9. Copies of email, letter correspondence, briefing notes, meeting notes
relating to the subject appointment between any, or all, of the following:
GMP: Ian Hopkins, Ian Pilling, Annette Anderson (or their secretary/PA).
WYP: Dee Collins, John Robins, Julie Sykes, Osman (Oz) Khan, Mabs Hussain
(or their secretary/PA).
College of Policing (CoP): Mike Cunningham (or his delegate).
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC): Sara Thornton (or her delegate).
 
For the avoidance of doubt, this includes internal communications between
those GMP officers named. A separate request under the Act has been made
to WYP to capture their internal communications and those with CoP and/or
NPCC.
Information requested under Q9 should cover period up to and including the
date upon which this request is acknowledged by GMP."
 
It is not clear if you are referring to the question labelled as “8” above
or the eighth question in the list when you say you have not received a
response so I will look at my responses to both those.
 
The question labelled “8” in your original request (8. Blank copy of forms
candidates were required to complete….) has been provided. Within the pdf
document marked “application documents” there is a blank ACC application
form that applicants were required to complete which included sections for
them to state their previous experience, relevant qualifications/training
courses etc.
 
Furthermore, the question that is eighth in the above list (actually
labelled “7a and 7b” due to the numbering error) asks:
 
7. How many applicants were (a) shortlisted (b) interviewed.
 
My response letter answered this question as answer number 8 (as it is the
eighth question) with the response:
 
“8. One completed application form was returned who was subsequently
interviewed.”
 
As there was only one completed application form, I assumed it was clear
therefore that a) one applicant was shortlisted and b) the same single
applicant was subsequently interviewed. Apologies if my response was in
anyway unclear, this was not my intention, but I hope that clarifies the
situation sufficiently for you.
 
 
 
I will pass a copy of this correspondence to whoever is assigned to
complete a full review of your request.
 
Kind regards
David
 
 
David Kynaston
Information Compliance and Records Management Officer
 
Information Compliance and Records Management Unit   |   Information
Services Branch   |   Greater Manchester Police
 
 
 

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Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Thank you for the prompt attention to paras 1, 2 and 8. Whilst I do not accept the arguments put forward in respect of s10 and s17, for the reason that any application for extension of time must be made PROMPTLY, or within the first 20 day period, it is not necessary or proportionate to spend any more on it. The application form has now been located and I apologise for burdening you with this point.

So, in summary, the internal review request now only concerns paras 3, 4 and 5. Para 6 is an expression of gratitude, only. Paras 1 and 2 have now decayed, of course.

There is one final point, and you are invited to add this as para 7 of the internal review: The instant request was submitted on 9th September and finalised on 6th November. A different request was made by me to GMP on 29th August, 2018 and has been ignored completely. Taken at their face, neither is more complex than the other. So, why was the earlier request not finalised first? The internal reviewer might also concern her/himself with the fact other requests, received after the two referred to above, have been finalised before mine.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

The internal review has not been finalised within 20 working days.

This will be added to the complaint already made to the Information Commissioner's Office in respect of this information request.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Dear Greater Manchester Police (GMP),

For the benefit of What Do They Know readers, and fellow FOI applicants, this is present status of this request:

1. A complaint has been made to the Information Commissioner.

2. This means that, in consequence, GMP has to bring the matter to the attention of the Central Referral Unit of the National Police Chiefs Council.

3. The latest from GMP is that, on 15th February, 2019, Ben Goddard who is Acting Information Compliance and Records Management Unit Manager for GMP wrote this: "I apologise in (sic) the delay in response (sic) to this request for review. I have asked that the caseworker Khalid Mahmood provide (sic) you with an update."

4. Nothing further has been heard from either Mr Mahmood or Mr Goddard since that time.

5. The Commissioner will be able to take the matters at paras 3. and 4. into account when making her assessment of the complaint.

6. Public confidence in the police is further diminished when a force feels able to regularly drive a coach and horses through the Freedom of Information Act.

7. This is an information request that was made on 9th September, 2018. Almost six months ago. The internal review request was made on 6th October, 2018. Almost five months ago.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Web: neilwilby.com
Twitter: @Neil_Wilby

Alex Fox left an annotation ()

I had same mate, sent a FOI on 17th July and had no response so ended taking it further and got a response on 17th December . https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...