Arrest of Mr Green MP and search of his offices

M Bimmler made this Freedom of Information request to Greater London Authority

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

please provide me with all information held by the Greater London Authority, especially by the office of the Mayor of London, with regards to the arrest of Mr Damian Green MP and
to the search of his office in the Palace of Westminster.

In several media it has been alleged, that the Mayor of London had been informed prior to the arrest of Mr Green MP and the search of his offices -- please outline whether there are any records of such information and if so, please provide all records you possess that relate to this information of Mr Johnson by the MPS or any other government body.

If any other correspondence to which the Mayor of London or the Greater London Authority is party or has been copied to (eg. but not limited to correspondence with the Home Office, the Cabinet Office, the MPS or House authorities) exists, which concerns this case, I would like to request access to
it too.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP and
search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he
has received a very large amount of correspondence from Londoners since
the election and it is proving quite challenging to respond as quickly as
we would like.

Please note that non Greater London Authority (GLA) related queries will
be referred to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g.
transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

However, the Mayor is committed to responding to all appropriate
correspondence and everything is being done to reply to your query as
quickly as possible.

This is an automated message and therefore does not require any response.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please note that under section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, you should have provided me with a reply no later than 7 January 2009.

Please reply to my FOI enquiry as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Dear Sir or Madam,

please note that you are now in clear violation of section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If I do not receive any reply by this afternoon, I shall have no other choice than to lodge a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner's office.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he
has received a very large amount of correspondence from Londoners since
the election and it is proving quite challenging to respond as quickly as
we would like.

Please note that non Greater London Authority (GLA) related queries will
be referred to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g.
transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

However, the Mayor is committed to responding to all appropriate
correspondence and everything is being done to reply to your query as
quickly as possible.

This is an automated message and therefore does not require any response.

M Bimmler left an annotation ()

I have lodged a complaint with the ICO now. Will annotate this further, as things develop.

Dear Sir or Madam,

As indicated, I have now filed a complaint with the ICO, as I have not received any response.
Please allow me to use this opportunity to express my grave dissatisfaction with the way this case has been handled by the Greater London Authority. I note that on your website, you do not state a specific FOI email address and therefore, there is no way to send FOI requests other than using the usual mayor at london.gov.uk address which inevitably means that FOI requests must be "hidden" in a flood of other messages. This greatly decreases the chance of FOI requests being answered in time.

I would still ask you to reply to my request as soon as possible and I will gladly withdraw my complaint with the ICO once I received a substantive reply. However, I would in any case ask for an Internal Review to be conducted, to ascertain why my request has not been properly handled.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

Dear Mr Bimmler

Thank you for your email requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act and your subsequent complaint that we have not yet responded. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your request on this occasion.

Due to ongoing investigations into this issue, we believe that the information you have requested falls under the exemption for Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities at section 30 of the Act, which is subject to a public interest test. The Freedom of Information Act (ss.10(3) and 17(2)) allows public authorities to extend the period for responding to requests under the Act if the information requested is subject to exemptions and longer is needed to consider the public interest. I am writing to inform you that it will be necessary to extend the time limit to respond to your request beyond 20 working days in this case. We expect to have made a decision on this matter by 3 February 2009, though if we are able to make a decision before then, we will contact you sooner.

Yours sincerely

Heidi Stokes
Community Safety Team

GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY

show quoted sections

Dear Heidi Stokes,

many thanks for your reply. I take note that you will be extending the deadline in order to conduct a Public Interest Test, which you are of course entitled to do.

Nontheless, please take note of the fact that my request for a separate internal review is still standing - the internal review is supposed to cast light on why no response, not even a notification of extension of the time limit, had been sent in the statutory 20 days period

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he
has received a very large amount of correspondence from Londoners since
the election and it is proving quite challenging to respond as quickly as
we would like.

Please note that non Greater London Authority (GLA) related queries will
be referred to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g.
transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

However, the Mayor is committed to responding to all appropriate
correspondence and everything is being done to reply to your query as
quickly as possible.

This is an automated message and therefore does not require any response.

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

Dear Mr Bimmler

I am writing regarding your request for an internal review of the Greater London Authority's (GLA) failure to respond to your request within 20 working days. In line with our procedures I have now conducted an investigation into the circumstances that led to the delay.

It appears that there were a number of factors that contributed to the delay in responding to or acknowledging your request. As you may suspect, the arrest of Damian Green attracted a great deal of interest and resulted in a large volume of correspondence to the GLA. In normal circumstances, requests under the Freedom of Information Act are prioritised, but due to the volume of correspondence, your request was not prioritised as would normally happen. This situation was exacerbated by the unavailability of the relevant officers over the Christmas and new year period. None of these factors of course remove the GLA from any obligation under the Act, but perhaps provide you with some insight into the delay that you encountered. The team involved have undertaken to take steps to improve the monitoring of correspondence in order to reduce future delays.

Please accept my apologies for the late response, and thank you for your continuing patience whilst we consider the public interest in relation to the application of the section 30 exemption to the information that you have requested.

Yours sincerely

Paul Gibbons
Information Governance Manager
Greater London Authority

show quoted sections

GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMAIL NOTICE:
The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged materials.
Please read the full email notice at http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice.jsp
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr Gibbons,

many thanks for your email and I am looking forward to receiving the response to my original request.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he
has received a very large amount of correspondence from Londoners since
the election and it is proving quite challenging to respond as quickly as
we would like.

Please note that non Greater London Authority (GLA) related queries will
be referred to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g.
transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

However, the Mayor is committed to responding to all appropriate
correspondence and everything is being done to reply to your query as
quickly as possible.

This is an automated message and therefore does not require any response.

Dear Ms Stokes,
dear Mr Gibbons,

quoting the email of Ms Stokes (January 13th, 2009):

"We expect to have made a decision on this matter by 3 February 2009, though if we are able to make a decision before then, we will contact you sooner."

I note that today, evening of 4 February 2009, I have neither received a communication of your decision on this matter nor a notification that the decision will be postponed.

May I respectfully ask you to send me your decision or, eventualiter, to notify me of the new estimated target date for a response at your earliest convenience?

I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the ICO's
Freedom of Information Good Practice Guidance No. 4, which states:

"Whilst the current version of the Section 45 Code of Practice makes no reference to consideration of the public interest, our view is that public authorities should aim to respond fully to all requests within 20 working days.
In cases where the public interest considerations are exceptionally complex it may be reasonable to take longer but, in our view, ***in no case should the total
time exceed 40 working days.***" (emphasis added)

I invite you to take the "40 working days total" limit into account when preparing the response to my request of 4 December 2008.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Bimmler

Please find attached a response to your FOI enquiry concerning Damian Green.

Yours sincerely
Heidi Stokes
Community Safety Team

Dear Sir or Madam,

please provide me with all information held by the Greater London
Authority, especially by the office of the Mayor of London, with
regards to the arrest of Mr Damian Green MP and to the search of
his office in the Palace of Westminster.

In several media it has been alleged, that the Mayor of London had
been informed prior to the arrest of Mr Green MP and the search of
his offices -- please outline whether there are any records of such
information and if so, please provide all records you possess that
relate to this information of Mr Johnson by the MPS or any other
government body.

If any other correspondence to which the Mayor of London or the
Greater London Authority is party or has been copied to (eg. but
not limited to correspondence with the Home Office, the Cabinet
Office, the MPS or House authorities) exists, which concerns this
case, I would like to request access to it too.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Bimmler

show quoted sections

GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMAIL NOTICE:
The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged materials.
Please read the full email notice at http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice.jsp
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Greater London Authority's handling of my FOI request 'Arrest of Mr Green MP and search of his offices'.

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

I object to the assertion that release of the records mentionned would in any way prejudice the ongoing investigation of the Monitoring Officer - I trust that the Officer is able to conduct his investigation in an unbiased and impartial way even if the documents mentionned are available for public scrutiny. Furthermore, I cannot accept that the argument that the reputation of the Mayor of London and the GLA may be harmed by disclosure is a valid argument in the Public Interest Test -- this specific FOI exemption is not intended to uphold the "untarnished reputation" of any authority and cannot be applied in such a way .

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Arrest of
Mr Green MP and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he
has received a very large amount of correspondence from Londoners since
the election and it is proving quite challenging to respond as quickly as
we would like.

Please note that non Greater London Authority (GLA) related queries will
be referred to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g.
transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

However, the Mayor is committed to responding to all appropriate
correspondence and everything is being done to reply to your query as
quickly as possible.

This is an automated message and therefore does not require any response.

Dear Sir or Madam,

could you please quickly acknowledge that my Internal Review request has been received and is being considered?

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he
has received a very large amount of correspondence from Londoners since
the election and it is proving quite challenging to respond as quickly as
we would like.

Please note that non Greater London Authority (GLA) related queries will
be referred to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g.
transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

However, the Mayor is committed to responding to all appropriate
correspondence and everything is being done to reply to your query as
quickly as possible.

This is an automated message and therefore does not require any response.

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

Dear Mr Bimmler,

I acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review of your case and will be in touch in due course.

Yours sincerely

Paul Gibbons
Information Governance Manager

Dear Sir or Madam,

could you please quickly acknowledge that my Internal Review
request has been received and is being considered?

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

show quoted sections

GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMAIL NOTICE:
The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged materials.
Please read the full email notice at http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice.jsp
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr Gibbons,

I would be grateful if, in accordance with ICO Good Practice Guidance, you could advise me of the current target date for the completion of the Internal Review launched after my Internal Review request of February 22. Please take note that the ICO suggests that Internal Reviews should take no longer than 20 days.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as quickly and fully as possible. As you will
appreciate, he receives very large amount of correspondence but he is
committed to responding to your query within 20 working days.

However, the Greater London Authority (GLA) will only respond to queries
that relate to its work and will refer relevant queries to the appropriate
functional body for them to reply e.g. transport related queries will be
referred to Transport for London (TfL).

Please note that the GLA does not accept unsolicited job applications or
C.V's. Information on current vacancies is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Mayor of London, Boris
Johnson.

Yours truly

Public Liaison Unit

References

Visible links
1. http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

Dear Mr Bimmler

Thank you for your email. I apologise that we have not been able to deal with your internal review within the suggested 20 working day response time. I am currently processing the review however I am unable to give you an exact response date at the moment, but I will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Paul Robinson
Information Governance Officer

GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Robinson,

may I ask you to inform me when you intend to reply to my Internal Review request? This has now taken significantly longer than suggested by the Information Commissioner's Office and if I do not hear from you by the end of this week, I will have no other recourse than to take this up with the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as quickly and fully as possible. As you will
appreciate, he receives very large amount of correspondence but he is
committed to responding to your query within 20 working days.

However, the Greater London Authority (GLA) will only respond to queries
that relate to its work and will refer relevant queries to the appropriate
functional body for them to reply e.g. transport related queries will be
referred to Transport for London (TfL).

Please note that the GLA does not accept unsolicited job applications or
C.V's. Information on current vacancies is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Mayor of London, Boris
Johnson.

Yours truly

Public Liaison Unit

References

Visible links
1. http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Bimmler,

Please find attached a response to your request for an internal review.

Yours sincerely

Paul Robinson
GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY

show quoted sections

Mayor of London, Greater London Authority

Dear Mr Bimmler,

I am pleased to confirm that I have responded to your internal review request today under reference '[FOI #4508 email]'.

Please accept my apologies once more that we were not able to respond within the suggested 20 working day response time.

Yours sincerely

Paul Robinson

GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Robinson,

I gladly confirm receipt of your email which sets out the Greater London Authority's response to my internal review request.

As I am satisfied with that response, this concludes my FOI case.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Bimmler

Greater London Authority

From: [FOI #4508 email]
To: [Greater London Authority request email]
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Arrest of Mr Green MP
and search of his offices

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is
keen to answer your query as quickly and fully as possible. As you will
appreciate, he receives very large amount of correspondence but he is
committed to responding to your query within 20 working days.

However, the Greater London Authority (GLA) will only respond to queries
that relate to its work and will refer relevant queries to the appropriate
functional body for them to reply e.g. transport related queries will be
referred to Transport for London (TfL).

Please note that the GLA does not accept unsolicited job applications or
C.V's. Information on current vacancies is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Mayor of London, Boris
Johnson.

Yours truly

Public Liaison Unit

References

Visible links
1. http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Francis Irving left an annotation ()

Blog post about this request: http://feelinglistless.blogspot.com/2009...

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