bundle for grievance appeal subcommittee hearing of Martin Morton (23rd May 2007 and 2nd July 2007)

ScarletPimpernel made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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 refused by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

On 23rd May 2007 Wirral Council's Appeals Sub-Committee heard a grievance appeal of Martin Morton. This meeting was adjourned and reconvened on the 2nd July 2007.

Prior to each meeting a bundle of papers relating to the grievance appeal meetings would have been circulated to Martin Morton, the three councillors who comprised the appeal panel (Cllr Gerry Ellis, Cllr Pat Williams and Cllr Adrian Jones for the May meeting and Cllr Gerry Ellis, Cllr Harry Smith and Cllr Pat Williams for the July meetings) as well as I presume copies to the people present who included P Bradshaw (Head of Human Resources), Colin Hughes (Assistant Borough Solicitor), Brian Ellis (Senior Committee Officer), Kevin Miller (Director of Adult Social Services) and Tom Ryan (Head of DASS Human Resources).

I am requesting the bundles for both the May and July meetings. This would include the agenda for both meetings, Martin Morton's original grievance letter of the 18th September 2006, an email of Martin Morton dated 17th January 2007 containing questions to the Director of Adult Social Services relating to his grievance concerns (and the Director's reply), the letter from Martin Morton to Steve Maddox (former Chief Executive) in which Martin Morton asked for his allegations to be investigated by an external body, Kevin Miller's letter dated 29th June 2007, an email dated 19th July 2006 from Martin Morton and presumably also the notes taken at the May meeting.

The bundle for the July 2nd 2007 meeting contains at least seventy-four pages.

If for whatever reason you cannot locate the documents referred to, I would like you to carry out a reasonable search for the emails and letters referred to within this request in the time allowed for Freedom of Information requests before a charge is made.

If documents are supplied that are redacted, I would like full reasons given for each redaction (for example giving the specific exemption and details of the public interest test if one applies).

If the information requested is no longer held by Wirral Council, I would like this confirmed including the date it ceased to be held by Wirral Council and why (for example our document retention policy only requires us to hold letters for x years).

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your email below.  The Council is unable to disclose the
information requested and our reasons are set out below.

 

In order to facilitate your enquiry would require resources over the
appropriate limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation, FOI Act 2000. 
This is because Council Officer/s would need to locate, retrieve and
extract the relevant information.  Further information relating to the
18.5 exemption we have relied on is here –  Where an authority is not
obliged to comply with a request for information because, under section
12(1) and regulations made under section 12, the cost of complying would
exceed the "appropriate limit" (i.e. cost threshold) the authority should
consider providing an indication of what, if any, information could be
provided within the cost ceiling. The authority should also consider
advising the applicant that by reforming or re-focusing their request,
information may be able to be supplied for a lower, or no, fee. 

 

In addition to the request being over the appropriate limit, I also
consider that your request for information in relation to the Bundles is
exempt information under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.  I am relying on this exemption because you are requesting
information which would enable you to identify living individuals, in
respect of which you are not the data subject. 

Disclosure of the information requested would therefore contravene The
Data Protection Act 1998 and in particular, the 1^st Data Protection
Principle, which states that personal data shall be processed fairly and
lawfully and shall not be processed unless at least one of the conditions
in Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998 is met.

 

Definition of Schedule 2 - SCHEDULE 2E+W+S+N.I. Conditions relevant for
purposes of the first principle: processing of any personal data

1          The data subject has given his consent to the
processing.E+W+S+N.I.

2          The processing is necessary—E+W+S+N.I.

(a) for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a
party, or

(b) for the taking of steps at the request of the data subject with a view
to entering into a contract.

3          The processing is necessary for compliance with any legal
obligation to which the data controller is subject, other than an
obligation imposed by contract.E+W+S+N.I.

4          The processing is necessary in order to protect the vital
interests of the data subject.E+W+S+N.I.

5          The processing is necessary—E+W+S+N.I.

(a) for the administration of justice,

 

I do not consider that any of the conditions in Schedule 2, as outlined
above would be met; this is an absolute exemption and is not subject to
the public interest test.  Your request is therefore refused for the
reasons set out above; your request exceeds the appropriate fees limit and
also the exemption contained within Section 40 (2).

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review of the refusal to supply the information
requested. Please direct any request for an internal review to
[1][Wirral Borough Council request email] 

 

You do also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, if
you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any internal review, contact
[2]https://www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us

 

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Wirral Council

 

Website: [3]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted to Wirral Council and
continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial
research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other
reuse, for example commercial publication, would require our specific
permission, may involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

 

 

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'bundle for grievance appeal subcommittee hearing of Martin Morton (23rd May 2007 and 2nd July 2007)'.

Thank you for your response turning down my request on grounds that it would exceed the 18.5 hour limit and be exempt under s. 40(2).

As mentioned in your reply "the authority should
consider providing an indication of what, if any, information could be provided within the cost ceiling. The authority should also consider advising the applicant that by reforming or re-focusing their request, information may be able to be supplied for a lower, or no, fee. "

You haven't given me an indication as to how the request could be changed to take it under the 18.5 hour limit. In order to refocus the request, I would have to know what the authority's estimated time would be to comply with the request in order to narrow it down sufficiently to be within the 18.5 hour limit.

In relation to the s.40 exemption I disagree on the following grounds in relation to conditions 1 and 3 which I will explain in detail.

Condition 3
3 The processing is necessary for compliance with any legal obligation to which the data controller is subject, other than an obligation imposed by contract.E+W+S+N.I.

Condition 3 applies because Wirral Council has received an FOI request for the information. Wirral Council is the data controller and has legal duties with respect to FOI requests.

Condition 1
The data subject has given his consent to the
processing.E+W+S+N.I.

Please look at this previous FOI request to the Standards Board for England https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w... which resulted in the Standards Board for England releasing this document (held also by Wirral Council) in response to it https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7... . In the standards complaint made by Mr. Morton many references are made to the grievance hearings that the FOI request I am making relates to. There is a section 5 on this form that asks if the person making it wishes it to remain confidential. If you read it you will find that Martin Morton did not request that either his name or information about the grievance hearings contained his complaint remain confidential. Although I doubt that you have asked Mr. Morton for his consent, I would suggest that that it is implied by his response as I have just outlined.

If your exemption is based on data subjects other than Martin Morton, as you have used the plural when you state "living individuals" in order to challenge this exemption I would like clarity on:

a) approximately how many different individuals you are referring to and whether you have prior to responding to this request asked for their consent,

b) whether the data subject's terms and conditions of employment included releasing information about them in response to FOI requests (and therefore consent was agreed as part of their employment),

c) whether the seniority of at least some of the data subjects (eg at Head of Service level and above) would mean that there would be a public interest in their names and connection to this matter in the public domain and

d) as I stated in my original request I would be happy to receive documents with the names of individuals redacted, detailed reasons as to why release of redacted documents would breach the data protection principles

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

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

 

Surjit – Another one for you to sign off

 

Dear Mr. Brace,

 

This email is Council’s response to your request for an Internal Review. 
  The Reviewing Officer has taken into account the information provided by
yourself and the opinions you have expressed.  The Reviewing Officer
believes that the Council had no need to place reliance on the 18.5 hour
exemption as the information requested would be exempt under Section 40
(2); as stated in the original response.

 

The Reviewing Officer does not accept the implication that consent is
applied to the information requested and it is his view that Section 40
(2) has been correctly applied to your request. 

 

If you are dissatisfied with the result of this internal review, you have
the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, whose address is

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

www.ico.gov.uk

 

Sent on behalf of

Surjit Tour

Head of Legal and Members Services & Monitoring Officer

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

[1][email address]

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

From: ScarletPimpernel [mailto:[FOI #191619 email]]
Sent: 31 January 2014 11:14
To: InfoMgr, FinDMT
Subject: IR 741135 - John Brace - bundle for grievance appeal subcommittee
hearing of Martin Morton (23rd May 2007 and 2nd July 2007)

 

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

 

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

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough
Council's handling of my FOI request 'bundle for grievance appeal
subcommittee hearing of Martin Morton (23rd May 2007 and 2nd July 2007)'.

 

Thank you for your response turning down my request on grounds that it
would exceed the 18.5 hour limit and be exempt under s. 40(2).

 

As mentioned in your reply "the authority should

consider providing an indication of what, if any, information could be
provided within the cost ceiling. The authority should also consider
advising the applicant that by reforming or re-focusing their request,
information may be able to be supplied for a lower, or no, fee. "

 

You haven't given me an indication as to how the request could be changed
to take it under the 18.5 hour limit. In order to refocus the request, I
would have to know what the authority's estimated time would be to comply
with the request in order to narrow it down sufficiently to be within the
18.5 hour limit.

 

In relation to the s.40 exemption I disagree on the following grounds in
relation to conditions 1 and 3 which I will explain in detail.

 

Condition 3

3 The processing is necessary for compliance with any legal obligation to
which the data controller is subject, other than an obligation imposed by
contract.E+W+S+N.I.

 

Condition 3 applies because Wirral Council has received an FOI request for
the information. Wirral Council is the data controller and has legal
duties with respect to FOI requests.

 

Condition 1

The data subject has given his consent to the

processing.E+W+S+N.I.

 

Please look at this previous FOI request to the Standards Board for
England
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w...
which resulted in the Standards Board for England releasing this document
(held also by Wirral Council) in response to it
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...
. In the standards complaint made by Mr. Morton many references are made
to the grievance hearings that the FOI request I am making relates to.
There is a section 5 on this form that asks if the person making it wishes
it to remain confidential. If you read it you will find that Martin Morton
did not request that either his name or information about the grievance
hearings contained his complaint remain confidential. Although I doubt
that you have asked Mr. Morton for his consent, I would suggest that that
it is implied by his response as I have just outlined.

 

If your exemption is based on data subjects other than Martin Morton, as
you have used the plural when you state "living individuals" in order to
challenge this exemption I would like clarity on:

 

a) approximately how many different individuals you are referring to and
whether you have prior to responding to this request asked for their
consent,

 

b) whether the data subject's terms and conditions of employment included
releasing information about them in response to FOI requests (and
therefore consent was agreed as part of their employment),

 

c) whether the seniority of at least some of the data subjects (eg at Head
of Service level and above) would mean that there would be a public
interest in their names and connection to this matter in the public domain
and

 

d) as I stated in my original request I would be happy to receive
documents with the names of individuals redacted, detailed reasons as to
why release of redacted documents would breach the data protection
principles

 

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

 

Yours faithfully,

 

John Brace

 

 

 

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