Campaign for Fairer Gambling - correspondence

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Culture, Media and Sport,

Please could you provide me of copies of all correspondence, whether by email or letter, with the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (including with their offshoot Stop The FOBT's and under their old name "Fair and Opening Gambling Campaign"). Your search may also be facilitated by searching under their founder's name Mr Derek Webb.

I already have access to the campaign's submissions to consultations
here
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

and
here
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

so these need not be included but any other responses to consultations are relevant.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Richardson

FOI, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Richardson

Thank you for your information request. You asked:

“Please could you provide me of copies of all correspondence, whether by
email or letter, with the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (including with
their offshoot Stop The FOBT's and under their old name "Fair and Opening
Gambling Campaign"). Your search may also be facilitated by searching
under their founder's name Mr Derek Webb.

I already have access to the campaign's submissions to consultations here
[1]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

And here

[2]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

so these need not be included but any other responses to consultations are
relevant.”

We have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We regret that we are unable to respond to your request in its current
wording. This is because they exceed the cost limit set out by the Act.
Section 12 of the Act makes provision for public authorities to refuse
requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed
the appropriate limit, which for central government is set at £600. This
represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days in
determining whether the department holds the information, locating,
retrieving and extracting the information.

We consider your request would be over this limit because the information
that you are interested in could be contained in a large quantity of files
covering many years. Searching through those files that may or may not
contain information within scope of your request will exceed the
appropriate limit laid down in the regulations.

If you would like further information regarding the cost limit and how it
is applied please refer to the Office of Public Sector Information Website
using the link below:

[3]www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/20043244.htm

Yours sincerely

[4]cid:image001.png@01CE41D8.92FDC8D0  

 

Freedom of Information Team

4^th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ
[5]cid:image002.jpg@01CE41D8.92FDC8D0[6]@dcms 
[7]cid:image003.jpg@01CE41D8.92FDC8D0 [8]/dcmsgovuk |
[9]www.gov.uk/dcms

Complaints and comments

As is customary in our replies, I would like to explain that if you are
dissatisfied with any aspect of our response to your request for
information and/or wish to appeal against information being withheld from
you please send full details within two calendar months of the date of
this email to:  [10][email address]

You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to
investigate any aspect of your complaint. Please note that the ICO is
likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted
before beginning his investigation.

 

 

 

 

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Richard Richardson

Dear FOI Team,

thank you for your response which explains that my request would exceed the cost limit set out within the Act.

I would like to reword my request in order to narrow the search criteria significantly and so bring the cost down below the limit set out within the act.

I would also like to split the request into two separate requests in order to make sure that one is so narrow that it would certainly be within the cost limit of the act.

Request 1 - please could you supply me with all responses to DCMS consultations since 2003 from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (including their offshoot Stop The FOBT's and under their old name "Fair and Opening Gambling Campaign"). Your search may also be
facilitated by searching under their founder's name Mr Derek Webb. The search can be limited to gambling related consultations.

Request 2 - please could you supply me with all correspondence to/from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (including under their old name "Fair and Opening Gambling Campaign") and the DCMS related to the 2005 Gambling Bill/Act during the period 1 Jan 2003-1 Jan 2006. Your search may also be facilitated by searching under their founder's name Mr Derek Webb.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

FOI, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Dear Mr Richardson

Thank you for your email.

The timeframe you have provided should mean we will be able to collate the information you have requested within the cost limit.

We will of course have to consult the third parties, however, we will write to you again within 20 working days of 9 October.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ
@dcms   /dcmsgovuk | www.gov.uk/dcms

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Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response to my amended FOI request which I note is now more than 20 working days old and so is overdue.

Please could I also add that within a similar request to the Gambling Commission I found that the correspondence I am interested in was in some instances classified as from Prime Table Games, which is the organisation that funds the campaign.

Please could you ensure that correspondence with and from Prime Table Games is included within this FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

Tomorrow will be 35 working days since you accepted my reworded FOI request.You had committed to writing to me within 20.

Is there a new ETA for this information disclosure?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson left an annotation ()

I have submitted an additional FOI request relating to third party correspondence related to this request.

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

Given that Christmas has been and gone I have lost track of how many working days this amended request has now been outstanding.

You pledged to contact me again within 20 working days of the 10th October 2013. That was 14 weeks ago. Even if we assume a full 2 weeks off for Christmas that is now 60 working days.

When will a reply be forthcoming?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

A further ten working days have passed since this revised FOI request was accepted. My estimate is that this is now at least 70 working days. Seriously - what is going on? Why can you not meet the 20 day criteria?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

It is now another 5 working days. This is at least 75 working days since my request was accepted.

Please could you at least acknowledge my follow up notes chasing progress?

Is 75 working days a record for your department? If there are difficulties at your end please clarify them rather than merely ignoring my request and subsequent chasing emails. If you would explain why there is this delay that would help even if it now seems that performance standards for response are moot with regard to this request.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

It is now another 21 working days. This is at least 96 working days since my request was accepted.

Please could you at least acknowledge my follow up notes chasing progress?

Is 96 working days a record for your department? If there are difficulties at your end please clarify them rather than merely ignoring my request and subsequent chasing emails. If you would explain why there is this delay that would help even if it now seems that performance standards for response are moot with regard
to this request.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear Department for Culture, Media and Sport,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Culture, Media and Sport's handling of my FOI request 'Campaign for Fairer Gambling - correspondence'.

My request was accepted on the 9th October and I was promised a response within 20 working days which equates to the 5th of November 2013. it is now the 11th March 2014 and I have chased this request several times. I have also made a further FOI request regarding correspondence related to this request which has been essentially ignored.

The service level with this request is truly appalling. Seriously what is going on? Why is it so difficult to respond to this request? To acknowledge my chasing comments even?

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

Yours faithfully,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

It is now 14 working days since I requested an internal review of this FOI request. My internal review request is essentially driven by a failure to respond within appropriate timescales.

I would like to remind you that the ICO believes Internal Reviews should be completed within 20 working days with 30 working days as the deadline where complex issues of public interest exist (which do not apply in this case). All internal reviews should be completed within 40 working days.

I am disappointed that after 14 working days I am yet to receive even an acknowledgement of the internal review request. Ironic given that the review request is a a result of a lack of timely response and failure to respond.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

My initial request was accepted on the 9th October and I was promised a response within 20 working days which equates to the 5th of November 2013.

I placed my Internal Review request on the 11th March and am yet to receive even an acknowledgement. Interestingly I have had another request made via the same mechanism fully answered since then by your department, within the 20 day limit for requests.

Now since my initial request we have had Christmas, and since my Internal Review request we have had Easter and the May day bank holiday so I have completely lost track of the number of working days but I am confident that we are now over the 40 day limit imposed by the ICO on Internal reviews and the days since the initial request is now extreme.

I note that there was a comment regarding the need for third party consultation so I would like to highlight to you that the Campaign for Fairer Gambling advertise that they are philanthropically funded - ie in this sponsored supplement for the New Statesman.

http://www.stopthefobts.org/wp-content/u...

If the delay is in part because they are attempting to assert commercial confidentiality as a defence against disclosure I am forced to ask what "philanthropic" commercial interest can justify this delay? There is no commercial confidence in philanthropy.

Seriously 9th October was the date this request was accepted - it is now the 16th May - This is over 7 months not 20 working days and one of the requests was just for submissions to public consultations!

What is going on?

Please could you at least acknowledge receipt of this communication. I am sure it has been sent and to a valid address that has worked for other requests but some acknowledgement would offer me some reassurance. I would not like to have to refer this to the ICO and then find that a communication error is the root of the problem

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

Please could you at least acknowledge receipt of my request for an internal review?

I estimate that it is now 54 working days since I requested an Internal Review.

Prior to the Internal Review request I estimate that there were 103 working days between my request being accepted (9/10/13) and my Internal Review request (11/3/14). The combined total is now 157 working days.

The response time for an FOI request should be 20 working days as a maximum not 157+

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

FOI, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Dear Mr Richardson,

Thank you for your email of 1 June regarding your previous request for an internal review.

It seems that due to an error on our part we have not yet responded to your request. I must very much apologise for this delay.

We will look into the reasons for the delay and respond to you as soon as possible, in any case you will hear from us no later than the end of next week.

Once again, I do apologise for the delay in responding.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Team

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ
Telephone: 020 7211 6395
@dcms   /dcmsgovuk | www.gov.uk/dcms

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Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your acknowledgment of my Internal Review request regarding this FOI inquiry (2/6/2014).

I note that you promised a response by 13th June 2014 and that I am yet to receive any such communication. Amusingly this makes it 20 working days from your acknowledgment of my Internal Review request and yet I have heard nothing.

My initial FOI request was accepted on the 9th October. My (rough) calculation is that this is now 177 working days since my FOI request was accepted and 74 working days since my request for an Internal Review was submitted, a review requested because of excessive delay.

Now the 9th October 2013 is a long time ago, we are now well over 20 weeks never mind days, is your new target 20 months for a response?

The FOI request of 9th October 2013 (my god the year is becoming relevant) consisted of two parts.

The first was about submissions to public consultations, consultations that include a full FOIA dislosure notification to those submitting a response. Those responses cannot be subject to reasoable legal dispute. They are public consultation exercises.

The second regards communications from a lobbying organisation, funded "philanthropically" - it has no commercial interest, at least that is what the campaign claims. I concede that my request is broad in that it refers to multiple organisations within that lobby (Prime Table Games, Campaign for Fairer Gambling + their old name and Stop The FOBTs, their spin off organisation - all linked to one individual Mr Derek Webb) but their public position is that they have no commercial interest in this issue. I am happy to accept their word on that - so on what basis are they opposing disclosure?

When a group holds lobby meetings in the House of Commons as a political organisation how can they continue to block disclosure of their communication with government under the FOIA?

I look forward to your response. Apolgies that your response is clearly embarrassing to you individually, after all 177 working days for a simple FOI request re submissions to public consultations is shameful.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson

Dear FOI,

Another month has passed without hearing from you regarding this simple FOI request.

By my calculation this makes the number of working days:
197 since the request was accepted.
94 since I requested an Internal Review due to excessive delay
40 working days since my Internal Review request was acknowledged.
30 working days beyond the promised Internal Review update.

I hope this is helpful in terms of reporting your FOI performance and acts as a reminder that progress is long overdue.

FYI the initial FOI request was first made on 11th Sept 2013. I do hope matters can be concluded prior to the anniversary.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

CHARLES, Birgitte, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Dear Mr Richardson,

Thank you for your further email of 26 July regarding your FOI request.

I must again very much apologise for this delay in responding to your request. I will personally ensure that you hear from us regarding this case shortly, and at the very latest by the 8th of August.

I again really apologise for this unfortunate delay.

Please let me know if you haven't heard from us by the above mentioned date.

Kind regards,
Birgitte Charles

Freedom of Information Manager
4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ
[email address] | 020 7211 6395
@dcms   /dcmsgovuk | www.gov.uk/dcms

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Richard Richardson

Dear CHARLES, Birgitte,

Whilst the 8th August is by no means over yet, today is the deadline you suggested for a response. Hopefully prompting this AM increases the chance of meeting it.

By my calculation this makes the number of working days:
207 since the request was accepted.
104 since I requested an Internal Review due to excessive delay
50 working days since my Internal Review request was acknowledged.
40 working days beyond the promised Internal Review update.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

CHARLES, Birgitte, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

I'm out of the office until Monday 11 August.

 

If urgent, please contact Ryan Cannon or Nigel Wakelin:

 

[email address]

[email address]

 

Please note that your email has not been forwarded.

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CANNON RYAN, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Richardson,

 

Please accept our apologies for the long delay in providing you with a
substantive response to your information request. We are however now able
to provide you with the information the Department holds which is within
scope of your request.

 

You asked for:

 

Responses to DCMS consultations since 2003 from the Campaign for Fairer
Gambling (including their offshoot Stop The FOBT's and under their old
name "Fair and Opening Gambling Campaign"). Your search may also be
facilitated by searching under their founder's name Mr Derek Webb. The
search can be limited to gambling related consultations.

 

Request 2 - please could you supply me with all correspondence to/from the
Campaign for Fairer Gambling (including under their old name "Fair and
Opening Gambling Campaign") and the DCMS related to the 2005 Gambling
Bill/Act during the period 1 Jan 2003-1 Jan 2006.

 

Your search may also be facilitated by searching under their founder's
name Mr Derek Webb.

 

Following a search of our records, we can confirm we hold consultation
responses from Mr Derek Webb on behalf of Prime Table Games and the
Campaign for Fairer Gambling. These are attached to this email. We do not
hold any relevant information pertaining to the Fair and Open Gambling
Campaign.

 

In respect of your second question, we do not hold any information
relevant to the period you have specified.

 

Once more, please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with
a response, however I hope this information is helpful.    

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Ryan Cannon

 

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01CE41D8.92FDC8D0  

Ryan Cannon

Freedom of Information Team

4^th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ
[2]cid:image002.jpg@01CE41D8.92FDC8D0[3]@dcms 
[4]cid:image003.jpg@01CE41D8.92FDC8D0 [5]/dcmsgovuk |
[6]www.gov.uk/dcms

 

 

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