Chief Executive blogs

Ganesh Sittampalam made this Freedom of Information request to National School of Government

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 partially successful.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear National School of Government,

I request a copy of any blogs written by the Chief Executive. This would include those written by both current and any former holders of that post, whilst in post.

I note that you have previously refused to release some of this information under s40, but from the description given ("recording his personal thoughts and impressions with regard to National School developments and wider civil service initiatives.") it seems unlikely that all the material is genuinely personal data or that it would be unfair to release it given his position and the already wide audience it has been disseminated to.

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

National School of Government

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI315335

Dear Ganesh Sittampalam

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received on 
26^th July 2011 and is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [email address]
<mailto:[email address]>

 

 

show quoted sections

Christopher Mallett,

1 Attachment

Dear Ganesh Sittampalam

Please find attached a reply to your FOI enquiry dated 25 July 2011.

Kind regards

Christopher Mallett
Librarian
National School of Government
Cabinet Office
Sunningdale Park
Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 0QE
tel: +44 (0)1344 634286
email: [email address]

show quoted sections

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear National School of Government,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of National School of Government's handling of my FOI request 'Chief Executive blogs'.

I do not accept that information produced by an individual in the course of their work would generally constitute personal data. Even if it did I believe the public interest would be in favour of disclosing the Chief Executive's "personal thoughts and impressions concerning developments associated with the National School and the wider civil service." and therefore that disclosure would not be unfair.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

National School of Government

 

 

 

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  IR315335

Dear GANESH SITTAMPALAN

Thank you for your request for an internal review. Your request was
received on  26/9/2011and is being dealt with under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [1][email address]
<[2]mailto:[email address]>

 

 

show quoted sections

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear National School of Government,

It's now well over 4 weeks since I requested an internal review. Please advise when you expect to complete it as I am considering escalating to the ICO.

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Christopher Mallett,

Dear Ganesh Sittampalam

 

Thank you for your email. Internal reviews are overseen by the Cabinet
Office’s Knowledge and Information Management Unit.

 

I will liaise with them to ensure you receive a reply to your request as
soon as possible.

 

Kind regards

 

Christopher Mallett

Librarian

National School of Government

Cabinet Office

Sunningdale Park

Ascot

Berkshire

SL5 0QE

tel: +44 (0)1344 634286

email: [email address]

Civil Service home of learning and change
http://www.nationalschool.gov.uk 

Download our 2011/12 interactive brochure and have information about our courses at
http://www.nationalschool.gov.uk/program...
 
Note: If the links do not work, please copy and paste them into your web browser. 

Help save paper - do you need to print this email?

If you have received this email and it was not intended for you, please
let us know, and then delete it. Please treat our information in
confidence, as you would expect us to treat yours. National School
computer systems may be monitored and communications carried on them
recorded, to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the
author and do not necessarily represent those of the National School of
Government.

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

FS50428650

National School of Government

7 Attachments

Dear Ganesh Sittampalam

 

Please see attached the reply to your internal review request.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Knowledge and Information Management (CSG)

Room 1.35 |Admiralty Arch |London SW1A 2WH

Tel: 0207 276 1195

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear National School of Government,

Thank you for your very delayed reply. Please can you clarify the reasons for the following redactions? In each case it is not obvious to me from the context why a redaction would be necessary.

Pages 12-13: the redactions appear to relate to some kind of review or external visit to the NSG. Why is the name of the reviewer private?

Page 21: Apparently a statement about Chris Wormald has been redacted.

Page 23: The large redacted paragraph appears to relate to a Cabinet Minister.

Page 28: The name of a Sunningdale Institute Fellow seems to have been redacted. According to http://www.nationalschool.gov.uk/sunning... these are all people with a prominent role in public life.

Page 29: It seems like one or more references to Anthony Inglese has been redacted even though he is named in the previous sentence.

Page 45: It seems like the redaction relates to "IBM sandwiches".

Regards,

Ganesh Sittampalam

National School of Government

Dear Ganesh Sittampalam

I have looked at the questions you have raised and would respond as follows:

Pages 12-13 - Having looked in more detail, I accept that this person is significantly in the public domain and can confirm that the redacted name is "Lucy Neville-Rolfe".
Page 21 - I accept that this personal data should not have been redacted the text is "led the support team for the Liberal Democrats in the recent coalition negotiations"
Page 23 - the redacted information is about a member of staff and someone's child.
Page 28 - thank you for the website reference I am satisfied that this person is significantly in the public domain and can confirm that the redacted name is "David MacLeod"
Page 29 - You are correct. This was a bureaucratic error - Mr Inglese's name had been un-redacted in one place but not in the others. This section does however still have one redacted name. The paragraph should read:
" I've just come back from a heart-warming event in Park House at Sunningdale Park. It was a surprise party organised by the legal team for the afternoon tea break of the Introductory Course for Lawyers (ICFL). This was a celebration in honour of Anthony Inglese's hundredth time talking on ICFL. Anthony has had a full time legal DG job for a number of years now (currently at HMRC) and it is a tribute to his commitment to the role of senior people in training and developing the new generations that he has clocked up so many sessions for us. It is a huge relief to course business support to have a speaker who is so committed to turning up - and a real benefit to the students to hear from someone of his experience and with his commitment to receiving and acting on the course feedback.
The team put together some of that feedback for a big poster with his photo in the middle. There was a big cake with candles, balloons a few words from REDACTED NAME, applause from the students and members of the legal team (present and former). Anthony seemed genuinely pleased and said some very gratifying words about the School and all the people in it.
This wasn't just a really nice event. It's a really encouraging sign of the sort of behaviour we're going to be looking for from a lot of other senior folk if (fingers crossed, "when") Perm Secs agree the Core Learning Programme on Wednesday. Our model for that programme will rely on people in jobs like Anthony's being ready and willing to give their time to develop more junior colleagues. Maybe we need to get Anthony to spread the word that after 100 courses they get a card and a cake!
Rod"
Page 45 - this seems to have been a slip of the mouse or other marking error when redacting a name - additional text should read:
"Eating sandwiches in a meeting room with John Elvidge later only to discover on leaving that they were IBM sandwiches for the next meeting - they did strike me as a bit posh - still, they can afford it and it was an excellent meeting also with REDACTED NAME

Roger Smethurst
Head of Knowledge and Information Management
Cabinet Office
Room 3.31, Admiralty Arch, London, SW1A 2WH
Tel: 020 7276 6324

show quoted sections

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Smethurst,

Thank you for your email. The redactions on page 23 still puzzle me, I'm afraid; the context very much implies that the material mostly relates to positive reactions from ministers about the NSG's work. Even if specific details are about junior members of staff and their children, why do such large chunks of text need to be redacted?

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

National School of Government

Mr Sittampalam

This passage is difficult because the personal data/opinions/comments of one member of staff and the personal details of another person's child (I did not say whether they were or were not a member of staff) are closely interwoven with as you say comments relating to a minister - it would be difficult to abstract the actual text. However, what I am prepared to do is paraphrase:

The minister liked a Ministerial Handbook; she liked the common sense tone, the plain use of English and was planning to use it with her Ministerial team.

I hope that is helpful

Roger Smethurst
Head of Knowledge and Information Management
Cabinet Office
Room 3.31, Admiralty Arch, London, SW1A 2WH
Tel: 020 7276 6324

show quoted sections

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Smethurst,

That answers my query satisfactorily; thanks very much.

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam