Civil Disclosure Unit: North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire PCC

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner's Office

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 Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO),

This is a request for information by way of s1 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2000.

It concerns that performance monitoring of two data controllers (DC's):

a. The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police and

b. Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York

It is public knowledge that both DC's share resource by way of their Civil Disclosure Unit (CDU). For the purposes of this request it would be preferable if the finalisation could seperate the information concerning the DC's.

If s12 is likely to be engaged then collective information would be acceptable.

The relevant time frame is 1st April 2015 until 30th June, 2017 and the specific information requests are as follows:

1. Dates of any informal visits or meetings held with the DC's by the Information Commissioner or her representatives.

2. Copies of the notes taken at those meetings and either way follow-up correspondence.

3. Copies of any audits of business processes carried out concerning the DC's

4. Copies of ICO internal correspondence where the subject is either of the two DC's where the subject amtter of the emails is a pattern of concerns.

5. Copies of any advice given to the DC's or requests for an action plan from the Dc's

6. Copies of any concerns held about the DC's held for the purpose of informing future regulatory concerns.

7. How many data breaches have been self-reported to the ICO and copies thereof.

8. Copies of any feedback provided to the ICO by the DC's concerning the performance of the ICO (what is done well, need to put right, improve etc).

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

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Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
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The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
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Dear AccessICOinformation,

This is an extract from the Act: "10. Time for compliance with request. (1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt".

The key word here is PROMPTLY. The 20 working day limit is very much a backstop. Not the first day you start thinking about a response.

In recent civil proceedings concerning data and information breaches, in which I succeeded in obtaining damages and costs against the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, District Judge Heels in Huddersfield County Court made a finding concerning "promptly", citing the well known legal authority of Brown LJ in Regency Rolls Ltd v Carnall [2000] EWCA Civ 379.

A public authority is required to act with 'all due celerity' in order to comply with Section 10 of the Act.

The circumstances of the instant request would not persuade any independent reviewer that you have complied with the 'all due celerity' requirement. Particularly, in view of the resources available to the Information Commissioner who is able to maintain a constant, and heavy flowing, stream of PR 'guff' on social media.

The instant information request is straightforward, very much in the public interest given the appalling FOIA performance of North Yorkshire Police (over 1,500 non-compliant finalisations in three years), and seeks disclosure of a materials that should be readily retreivable.

In delaying finalisation of this response my Article 10 rights as a journalist are engaged. See Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights [2016] 18030/11.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web neilwilby.com

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

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Information Commissioner's Office

8 August 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0691331

Dear Mr Wilby
 
Request for information
 
Further to our acknowledgement, we are now in a position to provide you
with a response to a part of your request for information. However we
would like clarification on some of the information you requested before
we can provide you with our final response.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with any information ‘held’ by a public
authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request
 
In your email of 17 July 2017 you asked us to provide you with the
following information:
 
“This is a request for information by way of s1 of the Freedom of
Information Act, 2000.

It concerns that performance monitoring of two data controllers (DC's):

a. The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police and

b. Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York

It is public knowledge that both DC's share resource by way of their Civil
Disclosure Unit (CDU). For the purposes of this request it would be
preferable if the finalisation could seperate the information concerning
the DC's.

If s12 is likely to be engaged then collective information would be
acceptable.

The relevant time frame is 1st April 2015 until 30th June, 2017 and the
specific information requests are as follows:

1. Dates of any informal visits or meetings held with the DC's by the
Information Commissioner or her representatives.

2. Copies of the notes taken at those meetings and either way follow-up
correspondence.

3. Copies of any audits of business processes carried out concerning the
DC's

4. Copies of ICO internal correspondence where the subject is either of
the two DC's where the subject matter of the emails is a pattern of
concerns.

5. Copies of any advice given to the DC's or requests for an action plan
from the Dc's

6. Copies of any concerns held about the DC's held for the purpose of
informing future regulatory concerns.
 
7. How many data breaches have been self-reported to the ICO and copies
thereof.
 
8. Copies of any feedback provided to the ICO by the DC's concerning the
performance of the ICO (what is done well, need to put right, improve
etc).”
 
 
Firstly, we do hold information within the scope of your request.
 
Our understanding of your request was that it solely concerned data
protection as you describe the organisations only as ‘DCs’ and refer to 
“self-reported breaches”. For clarity, the term “self-reported breaches”
refer to breaches of principle 7 of the Data Protection Act which involves
the security of personal data held by an organisation. It is in this
context that we understood your request to be for concerns and ICO
monitoring of the performance of the two aforementioned data controllers
in relation to the personal data they process.
 
However, the ICO received a communication from you on 7 August 2017 that
suggests you are in fact interested in the performance of these two
organisations in relation to the general right of access to information
held by a public authority under the Freedom of Information Act:
 
“The instant information request is straightforward, very much in the
public interest given the appalling FOIA performance of North Yorkshire
Police (over 1,500 non-compliant finalisations in three years), and seeks
disclosure of a materials that should be readily retreivable.”
 
In the light of this we need to seek clarification about what information
you are requesting:
 
 

* Please could you confirm whether you are seeking information about the
monitoring by the ICO of these two organisations as data controllers
(their performance in relation to personal data), public authorities
(their performance in relation to the general right of access to
information held by a public authority) or both?

 
In any event, I have included our response to some of your questions based
on our understanding of your request. For clarity, we have only considered
their compliance with the Data Protection Act:
 
1. During the requested timeframe there have been no monitoring visits or
meetings involving these data controllers.
 
Until recently the Assistant Chief Constable of North Yorkshire was the
national lead on ANPR and he chaired the National ANPR Strategy Board. We
have therefore engaged with North Yorkshire Police on matters relating to
ANPR and the national portfolio but this was not in relation to its
compliance.
 
2. We do not hold this information as no data protection monitoring has
taken place during this timeframe.

3. There have been no audits during the requested timeframe. The ICO last
carried out an audit of North Yorkshire Police in 2012.
 
4, 5, 6, and 7.
 
Regarding points 4, 5, 6 and 7, it may be of assistance to explain that we
do proactively disclose some information about our casework (see the link
below). It is unlikely that we would provide you with the details of
concerns that have been submitted to us by individuals as they contain
personal data. Complainants do not anticipate or expect the details of the
concerns/complaints they send to the ICO to be disclosed. It would be
helpful if you confirm whether the information provided through our
proactive disclosure of datasets (link below) is satisfactory to you.
 
7. There has been one self-reported breach by North Yorkshire Police
within the timeframe of your request, basic details of which will be
published in due course on our website (see below) with the rest of our
dataset information.
 
As mentioned above, we publish information about the casework we do.
Datasets for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years which include
information about the complaints we have dealt with about data controllers
(including self-reported breaches) can be found on our website at the
following link:
 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
 
if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you can click on the
datasets.
The datasets include the following information:
  
 

* Our reference number for the work completed;
* the type of work and legislation it falls under;
* the name of the organisation responsible for the processing of
personal information;
* the sector the organisation represents;
* the date the work was completed; and
* The outcome following our consideration of the issues.

You can filter this casework by the name of the organisation that is being
investigated. The case outcome for each case is also shown which indicates
where regulatory action was taken. A description of the case outcomes we
use is also available from the same link.
 
8. We do not normally ask Stakeholders to provide their views on the ICO’s
performance. As you may know, a data controller is entitled to ask for a
case review when the ICO makes an assessment with which it does not agree,
this is known as an RCC. There are no RCC cases held for either of the
data controllers during the requested timeframe.
 
Once you have provided the clarification we need to the bullet point in
bold we can begin to process your request and will respond within 20
working days of receipt of this additional information. If we do not
receive a response from you within 20 working days of this letter your
request will be considered to have lapsed, as under section 1(3) of the
FOIA a public authority need not comply with a request unless any further
information reasonably required to locate the information is supplied.
 
Should you wish to reply to this email please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that your reply is
added directly to your case.
 
 
Yours sincerely
  
Janine Gregory
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0303 123 1113  F. 01625 524510  [2]ico.org.uk  [3]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information requests please use [4][ICO request email]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
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References

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4. mailto:[ICO request email]

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you for your response.

You ask:
* Please could you confirm whether you are seeking information about the
monitoring by the ICO of these two organisations as data controllers
(their performance in relation to personal data), public authorities
(their performance in relation to the general right of access to
information held by a public authority) or both?*

The information I seek concerns *BOTH. I apologise for any inconvenience caused by the lack of clarity in framing the original request..

By way of background, and an explanation of the seriousness of the purpose of the request, the thrust of my investigation is that, by way of a Freedom of Information request finalised by North Yorkshire Police (254.2015.16), it was disclosed by the public authority, to the requester only (it was passed to me privately, as it had not been posted on the public authority's disclosure log), that there had been over 1,500 FOIA requests finalised as non-compliant in a three year period. The mythical man on the Clapham omnibus might muse on his journey as to where the threshold sits for the Commissioner to invoke a monitoring process.

I am also aware that in April 2016 the Commissioner issued an improvement notice to the Civil Disclosure Unit concerning compliance with the statutory 20 working day limit (I would submit, with some force, that the notice was incorrectly framed under the Act).

Since that notice was served, and using information requests posted on WhatDoTheyKnow as a guide, non-compliance has continued at, more or less, the levels disclosed in 254.2015.16.

I can trace no other notice served by the Commissioner on the Civil Disclosure Unit since.

In these circumstances, it might again strike the omnibus traveller (or, more pointedly, an investigative journalist) as peculiar that no monitoring, or communication with the public authority over non-compliance, has taken place.

More particularly, as since the last monitoring of North Yorkshire Police by the Information Commissioner in 2012, when they were rated by my journalist peers as the worst police force in the country for non-compliance, they have managed to move up just one place since.

These matters are of very considerable public interest, as disclosure under the Act would provide a measure of the efficacy of monitoring, and issue of improvement notices, by the Commissioner.

I trust this helps, and readily accept that providing a more detailed response may take a little longer, and beyond the original 20 working day limit.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

It has come to my attention that the notice served on the CDU in April, 2016 concerning compliance with the 20 working day limit has been removed from your website. It is now a dead link.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak

On any independent view, given the industrial scale breaches since that have occured since that notice was issued, it is extraordinary that no trace exists on your website.

In those circumstances, in the wider context of your response to my request for information can you please provide a pdf copy of that notice?

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Information Commissioner's Office

21 August 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0691331

 
Dear Mr Wilby
 
Request for information
 
Further to your clarification, we are now in a position to provide you
with a response to your information request.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with any information ‘held’ by a public
authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request

The original request we received on 17 July 2017 is as follows:

"This is a request for information by way of s1 of the Freedom of
Information Act, 2000.

It concerns that performance monitoring of two data controllers (DC's):

a. The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police and

b. Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York

It is public knowledge that both DC's share resource by way of their Civil
Disclosure Unit (CDU). For the purposes of this request it would be
preferable if the finalisation could seperate the information concerning
the DC's.

If s12 is likely to be engaged then collective information would be
acceptable.

The relevant time frame is 1st April 2015 until 30th June, 2017 and the
specific information requests are as follows:

1. Dates of any informal visits or meetings held with the DC's by the
Information Commissioner or her representatives.

2. Copies of the notes taken at those meetings and either way follow-up
correspondence.

3. Copies of any audits of business processes carried out concerning the
DC's

4. Copies of ICO internal correspondence where the subject is either of
the two DC's where the subject amtter of the emails is a pattern of
concerns.

5. Copies of any advice given to the DC's or requests for an action plan
from the Dc's

6. Copies of any concerns held about the DC's held for the purpose of
informing future regulatory concerns.

7. How many data breaches have been self-reported to the ICO and copies
thereof.

8. Copies of any feedback provided to the ICO by the DC's concerning the
performance of the ICO (what is done well, need to put right, improve
etc)."

We subsequently requested that you clarify this request though we did
provide a partial response on 8 August 2017.

You clarified on the same day, as set out below:

 
“Thank you for your response.

You ask:
* Please could you confirm whether you are seeking information about the
monitoring by the ICO of these two organisations as data controllers
(their performance in relation to personal data), public authorities
(their performance in relation to the general right of access to
information held by a public authority) or both?*

The information I seek concerns *BOTH. I apologise for any inconvenience
caused by the lack of clarity in framing the original request..

By way of background, and an explanation of the seriousness of the purpose
of the request, the thrust of my investigation is that, by way of a
Freedom of Information request finalised by North Yorkshire Police
(254.2015.16), it was disclosed by the public authority, to the requester
only (it was passed to me privately, as it had not been posted on the
public authority's disclosure log), that there had been over 1,500 FOIA
requests finalised as non-compliant in a three year period. The mythical
man on the Clapham omnibus might muse on his journey as to where the
threshold sits for the Commissioner to invoke a monitoring process.

I am also aware that in April 2016 the Commissioner issued an improvement
notice to the Civil Disclosure Unit concerning compliance with the
statutory 20 working day limit (I would submit, with some force, that the
notice was incorrectly framed under the Act).

Since that notice was served, and using information requests posted on
WhatDoTheyKnow as a guide, non-compliance has continued at, more or less,
the levels disclosed in 254.2015.16.

I can trace no other notice served by the Commissioner on the Civil
Disclosure Unit since.

In these circumstances, it might again strike the omnibus traveller (or,
more pointedly, an investigative journalist) as peculiar that no
monitoring, or communication with the public authority over
non-compliance, has taken place.

More particularly, as since the last monitoring of North Yorkshire Police
by the Information Commissioner in 2012, when they were rated by my
journalist peers as the worst police force in the country for
non-compliance, they have managed to move up just one place since.

These matters are of very considerable public interest, as disclosure
under the Act would provide a measure of the efficacy of monitoring, and
issue of improvement notices, by the Commissioner.

I trust this helps, and readily accept that providing a more detailed
response may take a little longer, and beyond the original 20 working day
limit.”
 
Our response
 
We have already provided you with our response to your information request
in relation to data protection.
  
You have requested that we also include freedom of information in our
response, please see below. 

Information not held
 
1. We do not hold this information. For the avoidance of doubt, there has
been no monitoring under FOI of either of these public authorities during
the requested period.
 
Our FOI regulatory action policy can be found at the following link:
 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...

2. Copies of the notes taken at those meetings and either way follow-up
correspondence.
 
Not held for the reasons given above.

3. Not applicable to FOI.

4, 5, and 6
 
These points would relate to the regulatory action we take under the FOIA
regarding North Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for
North Yorkshire.
 
We are unsure what you mean by “improvement notice”.  However, it may be
that you are referring to the following decision notice about North
Yorkshire Police which expressed concern at the delay in ‘Other matters’:
 
[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
 
Information withheld
 
Decision notices about both public authorities are exempt under Section 21
of the FOIA as we are not required to provide information in response to a
request if it is already reasonably accessible to you from another source.
You can access our decision notices via the following link:
 
[3]http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...
 
You can then select a public authority by typing the name into the filter.
 
7. Not applicable to FOI.
 
8. This has been responded to in our initial response. 

Finally, you have asked for a review about a link that no longer takes you
to an item on our website. Due to periodic updates to the website, some
links might cease to work. This would not be a matter for review.
Although, we cannot be sure what information you are referring to as the
link no longer operates, we understand it to be the link provided above
for FS50589979. If this is not the case, please let us know.
 
 
Next steps
 
I hope this response is clear. If you would like me to clarify anything
about the way your request has been handled please contact me.
 
You can ask us to review the way we have handled your request. Please see
our review procedure [4]here.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team, at the address given or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
  
Yours sincerely
  
Janine Gregory
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0303 123 1113  F. 01625 524510  [5]ico.org.uk  [6]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information requests please use [7][ICO request email]
 
 
 

 
The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
2. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
3. http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
5. http://ico.org.uk/
6. https://twitter.com/iconews
7. mailto:[ICO request email]

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you for the prompt response to the supplemental questions.

You are quite correct concerning the 'dead' link. The required information was located at FS50589979 after the posting was made (a pdf had been electronically archived and I was able to track back from there).

You are also correct in that the 20 day compliance was raised in 'Other Matters' in that Decision Notice. I apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. Working from a (failing) memory I was of the genuinely held belief that it had taken the form of a 'stand alone' improvement notice to NYP/NYPCC CDU. That is plainly not the case.

The request is now finalised satisfactorily and I am grateful for the care and attention it has been given.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

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The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
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