Communications with SRA

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Ministry of Defence should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

could you please disclose all e-mails that have been sent to or received from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) concerning the firm Leigh Day since 1 January 2015?

Yours faithfully,

John Roberts

Dear Ministry of Defence,

it seems that your response to my request dated 24 July is late. I re-enclose it below for ease of reference (I never received an acknowledgment hence do not have a reference).

Yours faithfully,

John Roberts

---Original request---
Dear Ministry of Defence,

could you please disclose all e-mails that have been sent to or received from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) concerning the firm Leigh Day since 1 January 2015?

Yours faithfully,

John Roberts

correspondence@mod.ecase.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of Mr Martin Blackwell, Ministry of Defence

Dear Mr Roberts,

I apologise for not acknowledging your request for information before now.
Your request has been logged with the Ministry of Defence under our
reference FOI2017-07506.

The target date for a response was 22 August 2017 which, as you note, has
now passed. The Department is considering your request and we will provide
you with a substantive response as soon we are able to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Ministry of Defence

Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy

Blackwell, Martin C2 (DJEP-JRs Casework 1),

Dear Mr Roberts,

I apologise for not acknowledging your request before now. Your request
has been logged with the Ministry of Defence under our reference
FOI2017-07506.  

The target date for a response was 22 August 2017 which, as you note, has
now passed. The Department is considering your request and we will provide
you with a substantive response as soon we are able to do so. 

Yours sincerely,

Ministry of Defence

Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: John Roberts <[FOI #420673 email]>
Sent: 23 August 2017 15:04
To: CIO-FOI (MULTIUSER)
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Communications with SRA
 
Dear Ministry of Defence,
 
it seems that your response to my request dated 24 July is late. I
re-enclose it below for ease of reference (I never received an
acknowledgment hence do not have a reference).
 
Yours faithfully,
 
John Roberts
 
---Original request---
Dear Ministry of Defence,
 
could you please disclose all e-mails that have been sent to or received
from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) concerning the firm Leigh
Day since 1 January 2015?
 
Yours faithfully,
 
John Roberts
 
 
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
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Dear Mr Blackwell,

as the deadline for this request, your reference FOI2017-07506, is now more than 2 weeks past, I was wondering when I might expect a response?

Yours sincerely,

John Roberts

Blackwell, Martin C2 (DJEP-JRs Casework 1),

Dear Mr Roberts,

 

I write further to your email of 8 September and your Freedom of
Information Act request (MOD reference FOI2017-07506).

 

Unfortunately, the Department is still considering your request and I am
not yet able to provide you with a response. I hope to be in a position to
provide that response within the next few weeks, or sooner if possible,
and will write again as soon as I am able to do so.

 

I apologise for the continued delay.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Martin Blackwell

 

Martin Blackwell | Ministry of Defence | Directorate of Judicial
Engagement Policy | Judicial Review Casework | Level 3 – Zone H | MOD Main
Building | Whitehall | London | SW1A 2HB | Telephone (military): 9621
87942 | Telephone (civilian): 020 7218 7942

 

Dear Mr Blackwell,

thank you for your message.

As you know, the 20 working days deadline of the FOI Act is a statutory deadline. The MOD is not at liberty to extend the deadline at will (except for a clearly defined means of extending the deadline for public interest tests, to which you have not referred in this instance).

I'm afraid, I cannot accept a loose promise of "hopefully" replying within "the next few weeks" as meeting this statutory obligation.

I would be grateful if I could have your assurance of a firm timeline for response by Monday 18 September COB. Otherwise I will be forced to take this to the Information Commissioner's Office. Many thanks for your understanding.
Yours sincerely,

John Roberts

Blackwell, Martin C2 (DJEP-JRs Casework 1),

I'm out of the office on the afternoon of 15 September 2017 and will
respond to your email on my return. If your query is urgent, please
contact Alison Titchener at [email address] (020 7218
5703).

.

 

Thanks.

 

Martin

 

Blackwell, Martin C2 (DJEP-JRs Casework 1),

Dear Mr Roberts,

 

Unfortunately, I am unable to indicate when you will receive a reply to
your request although I will endeavour to provide a substantive response
as soon as I am able to.

 

As you have not received a response to your request within the target
deadline, you are of course entitled to complain to the Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO). It may be helpful to know that you are able
to lodge a complaint at any stage of your request and you do not need to
wait for an internal review process to be completed. Should you decide to
lodge a complaint, the ICO will request all the information in scope and a
detailed explanation of why a response has not been provided.

 

Once again, I apologise for the continued delay.

 

Your sincerely,

 

Martin Blackwell

 

Martin Blackwell | Ministry of Defence | Directorate of Judicial
Engagement Policy | Judicial Review Casework | Level 3 – Zone H | MOD Main
Building | Whitehall | London | SW1A 2HB | Telephone (military): 9621
87942 | Telephone (civilian): 020 7218 7942

 

 

Blackwell, Martin C2 (DJEP-JRs Casework 1),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Roberts,

 

I write further to our correspondence regarding your request under the
Freedom of Information Act and now attach the Department’s substantive
response to your request.

 

Once again, I apologise for the length of time it has taken to provide you
with a response.

 

Your sincerely,

 

Martin Blackwell

 

Martin Blackwell | Ministry of Defence | Directorate of Judicial
Engagement Policy | Judicial Review Casework | Level 3 – Zone H | MOD Main
Building | Whitehall | London | SW1A 2HB | Telephone (military): 9621
87942 | Telephone (civilian): 020 7218 7942

 

From: Blackwell, Martin C2 (DJEP-JRs Casework 1)
Sent: 19 September 2017 17:34
To: John Roberts <[FOI #420673 email]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Communications with SRA

 

Dear Mr Roberts,

 

Unfortunately, I am unable to indicate when you will receive a reply to
your request although I will endeavour to provide a substantive response
as soon as I am able to.

 

As you have not received a response to your request within the target
deadline, you are of course entitled to complain to the Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO). It may be helpful to know that you are able
to lodge a complaint at any stage of your request and you do not need to
wait for an internal review process to be completed. Should you decide to
lodge a complaint, the ICO will request all the information in scope and a
detailed explanation of why a response has not been provided.

 

Once again, I apologise for the continued delay.

 

Your sincerely,

 

Martin Blackwell

 

Martin Blackwell | Ministry of Defence | Directorate of Judicial
Engagement Policy | Judicial Review Casework | Level 3 – Zone H | MOD Main
Building | Whitehall | London | SW1A 2HB | Telephone (military): 9621
87942 | Telephone (civilian): 020 7218 7942

 

 

Dear Ministry of Defence,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Defence's handling of my FOI request 'Communications with SRA', your reference FOI2017-07506.

Firstly, at the procedural level, I would like you to review the (absence of) timeliness of the MOD's response and to explain the reason for this. (Please do not claim that this was due to an oversight, as the MOD had received a number of chasing emails from me throughout the months). Please also explain why, subsequent to the necessary ICO intervention, the MOD chose to wait until the end of the 10th working day (the deadline specified in the ICO letter) to respond substantively.

Secondly, I disagree with the assertion that s31(1)(c) and/or 31(1)(g) FOIA would be engaged and that release of any (!) of the information would be likely to prejudice, as the MOD asserts. In the alternative, I submit that even though the section may be engaged, the public interest favours transparency in the communications between the MOD (a non-party in the SDT case) and the SRA.

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

Please do acknowledge receipt of this internal review request.

Yours faithfully,

John Roberts

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER),

Dear Mr Roberts,

Acknowledgement of Request for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Internal Review

We acknowledge receipt of your email of 6 November 2017 and we can confirm that an internal review will be conducted of your request for information, our reference FOI2017/07506.

The Department's target for completing internal reviews is 20 working days from date of receipt and we therefore aim to complete the review and respond to you by 5 December 2017. While we are work-ing hard to achieve this, in the interests of providing you with a realistic indication of when you should expect a response, we should advise that the majority are currently taking between 20 and 40 working days to complete.

The review will involve a full, independent reconsideration of the handling of the case as well as the final decision.

Regards,
MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

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