Dear British Waterways Board,

I refer to the assurance given by your chief executive in response to board member Rodney Green's request that BW's Business Plan 2011/12 be made available to a wider audience (Board Minute 11/079).

Unfortunately, the part of the assurance given that this plan is available on BW's website seems to be in error. I am unable to find it.

I am also unable to find, in the vast majority of cases, copies of business/corporate plans produced in previous years.

Please provide via whatdotheyknow.com a copy of BW's Business Plan 2011/12.

Please also provide via whatdotheyknow.com copies of all previous plans (corporate or business) approved by the board during the last ten years.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Information Request,

Dear Mr Richards,

Thank you for your e-mail and I apologise for the delay acknowledging your request.

You will find a copy of the current BW Business Plan on our British Waterways website with the other corporate downloads here http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/downlo.... it is located approximately halfway down the list. I have also attached an electronic copy to this e-mail for you now.

We will review the information that we hold relating to your request and a response will be sent as soon as possible but in any case within 20 working days of the receipt of your request on 10th August 2011.

Yours Sincerely,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

Dear British Waterways,

Thank you for the delayed acknowledgement.

Unfortunately you forgot to attach your latest plan, as stated.

Also, the only plan on your website is, available by the link given, is not the plan which your chief executive has told board director Rodney Green is published.

For the avoidance of doubt, the only link that can be found in the list suggests that it is for a 3 year plan starting 2009/10 which can hardly be called current!

Yours sincerely,

Allan Richards

Information Request,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Richards,

Please accept my apologies - I have now attached a copy of the plan for you.

I can also confirm that the link is correct. The updated plan agreed by the Board is still subject to agreement with Defra and is to be discussed at a forthcoming meeting with the Defra team. Only once agreed with Defra is the plan formally adopted and published.

We therefore anticipate the updated plan will be published on the BW website towards the end of September.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
Find out more about the exciting new waterways charity for England and Wales here http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/charity
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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Dear Ms Young,

I confirm that it is the 2011/12 plan approved by your board on the 19th May that I am requesting, irrespective of its status regarding Defra approval.

Your chief executive has already told the board that it has been published so I see no reason not to provide me with a copy.

My request was -

Please provide via whatdotheyknow.com a copy of BW's Business Plan 2011/12.

Please also provide via whatdotheyknow.com copies of all previous plans (corporate or business) approved by the board during the last ten years.

At the moment all you have provided is a plan for last year 2010/11.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Richards

Dear British Waterways,

This request was made on the 10th August. By law you should respond promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

British Waterways Board

2 Attachments

Delivery is delayed to these recipients or groups:

[1]FOI requests at British Waterways
([British Waterways request email])

Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Corporate/Business Plans

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1. mailto:[British Waterways request email]

Dear British Waterways Board,

You are breaking the law by not responding to this request.

For the avoidance of doubt my request is as follows:-
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I refer to the assurance given by your chief executive in response to board member Rodney Green's request that BW's Business Plan 2011/12 be made available to a wider audience (Board Minute 11/079).

Unfortunately, the part of the assurance given that this plan is available on BW's website seems to be in error. I am unable to find it.

I am also unable to find, in the vast majority of cases, copies of business/corporate plans produced in previous years.

Please provide via whatdotheyknow.com a copy of BW's Business Plan 2011/12.

Please also provide via whatdotheyknow.com copies of all previous plans (corporate or business) approved by the board during the last ten years.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Please provide the information requested and carry out an internal review to determine why it was not provided within 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Dear British Waterways,

Please provide the information I have requested and confirm that you intend to carry out a review.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Dear British Waterways Board,

You have still not responded to this information request or my request for review.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Allan Richards left an annotation ()

A complaint regarding this request has been made to the Information Commissioners Office for

Failure to comply with the statutory response timeframe of 20 working days imposed by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Failure to carry out an internal review to determine the reason for failure.

Information Request,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Richards,

Further to our earlier correspondence about the Published Corporate plan for 2011/12 I am pleased to attach a copy for you now.

Please also note that this plan is now publically available on our British Waterways website here http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/downlo... following approval by DEFRA on 8th September 2011.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
Find out more about the exciting new waterways charity for England and Wales here http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/charity
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

Dear British Waterways,

I also said -

Please also provide via whatdotheyknow.com copies of all previous plans (corporate or business) approved by the board during the last ten years.

Please do so!

Yours sincerely,

Allan Richards

Dear British Waterways,

Thank you but my request asked for other plans as well.

It said -

Please also provide via whatdotheyknow.com copies of all previous plans (corporate or business) approved by the board during the last ten years.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Richards

Allan Richards left an annotation ()

Having upheld a complaint the Information Commisioner has served British Waterways with a decision notice.

The Commissioner finds that BW has breached sections 10(1) and 1(1) of the FOIA.

BW has been given 35 calender days (from 9/2/2012) to take specified remedial steps.

Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as contempt of court.

Dear British Waterways,

May I remind you that a decision notice in respect of this FOIA requests requires that you take remedial steps within 35 days of 9th February 2012.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Nigel Johnson,

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Richards

 

(1)    BW Business for the following years are attached:

a.       BW Plan 2001-02

b.      BW Plan 2002-03

c.       BW Plan 2003-04

d.      BW Plan 2004-05

e.      BW Plan 2005-06

f.        BW Plan 2006-07

g.       BW Plan 2007-08

(2)    The Business plans for more recent years have been published on the
BW website.

(3)    The Business Plans are in a few places redacted in that information
is being withheld in reliance upon the exemption contained in s.43(2)
Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is because the information withheld
would or would be likely to, if disclosed, damage the commercial interests
of a person.  In these cases the information withheld concerns the terms
under which commercial property transactions and other commercial
transactions are proposed to be or have been entered into  in the context
of a competitive market and disclosure would, or would be likely to,
damage the commercial interests of the counter-party to BW in the
transaction or the commercial interests BW itself.

(4)    BW considers that it is in the public interest to maintain the
exemption where so replied upon.  The reasons for this are (a) a very
substantial part of BWs overall revenues required to support its public
activities are derived from competitive commercial activities; (b) by
s.134 Transport Act 1968 BW is obliged to carry on these activities as if
it “were a company engaged in a commercial enterprise”; (c) disclosure of
information that would, or would be likely to, prejudice BWs commercial
interests or those of a counter-party would threaten the commercial
revenues sought from such activity. A risk of loss or reduction of
revenues available to be spent on the public functions of BW would be
contrary to  the public interest.  Furthermore information on the overall
performance of BW in conducting its commercial activities is available in
aggregated form in its published Annual Accounts and the public interest
in being able to judge such performance is facilitated by that provision
of information.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Johnson

Secretary to the Board

on behalf of British Waterways.

 

 

Dear Mr Johnson,

A complaint has been made to the Information Commissioner that British Waterways has failed to take the remedial steps ordered within the specified timescale following the issue of decision notice FS50424307.

Whilst most of the information requested has been forthcoming, BW has failed fully to -

Confirm or deny whether it holds relevant recorded information for each remaining part of the request

and

Either disclose all the information, or disclose the non-exempt information and explain for each piece of withheld information which exemption it is applying and why it considers that it applies

- in respect of a business plan starting year 2008/9.

British Waterways state that plans later than 2007/8 are available on its website but whilst plans for the years starting 2010/11 and 2011/12 are published nothing can be found starting 2008/9.

Please supply immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Richards

Nigel Johnson,

Dear Mr Richards

 

The ‘Business Plan’ for 2008/09 may be found at
[1]http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/...

 

The nomenclature used by BW is ‘Corporate Plan’ and you would have found
it if you had searched on the British Waterways site against that term.

 

Yours sincerely

 

British Waterways.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/...

Allan Richards left an annotation ()

With regards to that last document that BW have now supplied, a search was made of BW's website after it could not be found with the other two that they published at -

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/downlo...

At the time that the further complaint was made I am reasonably certain that it was not available as claimed.

My thanks to the information commissioner who spoke to Mr Johnson last Friday concerning this matter.

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