Court and tribunal cases - electronic list

Ian Jackson made this Freedom of Information request to Cambridgeshire County Council

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.

Dear Cambridgeshire County Council,

In the ICO's Decision Notice FS50431298 regarding my previous FOI request http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co..., paragraph 12 says:

.. the only information that could be provided from the electronic systems is a list of cases along with their opening and closing dates. ...

Please provide me with that information. That is, all the information relevant to my previous request which can be provided from the electronic systems, as discussed above.

NB that although I am submitting this as a new request in What Do They Know, I regard this as the followup to the refusall previous request.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Green Anne-Marie, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Jackson

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref 1985

Thank you for your email of 30 May in which you requested information
about Court and Tribunal Cases . Your request will be dealt with in
line with the Freedom of Information Act and its regulations.

In accordance with the Act, the Council aims to respond to all requests
within 20 working days, in this instance by 29 June. If we require
further information, clarification or a fee in order to fulfil your
request we will contact you again.

Please quote the reference number above in all future correspondence
concerning this request

Yours sincerely,

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Regulation, Performance and Business Support

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Dear Green Anne-Marie,

I'm sorry to say that a response to this request is now overdue. Please would you get back to me ASAP to explain the delay and give an expected date for your response to my request.

If I don't hear from you within 7 days from today, ie on or before Friday the 6th of July, I will make a complaint about the delay to the Information Commissioner.

Note that it is not acceptable for you only to comply with your legal obligations following intervention by the Information Commisioner. The County Council have already forced me to make a number of complaints, and in each case ruled on so far the Commissioner has decided in my favour.

Therefore if I am forced to make another complaint to the Commissioner about the Council, I will insist that the Commissioner issues a Decision Notice even if you comply with the law after the Commissioner's intervention. If the County Council wishes to avoid another adverse Decision Notice you need to reply to me now.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Jackson

Thank you for your e-mail.

Your request is due by the end of today and I still hope to be able to
finalize the spreadsheet and send this to you on time. Prior to
receiving your e-mail, I had planned to contact you later today if I was
unable to complete the work on time and to apologise for the delay. If
we are unable to respond today then we shall have the information to you
at the beginning of next week alongside details of the complaints
process.

As explained in our correspondence with the Information Commissioner,
whilst we can produce an electronic list from our Legal case management
system, the names of each item listed are a 'free text' field summary
that refers specifically to the matter concerned. Often these relate to
social care proceedings and therefore we have had to manually work
through the 4,000 entries to consider where redactions may need to be
made (again, principally in references to social care service users).
This work is time-consuming, although it cannot be considered as part of
the 18 hour 'appropriate limit' calculation, and it has simply taken us
longer than we had hoped to complete this work whilst also processing
the other requests that we have received. Again, I apologise for any
delay. We are fully aware of our requirement to respond to requests
within 20 working days and take this requirement seriously.

Yours sincerely

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Dear FOI officer,

Thanks very much for getting in touch. I'm sorry to have hassled you when you're working so hard. (The What Do They Know system thinks the reply was due yesterday, not today, hence my message.)

I'm also sorry to hear that you have been working hard to redact names of participants in social care proceedings. I hadn't anticipated that my request would include those in its scope but it is now obvious to me that it would.

I would have been happy to narrow the scope of my request to exclude /all/ social care proceedings.

(I did try to have a conversation with the Council about the aim of my requests, in the context of a previous similar request which was rejected, but unfortunately no-one from the Council was able to assist me. Ultimately as you know I had to complain to the Commissioner who agreed that the Council had failed in its duty to advise and assist me. I'm very sorry to hear that the ongoing lack of communication has meant that you've been doing a lot of work that need not have been necessary.)

If it's not too late, and would save you time at this stage, would you like to narrow the scope of your response accordingly? That is, exclude all social care proceedings.

It was not my intention to cause the council a lot of work. So if there are other substantial amounts of work needed to answer my request in its original form, I'd be very happy to have a conversation with you about narrowing my request further. If this would be helpful please let me know.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

Dear FOI,

Thinking about other classes of case which are likely to be numerous and not of interest to me: I think the case list is likely to include planning enforcement cases.

If it would make life easier, I would be happy for you to omit planning enforcement cases (that is, cases where the council is enforcing Town and Country Planning rules), or to omit some of them.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Jackson

Thank you for your e-mails. Removing those cases from the scope of the
request will make completing the request easier. Most of the types of
cases you mention would be identifiable under a specific code; however
the code is manually selected so understandably we have to check the
other cases carefully as well to make sure that an accidental miscoding
does not lead to us inadvertently disclosing personal data about a
service user. I have almost completed this task now, however I need to
do a little more work to finish this off and I am also mindful that my
final version should be checked by another officer to ensure nothing has
been missed. Again, I hope to send this out to you early next week
(hopefully on Monday).

Yours sincerely

Matthew Smith
Information Governance Officer
Cambridgeshire County Council

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Dear Matthew Smith,

Excellent. That's fine. I understand what you said about coding/miscoding, and that makes perfect sense.

Thank you very much. If there's something else that would make your life easier do let me know.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Jackson

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref 1985

I write with reference to your e-mail of 30 May and subsequent e-mails
of 29 June.

We have considered your request under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act. Please find our response attached. If anything is
unclear, please don't hesitate to get in contact. I apologise again for
the slight delay in providing this information to you.

I hope this information is helpful but if you are unhappy with the
service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review, you should write to Sarah Priestley,
Information Governance Manager, Box Res 1405, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3
0AP within 40 days of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF.

Generally, the ICO will not undertake a review or make a decision on a
request until the internal review process has been completed.

Yours sincerely

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<<FOI_1985_RES.pdf>> <<FOI_1985_APP1.xls>>

The information in this email is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you receive this email by mistake please notify the sender and delete it immediately. Opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Cambridgeshire County Council. All sent and received email from Cambridgeshire County Council is automatically scanned for the presence of computer viruses and security issues.

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Dear FOI team,

Thanks for that. That's very helpful. I have a question prompted by your covering letter.

It mentions a number of cases that were redacted. In the case of s40 and (in one case) s43, this is mentioned in a number of the entries.

However you also mention having redacted entries for s41, and s44. However there appear to be no entries in the spreadsheet that mention s41 or s44. I would have thought that at the very least the columns "Matter Type", "Date Opened", "Date Closed" and "Matter Ref" ought to be fine to reveal to me.

Can you confirm whether for redacted entries you always or generally deleted the whole rows? Are you able to provide me with some of the columns for those deleted rows ?

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Jackson

Thank you for your e-mail.

We have not deleted any rows where we have applied exemptions. The rows
relating to the s41 and s44 cases are all in the spreadsheet. The
easiest way to find them would be by using the Ctrl+F Find function in
Excel (or equivalent) and searching for '41' (2 cases) and '44' (I
believe all of the latter are in one block relating to the Matter Type
'5031 - E&T Trading Standards Prosecutions').

To clarify, we have only completely deleted rows from the spreadsheet
where they were excluded from the request as per your clarification
e-mails of 29 June: social services proceedings - although some of these
cases have been included in redacted form where they were not listed as
part of a block of rows relating to social services matters - and
planning enforcement.

I hope this clarifies the position.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Smith
Information Governance Officer
Cambridgeshire County Council

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Dear Matthew Smith,

Thanks for that clarification. I did try that but it looks like my spreadsheet program isn't functioning the way I would expect. I can see now the rows you are referring to.

Thanks again.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson