Data analytics usage

Data Justice Lab made this Freedom of Information request to Dundee City Council as part of a batch sent to 403 authorities

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 refused by Dundee City Council.

Data Justice Lab

Dear Dundee City Council,

We are submitting the following Freedom of Information Request for documents relating to uses of data analytics, predictive analytics, or algorithmic automated systems used for risk assessment, scoring systems or automated decision making within the jurisdiction of your authority. This could include the use of these data systems in order to draw insights from large and integrated datasets, or to influence decisions about resources, funding or service delivery. This could include, but may not be limited to, uses of predictive analytics in child welfare, health care, adult social care, fraud detection, or policing.

Specifically, we are requesting:

· Any briefing notes, reports, evaluations, or summaries concerning uses of algorithmically driven data systems. Ideally this would include information about software, hardware, operations and types of data

· Any overviews about how system outputs are produced.

· Any training manuals or materials (e.g. slides, etc.) for staff about data collection, analysis, assessment and reporting as related to the use of the systems.

. Any impact assessments

· Any data visualisation outputs connected to the systems.

· Any promotional material, presentation material, or staff educational material related to the systems.

. Any contracts relating to the systems. We argue that the release of contracts does not compromise commercial sensitivity. The full argument is provided below.*

Also, please note we are not requesting datasets or any data about individuals.

Please let us know if any information requires clarifying.

We would like to receive electronic copies of this information.

All the very best,

Data Justice Lab

Please note that we are following the Information Commissioner’s guidance on the Freedom of Information Act which specifies that requests can be made by organisations and there is no need for a named individual (pages 9-10, sections 38-39).
Source: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

*Addressing the commercial sensitivity question:
a) Section 20 of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s ‘Local Government Transparency Code 2015’, which encourages greater transparency in the public interest, notes:

‘The Government has not seen any evidence that publishing details about contracts entered into by local authorities would prejudice procurement exercises or the interests of commercial organisations, or breach commercial confidentiality unless specific confidentiality clauses are included in contracts. Local authorities should expect to publish details of contracts newly entered into – commercial confidentiality should not, in itself, be a reason for local authorities to not follow the provisions of this Code’.

Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk... (page 9, section 20)

b) There is always the potential for a company in any area to act in bad faith, but this should not be a reason to deny access to information about how public money is spent.

c) Contract and tendering details are provided regularly by a range of government bodies in the public interest. For example, many police and fire services release contractual information through the Bluelight database ( https://www.blpd.gov.uk/foi/foi.aspx ).

d) There may be core aspects of the systems contracted that have competitive commercial value and we appreciate that such details will be redacted from any documents released. We argue that commercial interests will not be compromised by revealing other details that may be provided in contracts or related communications with contracted companies. Details that could be released include details about the existence of a system, it's purpose, the tasks being contracted, continued relationships, general descriptions, types of data being used, how this data is shared.

Dundee City Council

Dear Sir/Madam
In order for your request to be valid under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002, can you please provide your full name.
Best regards
Freedom of Information Liaison
Dundee City Council
21 City Square
Dundee DD1 3BY
E: [1][Dundee City Council request email]
[2]www.dundeecity.gov.uk/foisa
To: "FOI requests at Dundee City Council" <[3][Dundee City Council request email]>
From: "Data Justice Lab" <[4][FOI #499098 email]>
Date: 20/07/2018 01:36PM
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Data analytics usage

Dear Dundee City Council,

We are submitting the following Freedom of Information Request for
documents relating to uses of data analytics, predictive analytics, or
algorithmic automated systems used for risk assessment, scoring systems or
automated decision making within the jurisdiction of your authority. This
could include the use of these data systems in order to draw insights from
large and integrated datasets, or to influence decisions about resources,
funding or service delivery. This could include, but may not be limited
to, uses of predictive analytics in child welfare, health care, adult
social care, fraud detection, or policing.

Specifically, we are requesting:

·         Any briefing notes, reports, evaluations, or summaries
concerning uses of algorithmically driven data systems. Ideally this would
include information about software, hardware, operations and types of data

·         Any overviews about how system outputs are produced.

·         Any training manuals or materials (e.g. slides, etc.) for staff
about data collection, analysis, assessment and reporting as related to
the use of the systems.

.         Any impact assessments

·         Any data visualisation outputs connected to the systems.

·         Any promotional material, presentation material, or staff
educational material related to the systems.

.         Any contracts relating to the systems. We argue that the release
of contracts does not compromise commercial sensitivity. The full argument
is provided below.*

Also, please note we are not requesting datasets or any data about
individuals.

Please let us know if any information requires clarifying.

We would like to receive electronic copies of this information.

All the very best,

Data Justice Lab

Please note that we are following the Information Commissioner’s guidance
on the Freedom of Information Act which specifies that requests can be
made by organisations and there is no need for a named individual (pages
9-10, sections 38-39).
Source:
[5]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

*Addressing the commercial sensitivity question:
a) Section 20 of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s
‘Local Government Transparency Code 2015’, which encourages greater
transparency in the public interest, notes:

‘The Government has not seen any evidence that publishing details about
contracts entered into by local authorities would prejudice procurement
exercises or the interests of commercial organisations, or breach
commercial confidentiality unless specific confidentiality clauses are
included in contracts. Local authorities should expect to publish details
of contracts newly entered into – commercial confidentiality should not,
in itself, be a reason for local authorities to not follow the provisions
of this Code’.

Source:
[6]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...
9, section 20)

b) There is always the potential for a company in any area to act in bad
faith, but this should not be a reason to deny access to information about
how public money is spent.

c) Contract and tendering details are provided regularly by a range of
government bodies in the public interest. For example, many police and
fire services release contractual information through the Bluelight
database ( [7]https://www.blpd.gov.uk/foi/foi.aspx ).

d) There may be core aspects of the systems contracted that have
competitive commercial value and we appreciate that such details will be
redacted from any documents released. We argue that commercial interests
will not be compromised by revealing other details that may be provided in
contracts or related communications with contracted companies. Details
that could be released include details about the existence of a system,
it's purpose, the tasks being contracted, continued relationships, general
descriptions, types of data being used, how this data is shared.

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[13]Dundee City Council
[14]Young Scot - Year of Young People
[15]Young Scot - Year of Young People
[16]Year of Young People - Twitter Account

References

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13. Dundee City Council
http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/
14. Young Scot - Year of Young People
https://young.scot/yoyp2018/
15. Young Scot - Year of Young People
https://young.scot/yoyp2018/
16. Year of Young People - Twitter Account
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Data Justice Lab

Dear Freedom of Information Liaison,

Thank you for your response.

In regards to a name, please refer to the section of our request where we address this and provide a link to guidance provided by the Information Commissioner's Office. Here is the relevant section again:

"Please note that we are following the Information Commissioner’s guidance on the Freedom of Information Act which specifies that requests can be made by organisations and there is no need for a named individual (pages 9-10, sections 38-39).
Source: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio... "

Furthermore, the Scottish Information Commissioner, in reference to the name attached to an FOI request, notes:

'The FOI Act does not prohibit ... organisations making requests on their own behalf’
Source: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/FAQ/G...

Yours faithfully,

Data Justice Lab

Dundee City Council

Dear Sir/Madam
I acknowledge your email below, please see the link below:
[1]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
Although FOI does not prohibit.. organisations making requests on their
own behalf, in order to make a request valid we must have an applicants
name.
regards
Freedom of Information Liaison
Dundee City Council
21 City Square
Dundee DD1 3BY
E: [2][Dundee City Council request email]
[3]www.dundeecity.gov.uk/foisa

-----"Data Justice Lab" <[4][FOI #499098 email]>
wrote: -----
To: "FOI requests at Dundee City Council" <[5][Dundee City Council request email]>
From: "Data Justice Lab" <[6][FOI #499098 email]>
Date: 30/07/2018 03:36PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Fw: Freedom of Information request - Data analytics
usage

Dear Freedom of Information Liaison,

Thank you for your response.

In regards to a name, please refer to the section of our request where we
address this and provide a link to guidance provided by the Information
Commissioner's Office. Here is the relevant section again:

"Please note that we are following the Information Commissioner’s guidance
on the Freedom of Information Act which specifies that requests can be
made by organisations and there is no need for a named individual (pages
9-10, sections 38-39).
Source:
[7]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

Furthermore, the Scottish Information Commissioner, in reference to the
name attached to an FOI request, notes:

'The FOI Act does not prohibit ... organisations making requests on their
own behalf’
Source:
[8]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/FAQ/G...

Yours faithfully,

Data Justice Lab

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