Data analytics usage

The request was refused by Aberdeen City Council.

Data Justice Lab

Dear Aberdeen 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.

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you very much for your email of 20 July 2018. 

 

We are writing to advise that we are unable to process your information
request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) as
you have not provided a full contact name. 

 

Under Section 8(1)(b) of the FOISA, an information request must include
the full name of the Applicant.  Please refer to the Scottish Information
Commissioner's guidance for further information:

 

[1]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/FAQ/G....

 

Please note that we will keep your email on file for one month. If you
have any queries about this, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

We look forward to hearing from you,

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Grant Webster

Information Compliance Officer

 

 

Information Compliance Team | Customer Feedback | Customer Experience
Aberdeen City Council, Business Hub 17, 3^rd Floor North, Marischal
College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AQ
Tel 03000 200 292
Email [2][Aberdeen City Council request email]

[3]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

[4]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/FAQ/G...
2. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
3. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/
4. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Data Justice Lab

Dear Grant Webster,

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, which has an office in Scotland. 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's guidance you link to says:

"The FOI Act does not prohibit such organisations making requests on their own behalf'

Yours sincerely,

Data Justice Lab

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please note that Aberdeen City Council follows the Scottish Information Commissioner who are the independent public official responsible for promoting and enforcing the Scotland's freedom of information (FOI) law.

Please see below the link to their website which explain that you must give your name when you ask for information:

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR...

Hope this clarifies and please let us know if you need any further details.

Kind regards
Salomeh

Salomeh Kheyri Rad
Information Compliance Officer

Information Compliance Team | Customer Feedback | Customer Experience
Aberdeen City Council, Business Hub 17, 3rd Floor North, Marischal College,
Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB
Tel 03000 200 292
Email [Aberdeen City Council request email]

www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in your mobile call plan.
Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p per minute (the same as 01224s).

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