Dates of correspondence requiring a response referenced in 9 December Minutes

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire,

The Draft Minutes for the Full Council meeting held on 9th December 2019 (Draft-Minutes-Full-Council-09.12.2019.pdf) show eight pieces of correspondence had been received that required a response from the Council.

Please can you provide the date of each piece of correspondence, namely those referenced in:
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8

It would appear that line two of 6.6 contains a typo, as it lists 9 December (the date of the Meeting being minuted) rather than the one stumbled upon that was being held in secret - unless the time machine referenced in 6.1 has/will made/make a return.

Yours faithfully,
D Morris

Dear Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire,

I am disappointed that Ammanford Town Council has chosen not to comply with its legal obligations defined in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I had expected that you would have supplied the information that I requested some time ago - the law requires that you provide the information promptly and in any event no later than 20 days after the request.

A complaint file has been opened with the Information Commissioner's Office.

I would also respectfully like to draw the Council's attention to paragraph 77 of the ICO's guidance 'Section 45 - Code Of Practice - request handling', which you may find linked at the Commissioner's site here:
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

When do you expect that you will comply with the Act/Regulations and supply the information requested?

Yours,
D Morris

Daniel Morris left an annotation ()

ICO wrote to Town Clerk on Saturday 8th February 2020:

"...
Action

Please provide the complainant with a substantive response to this request that complies with the FOIA/EIR within 10 working days of the date of this correspondence. Alternatively, confirm to us that you have already sent the complainant a response to this request.

In either case, please send a copy of your response to the complainant to the ICO’s ‘Casework’ email address.

If we do not receive a response from you within 10 working days of the date of this email, we may issue a decision notice finding a breach of the FOIA/EIR and compelling you to respond to the request.

The Commissioner has published the following guidance, which you may find helpful:

• Time for compliance and the FOIA
• Time for compliance and the EIR
• Refusing a request

Our Regulatory Action Policy is published on our website. In the event of other, similar complaints the Commissioner may consider taking enforcement action under section 52 of the FOIA.
..."

The South Wales Guardian of 12 Feb 2020 reported:
"A spokesman for the town council said: “Ammanford Town Council endeavours to uphold standards.

“We always ensure that policies and procedures are adhered to.”
"

Daniel Morris left an annotation ()

Decision (including any steps ordered)
1.
2.
3.
4.
The complainant requested information from Ammanford Town Council
(“the Council”) relating to items of correspondence referred to in
minutes.
The Commissioner’s decision is that the Council failed to respond to the
request within 20 working days and has therefore breached section 10
of the FOIA.
The Commissioner requires the Council to take the following step to
ensure compliance with the legislation.

Issue a substantive response, under the FOIA, to the request.
The Council must take this step within 35 calendar days of the date of
this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner
making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to
section 54 of the FOIA and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.
1
Reference: FS50904938
Request and response
5.
6.
On 19 December 2019, the complainant wrote to the Council via the
website What Do They Know 1 and requested information in the following
terms:
“The Draft Minutes for the Full Council meeting held on 9th December
2019 (Draft-Minutes-Full-Council-09.12.2019.pdf) show eight pieces of
correspondence had been received that required a response from the
Council.
Please can you provide the date of each piece of correspondence,
namely those referenced in:
6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8”
The Council had failed to provide a substantive response by the date of
this notice.
Scope of the case
7.
The complainant contacted the Commissioner on 23 January 2020 to
complain about the failure by the Council to respond to the request.
8.
In line with her usual practice, the Commissioner contacted the Council
on 8 February 2020 to highlight the outstanding response. She
requested that the Council respond to the request within 10 working
days. The correspondence was neither acknowledged nor responded to.
9.
The complainant contacted the Commissioner on 24 February 2020 to
request a decision notice considering the Council’s compliance with the
FOIA.
10. The scope of this notice and the following analysis is to consider whether
the Council complied with section 10 of the FOIA.
1
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...
987800
2
Reference: FS50904938
Reasons for decision
11. Section 1(1) of the FOIA states that:
Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled –
(a)(b)to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request, and
if that is the case, to have that information communicated to
him.
12. Section 8(1) of the FOIA states:
In this Act any reference to a “request for information” is a reference to
such a request which –
(a)(b)(c)is in writing,
states the name of the applicant and an address for
correspondence, and
describes the information requested.
13. The Commissioner considers that the request in question fulfilled these
criteria and therefore constituted a valid request for recorded
information under the FOIA.
14. Section 10 of the FOIA states that responses to requests made under
the Act must be provided “promptly and in any event not later than the
twentieth working day following the date of receipt.”
15. From the evidence presented to the Commissioner in this case, it is clear
that, in failing to issue a response to the request within 20 working
days, the Council has breached section 10 of the FOIA.
16. She requires the Council to issue a substantive response, which
complies with the requirements of the FOIA, to the request.