Development of the Royal Navy's online presence

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Royal Navy should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Royal Navy,

Please can you provide any documents, correspondence or minutes which discuss or refer to the strategy, objectives, aims or purpose of the Royal Navy website, or other digital platforms.

Should the Royal Navy retain documents relating to the original creation of the Royal Navy website I would be most grateful if you could provide these.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

correspondence@mod.ecase.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of Navy Command Secretariat,

Dear Mr Raffal

Your request has been logged under our reference 2017-07909 and the target
date for response is 11 September 2017.

Yours sincerely

Navy Command Secretariat - FOI Section

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Request for information ref 2017 07909.html

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Mr Raffal

 

Please see the attached email your FOI request was acknowledged on 11
August 2017.

 

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal,

 

Please find attached an interim response to your FOI request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Raffal

 

Please see the attached letter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

Dear NAVY SEC-FOI

Thank you for your letter of 6 October informing me of the further delay.
I note from your previous letter of 11 September that the delay is caused by a belief the information falls under qualified exemptions relating to defence (section 26) and commercial interests (section 43). Firstly may I say that I do not believe that the stated aims and use of the Royal Navy website should fall under section 26, and that the public interest would outweigh any considerations in this matter if they did. As such I do not believe testing whether section 26 allowed for an exemption should have required the lengthy delay that has been incurred. Although I am willing to accept a delay may be necessary in considering whether exemptions under section 26 and 43 apply in relations to documents discussing the aims and usage of other online platforms this should not have restricted you from providing relevant documents relating to the aims of the website where neither section 26 or 43 apply.
Furthermore, it would seem that neither qualified exemption would apply to early documents still held which relate to the website and these should be released now. In your reply I would appreciate you either providing these or acknowledging whether they are held and the scope of such documents.
I do appreciate that there may be document with commercially sensitive information relating to the implementation and achievement of the websites online aims or the development of online content. In the interests of expediting the request I would be willing to accept these be excluded from the request as my interest lies in documents relating to the broader aims of online content.
May I close by thanking you for updating me as to the status of the request.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

correspondence@mod.ecase.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of Navy Command Secretariat,

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Raffal,

Please find attached our response to your recent enquiry.

Regards

Navy Command Secretariat - FOI Section

Dear [email address] on behalf of Navy Command Secretariat,

Thank you for providing a response to this request and the four documents attached. The redacted RN Web Clarification document was very useful. May I request, however, that you release the following:
Recruitment marketing review – based on CNR assumptions (referenced on p. 11 of RN Web clarification document) and any subsequent reviews if available
Latest brand guidelines which were provided as part of the RN Web clarification document RFC core document set (and the latest version if possible)
Key Messaging documents (which were to be supplied as an appendix for the RN Web clarification document)

The other documents you released make reference to the existence of a revised digital strategy and indicate that there is a Social media marketing strategy or equivalent document. I request that these be released. Should they have been withheld under the qualified exemptions you have mentioned please can you clearly state this in your response as I will seek a review of the exemptions if they are being applied to documents of this nature. As an indication that they should not be subject to a qualified exemption I would indicate to you that the MoD and British Army have both previously released their digital strategies in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
Furthermore in the case these documents are not released I retain the right to ask for an internal review of the decision to redact the majority of the email discussing the Digital Strategy update.

I do greatly appreciate your time and hope you will see fit to release the documents that I have further requested. If you would be kind enough to provide an acknowledgement of this message and the proposed date by which you intend to answer it I would be most grateful

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

correspondence@mod.ecase.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of Navy Command Secretariat,

Dear Mr Raffal

Your request has been logged under our reference 2017/11062 and the target
date for response is 4 December 2017.

Yours sincerely

Navy Command Secretariat -FOI Section

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal,

 

Please see attached letter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal,

 

Please see amended letter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal,

 

Please find attached our response to your recent FOI request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

Dear NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

Thank you for your correspondence of 5 January 2018 stating the need for additional time. I am unsatisfied with the suggestion that you now need a further 20 working days in addition to the 20 working days you have already extended the deadline (as stated in your correspondence of 4 December 2017). This would bring the total time you have considered the request for supplementary information in addition to the original request to 60 working days.
Section 10 (3) of the Freedom of Information Act provides that the test should be processed in a 'reasonable' time which the Information Commission Office views as normally taking no more than an additional 20 working days and that an extension beyond this should be 'exceptional'.
Given that this is the second time you have exceeded the 20 working day time line to consider the public interest test and failed to explain satisfactorily the delay previously I do not consider it acceptable that you take a further 20 working days without providing further explanation as to why you believe the public interest test to release this supplementary documents, which are referenced in the release that you made, is exceptional.
Furthermore given this public interest applies to documents which would be broadly covered by the original test I do not believe that it is possible to claim in this instance that additional time is warranted. If you do not believe this to be the case can you please clearly state how the public interest test in this case diverges significantly from that originally undertaken and the need for the additional time to consider release.
A need for a further delay should also not automatically lead to an extension of the full 20 working days and it seems, given the delays entailed since the original request was made on 10 August 2017, if there is a delay in processing the public interest test for this request beyond inherent complications relating to the material (which if they do exist I request you outline in full) it should be expedited.
Should I not hear from you promptly I will be obliged to request an internal review of the handling of this request.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER), Royal Navy

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal,

Please see the attached.

Navy Command Secretariat - FOI Section

 

correspondence@mod.ecase.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of Navy Command Secretariat,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Raffal,

Please find attached our response to your recent enquiry.

Regards

Navy Command Secretariat - FOI Section

Dear Royal Navy,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Royal Navy's handling of my FOI request 'Development of the Royal Navy's online presence'.

May I begin by stating that I believe that the severe delays which were entailed in considering the public interest test were unwarranted and excessive. Section 10 (3) of the Freedom of Information Act provides that the test should be processed in a 'reasonable' time which the Information Commission Office views as normally taking no more than an additional 20 working days and that an extension beyond this should be 'exceptional'. I would appreciate your internal review explaining how the public interest test in considering the release of the further documents requested on 3 November 2017 was of such exceptional nature that it took until 5 February 2018, 63 working days, for any documents to be released.

The document released does not appear to meet, or at least not in its entirety, the request for the appendices and associated documents of the RN Web Clarification document. These documents are essential to understanding the original document for which the public interest was considered to override the qualified exemptions drawn on.
Furthermore, the request for further documentation made reference to the release of 'of a revised digital strategy and ... Social media marketing strategy or equivalent document'. In considering your response I do not believe the exemptions you have drawn on warrant the exclusion of such documents if they exist.

I would also like the decision to redact almost the entirety of the file you have provided entitled 'RE RN Digital Strategy Update redacted scanned.pdf' revisited. This document is now five years old, whilst it might be permissible to argue that detailed discussions should be withheld it seems unwarranted to redact almost the entirety of the contents of substance. I would request at the very least the document should be made available without the major points of discussion exorcised.

Please not that where information has been withheld because it may reveal current operational practices I would draw your attention to the fact that your decision stands contrary to previous releases of the MoD and British Army in similar matters. It is also difficult to accept that maintain secrecy around the practices involved in the Royal Navy's recruitment methods within society 'far outweigh' the public interest in understanding them. Their is a strong case to be made for understanding how the armed forces are recruiting, particularly via their use social media, and that choice of phrase is at best ill advised. That parts of the documents might require redaction is plausible but the refusal to release any aspect of them appears unwarranted on the basis of the exemptions you have drawn on and the public interest in understanding how the Royal Navy interacts with the public via its digital presence.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

May by expressing my regret that it has been necessary to seek an internal review of this request and my hope that it will be possible to have the relevant documents released.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER), Royal Navy

Dear Mr Raffal,

Receipt is acknowledged of your email of 5 February 2018 in which you requested an internal review of the response provided by Navy Command Headquarters in relation to a recent information request (reference above).

The Department's target for completing internal reviews is 20 working days and we therefore aim to complete the review and respond to you by 5 March 2018. While we are working hard to achieve this, in the interests of providing you with a more realistic indication of when you should expect a response, we should advise that the majority are currently taking between 20 and 40 working days to complete. The internal review that will involve a full, independent reconsideration of the handling of the RFIs as well as the final decision.

Yours sincerely,

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

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