Documents exchanged with the Electoral Commission

Paul-Olivier Dehaye made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner's Office

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.

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I wish to get access to:

any document held by the ICO that has been exchanged with the Electoral Commission, concerning data protection issues in the context of the General Election 2015, the Referendum 2016, or the General Election 2017.

Yours faithfully,

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Information Commissioner's Office

2 Attachments

Delivery is delayed to these recipients or groups:

[1]FOI requests at ICO ([ICO request email])

Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documents exchanged with the
Electoral Commission

This message hasn't been delivered yet. Delivery will continue to be
attempted.

The server will keep trying to deliver this message for the next 1 days,
19 hours and 59 minutes. You'll be notified if the message can't be
delivered by that time.

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[ICO request email]

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner's Office

1 Attachment

22 May 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0678392

 

 
Dear Mr Dehaye
 
Request for information
 
Further to our acknowledgement, we are now in a position to provide you
with a response to your request for information.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with any information ‘held’ by a public
authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request
 
In your email of 22 April 2017 you asked us to provide you with the
following information:
 
 
“Under the Freedom of Information Act, I wish to get access to:
 
any document held by the ICO that has been exchanged with the Electoral
Commission, concerning data protection issues in the context of the
General Election 2015, the Referendum 2016, or the General Election
2017.” 
 
Our response
 
Firstly, we do hold information within the scope of your request.
 
Please find attached some of the information covered by your request. This
information consists of correspondence between the ICO and the Electoral
Commission in 2016.
 
Information withheld
 
Unfortunately we are unable to disclose some of the correspondence between
the ICO and the Electoral Commission about data protection issues in
relation to specific election campaigns.
 
This information has been withheld in accordance with section 31 of the
FOIA. We consider that the disclosure of this information would be likely
to prejudice “Law Enforcement”.

Section 31 refers to circumstances where the disclosure of information
“would, or would be likely to, prejudice – … the exercise by any public
authority of its functions for any of the purposes specified in subsection
(2).” 
 
The purposes referred to in sections 31(2)(a) and (c) are –
“(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply
with the law” and
 “(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would
justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise
…”    
 
These purposes apply when the Information Commissioner is considering
whether or not to take regulatory action regarding compliance with the
Data Protection Act.
 
However this exemption is not absolute. When considering whether to apply
it in response to a request for information there is a ‘public interest
test’.  That is, we must consider whether the public interest favours
withholding or disclosing the information.   

In this case the public interest factors in favour of disclosing the
information are as follows –
 

* Increased transparency in the way in which the ICO carries out its
regulatory functions. 
* Greater understanding of the decisions taken by the ICO in relation to
the legislation it enforces, particularly regarding whether or not
formal regulatory action is taken.
* Those members of the public who have a particular interest in specific
sectors/data controllers would benefit from further information about
the way the ICO handles the compliance issues associated with them.
 

The public interest factors in maintaining the exemption are as follows -
 
 

* We consider that the disclosure of this information would be likely to
compromise our ability to investigate and therefore affect the
discharge of our regulatory function in vital areas such as our
ability to influence the behaviour of data controllers and to take
formal action. 
* There is a public interest in maintaining the ICO’s ability to
conduct investigations as it sees fit without undue external
influence.
* There is a public interest in the ICO being able to maintain effective
and productive relationships with other regulators. It is essential
that they continue to engage with us in a constructive and
collaborative way without fear that the information they provide to us
will be made public prematurely, or at a later date, if it is
inappropriate to do so. We feel that the cooperation of other
regulators may be adversely affected if details that they provide to
us are routinely made public. This would be likely to make them more
cautious about providing information to us and consequently prejudice
the ICO’s ability to deliver the levels of service required of it.
There is a strong public interest in the ICO being an effective and
efficient regulator.

Having considered the arguments both for and against disclosure we do not
find that there is sufficient weight in the arguments that favour
disclosure. We consider that it would be likely that the disclosure of the
withheld information would discourage full and frank discussions and may
damage the ICO’s ability to conduct investigations fairly and
proportionately. It could also jeopardise the ICO’s ability to obtain
information in the future. The arguments in favour of maintaining the
exemption are particularly strong whilst our investigation into a
particular matter is ongoing. Depending on circumstances, these arguments
may diminish over time.

Review procedure
 
If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Access Team at the address below or
email [1][ICO request email]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team, at the address given or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website [2]here  .
 
Yours sincerely
 
Janine Gregory
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545770  F. 01625 524510  [3]ico.org.uk  [4]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information requests please use [5][ICO request email]

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[ICO request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
3. http://ico.org.uk/
4. https://twitter.com/iconews
5. mailto:[ICO request email]