Dr Joe Smith

Andrew Montford made this Freedom of Information request to Open University

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 Open University.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to receive copies of any correspondence between Dr Joe Smith (Department of Geography) and Mr Roger Harrabin (BBC) in the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006. Could you also ensure that, if possible, the search for this information covers any emails that might have been deleted.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Montford

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Montford,

Thank you for your request for information. I confirm that your request
is being progressed and you will receive a response within 20 working
days of receipt.

If you could indicate the subject of the correspondence you are
interested in, that would assist us in locating the relevant
information.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Beverley Midwood
Senior Manager - Legislation and Information
Information Office, Strategy Unit
The Open University
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

Tel: 01908 653994

Email: [email address]

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Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Montford

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act received on 25th November.

I am sorry that the information is not held by the University. Dr Smith
has not retained any emails from that period and the University does not
retain backups from that time.

Further, Dr Smith confirms that any correspondence with Mr Harrabin
would not have been Open University business.

I am sorry I am unable to help you on this occasion. If you wish to
appeal about this response please write to:

The University Secretary
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

Email: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Beverley Midwood
Senior Manager - Legislation and Information
Information Office
Strategy Unit
The Open University
Tel: 01908 653994

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Dear Ms Midwood

Thank-you for your reply. I would like to extend this request to cover the period of my original request to date. Again, could you please secure all deleted emails from backups or using restore functions as applicable, pending resolution of the request. My original request referred to correspondence and I would be grateful if you would confirm that you have investigated hard copy documents too.

Contrary to Dr Smith's assertion that his correspondence with Mr Harrabin represents private activity, the fact that it is on a state email system and is part-funded by the BBC is strong prime facie evidence that these are in fact public records.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Montford

J.M.Deacon, Open University

Dear Mr Montford

Thank you for your email request email and between Dr Smith and Mr
Harrabin.

Dr Smith has confirmed to me that any such correspondence is not Open
University business, it is private. Therefore it is not held by the
University.

I cannot confirm or deny that any such emails exist on Open University
servers. Reasonable private use is permitted by the University.

I believe it would breach our Communications Privacy Policy if I searched
for emails after a member of staff had informed me of its personal and
private status.

If you wish to appeal against the contents of this email, please rite to:

The University Secretary

The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

Email: [1][email address]

Yours sincerely

Beverley Midwood

Senior Manager - Legislation and Information

---------------------------------
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC
038302).

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Open University's handling of my FOI request 'Dr Joe Smith'.

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

My request has been refused because Dr Smith claims that this activity is private in nature. At first sight this is not true: communication between two public servants using publicly funded email systems and involving activities that are publicly funded are surely public.

I also note the Information COmmissioner's guidance on these issues,

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

which states that private emails are not succeptible to FoI because the public authority has no interest in them. Should it be determined that the activities of Dr Smith in the Cambridge Media & Environment Programme were also funded by the Open University, this would, I think, make a case that the activities were private, hard to sustain. To this end I am making a further FoI/EIR request to clarify this point.

I am therefore requesting

i)that you instigate a review of the case.
ii)that in the meantime you secure any relevant communications against possible destruction in the meantime. Ms Midwood has refused to do this despite my repeated requests to do so. Should it subsequently be determined that these are in fact public information, then I understand that it could be seen as a criminal offence to allow their destruction.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Montford

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please could you acknowledge my request for an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Montford

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Montford

We acknowledge receipt of your emailed enquiry regarding CMEP
expenditure, which is receiving attention.

Yours sincerely

Jackie Deacon

Legislation & Information Assistant
Information Office, Strategy Unit
Open University.

Jackie Deacon
Legislation & Information Assistant
Strategy Unit
North Spur

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Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Freedom-of-Information would like to recall the message, "Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Dr Joe Smith".

---------------------------------
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

Dear Freedom-of-Information,

Please could you clarify the status of this request. I'm not sure what your last email means.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Montford

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Montford

We acknowledge receipt of your emailed enquiry regarding Dr Joe Smith
internal review, which is receiving attention.

Yours sincerely

Jackie Deacon

Jackie Deacon
Legislation & Information Assistant
Strategy Unit
North Spur

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Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Montford

We acknowledge receipt of the emails which you sent to us last week
requesting internal reviews as follows:

1)An internal review of Open University's handling of my FOI request 'Dr
Joe Smith'.

2) I am writing to request an internal review of Open University's
handling of my FOI request 'Fergal Keane'.

Both these requests for reviews are currently receiving attention and we
will contact you further in due course.

Yours sincerely

Jackie Deacon

Jackie Deacon

Legislation & Information Assistant

Strategy Unit

North Spur

---------------------------------
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC
038302).

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Montford,

Your Freedom of Information request for correspondence concerning Dr Joe
Smith has been passed to the University Secretary, Mr Fraser Woodburn
for review.

Mr Woodburn has agreed that the information is not held by the
University, as it concerns a private activity.

You now have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner.
Please see the Information Commissioner's Office website at
www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom-of-inf...

Yours sincerely,

Beverley Midwood
Senior Manager - Legislation and Information
Information Office, Strategy Unit
The Open University
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

Tel: 01908 653994

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