Dumfries and Galloway Council's failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

The request was refused by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

An examination of the requests under the FOI Act made to you on this site reveals a history of repeated failures to comply with the FOI Act. Please provide information as follows:

Does Dumfries and Galloway Council (DGC) have a policy document on how it deals with the requirements of the FOI Act?

Who has overall responsibility for matters involving the FOI Act in DGC?

Who takes a decision on the treatment of requests made to the council?

Requests are often refused on a variety of spurious grounds which appear to be designed to protect the interests of DGC. Matters are shrouded in secrecy which act against the FOI Act and the public interest. What is the policy that operates to deny the Council Tax payers of DGC the right to know information held by DGC? Who is responsible for this?

Some requests made to you lawfully are not dealt with by DGC under the terms of the FOI Act. In some cases FOI requests are ignored with no responses from DGC. What recorded information exists concerning the policy for acting in this manner in relation to FOI requests? Who decides that an FOI request will not be dealt with and what are the grounds DGC has for acting like this?

This conduct represents breach of the FOI Act and the council is acting unlawfully. It appears that, in effect, the council sticks up two fingers to the FOI Act and Council Tax Payers.

Yours faithfully,

Archie Douglas

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 30/09/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 440222 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 28/10/2019.

Please be aware that, in some circumstances, a fee may be payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you have requested. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued, which would need to be paid in order to progress your request.

If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 440222 which was received on 30/09/2019.

Details of request: An examination of the requests under the FOI Act made to you on this site reveals a history of repeated failures to comply with the FOI Act. Please provide information as follows:

Does Dumfries and Galloway Council (DGC) have a policy document on how it deals with the requirements of the FOI Act?

Who has overall responsibility for matters involving the FOI Act in DGC?

Who takes a decision on the treatment of requests made to the council?

Requests are often refused on a variety of spurious grounds which appear to be designed to protect the interests of DGC. Matters are shrouded in secrecy which act against the FOI Act and the public interest. What is the policy that operates to deny the Council Tax payers of DGC the right to know information held by DGC? Who is responsible for this?

Some requests made to you lawfully are not dealt with by DGC under the terms of the FOI Act. In some cases FOI requests are ignored with no responses from DGC. What recorded information exists concerning the policy for acting in this manner in relation to FOI requests? Who decides that an FOI request will not be dealt with and what are the grounds DGC has for acting like this?

This conduct represents breach of the FOI Act and the council is acting unlawfully. It appears that, in effect, the council sticks up two fingers to the FOI Act and Council Tax Payers.

Response:

Dumfries and Galloway Council supports and is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability embodied in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

More nformation can be found at https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/foi

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Dumfries and Galloway Council's failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.'.

The response from you dated 22 October 2019 fails to provide the information requested in the communication of 29 September 2019. Please rectify this without further delay. It is typical of the attitude that prevails in Dumfries and Galloway Council when an FOI request on failures to comply with the FOI Act, does just that once again.

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

Yours faithfully,

Archie Douglas

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for a formal review which was received on 05/11/2019 and is being dealt with. We will respond within 20 working days from the day after the request was received. A response to your request will be sent promptly, and in any event not later than 03/12/2019.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact [email address].

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

FOI Responses, Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

Decision

Details of request: I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Dumfries and Galloway Council's failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.'.

The response from you dated 22 October 2019 fails to provide the information requested in the communication of 29 September 2019. Please rectify this without further delay. It is typical of the attitude that prevails in Dumfries and Galloway Council when an FOI request on failures to comply with the FOI Act, does just that once again.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Response:

Thank you for your email of 5 November 2019 requesting a review.

Overall responsibility is held by the Director of Communities and, as previously stated, Dumfries and Galloway Council supports and is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability embodied in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. More information can be found at https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/foi

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made at www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/U...

or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS Telephone: 01334 464 610.

If you are unhappy with a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner, you may be able to take the matter to the courts or complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dear FOI Responses,

The reply from you dated 3 December 2019 is yet another example of your failure to comply with the FOI Act. The request was made to you lawfully and it was in the public interest to establish the situation with regard to the repeated failures to comply with the FOI Act by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

As is the norm, the council fails to act with any integrity, preferring to lie, deny and fail to act lawfully in relation to this request. The repeated refusals to comply with the FOI Act by this council needs to be pursued. Quite why does it prefer to keep everything out of the public domain? What has it got to hide? It is time it is made accountable to the Council Tax payers it rips off.

Yours sincerely,

Archie Douglas