Dear Copeland Borough Council,

Section 87(2) of the LGA 1972 requires that when a casual vacancy occurs at the borough council a notice will be displayed advertising that vacancy, and section 89 (1)(b) requires that 2 local electors must write to the returning officer requesting that the vacancy is filled by an election. Could you please therefore supply me with a copy of the notice of vacancy that was posted for the current vacancy in the Egremont South Ward and also a copy of the required notice received from the 2 local electors?

I fully appreciate that the lack of a notice on your website may be due to the recent cyber attack.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Johnson

Clifford Walker, Copeland Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Madam,

 

I am again writing to you in relation to your recent Freedom of
Information request to Copeland Borough Council dated 04 October 2017
which is reproduced below.

 

Copeland Borough Council remains committed to openness and transparency
and does hold some recorded information in answer to your query. However
due to the circumstances outlined below and the current well documented
recent situation around IT capabilities we do not, at this stage intend to
disclose this information. There are concerns around pseudomisation and
identification issues and as a public authority we have to ensure that all
such requests are both legitimate and valid. There is a danger that some
enquiries may be submitted to circumvent the legislation and we must
remain committed to providing the best professional service possible to
the general public.

 

In this regard and following the advice we have received from the
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) which relates to Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests made via social media and whatdotheyknow.com,
'Public authorities do not need to respond to such requests for
information unless the requestor's real name is clear. If their name is
not clear, for example their username is a pseudonym or only contains part
of their real name, the request is not valid'.

 

A request for information is not valid if it does not, in accordance with
s.8 (1b) Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), state the name of the
applicant and an address for correspondence. As we believe your request
uses a pseudonym instead of your actual name we do not consider it to be a
valid request. Accordingly, we are not obliged to respond to it.

 

However, the ICO does recommend that should you wish to resubmit your
request using your real name then we will be able to process and provide a
response to your request.

 

In order to fulfil your requirements, I have also been authorised to
invite you personally to attend the Copeland Centre, Catherine Street,
Whitehaven where we can discuss the issues raised. I am more than happy to
arrange such a visit at your convenience.

 

Should you decide to decline the invitation I would make a respectful
request for acceptable identification which could be in the form of a
driving license, utility bill or something similar that establishes your
full name, date of birth and address with photo ID. An original copy of
the proof of identity document should be sent to the below address, or
produced in person.

I will place this request 6451/17 on hold pending receipt of
identification from you. Please note that if no identification is received
within 20 working days, the request will be withdrawn.

 

I hope this response is acceptable to you and that you appreciate the
safeguards that have to be adopted, but do not hesitate to contact me if
you wish to clarify anything further.

 

The Council makes every effort to make sure that the services it provides
are as efficient and effective as possible, and this includes any requests
under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

If you believe that your request has not been dealt with satisfactorily
you should follow the Council’s complaints procedure.

 

If you have followed the complaints procedure and are still not happy with
how your request has been dealt with you may also contact the:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Enquiry/Information Line: 01625 545 745

Where you will also find further guidance about submitting a freedom of
information request: [1]www.ico.org.uk

 

Many thanks for your support and understanding in this matter.

 

Regards,

 

 

Cliff Walker

Information Management Officer

Business Support

Copeland Borough Council

 

Tel: 01946 59 8529

Email: [2][email address]

 

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street,
Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ. Tel: 01946 598300. Fax: 01946 598303.
[3]www.copeland.gov.uk, [4][Copeland Borough Council request email]

[5]Description: cid:image001.png@01CE1E6D.7E7E5480

Working to improve lives, communities and the prosperity of Copeland

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Sarah Johnson <[6][FOI #436090 email]>
Sent: 03 October 2017 23:52
To: Info
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Egremont South Ward By Election

 

Dear Copeland Borough Council,

Section 87(2) of the LGA 1972 requires that when a casual vacancy occurs
at the borough council a notice will be displayed advertising that
vacancy, and section 89 (1)(b) requires that 2 local electors must write
to the returning officer requesting that the vacancy is filled by an
election. Could you please therefore supply me with a copy of the notice
of vacancy that was posted for the current vacancy in the Egremont South
Ward and also a copy of the required notice received from the 2 local
electors?

I fully appreciate that the lack of a notice on your  website may be due
to the recent cyber attack.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Johnson

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[7][FOI #436090 email]

Is [8][Copeland Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Copeland Borough Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[9]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[10]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[11]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

Dear Clifford Walker,

Thank you for the prompt reply. Yet again CBC adopts this strange stance in response to a perfectly valid request for information. As I live approximately 300 miles from Copeland I don't think it will be convenient to pop in. And given your well documented IT issues I am reluctant to email you any personal information.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Johnson

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

We discuss the issue of requiring a name on our help pages at:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/priv...

The ICO guidance states it is good practice for the public authority to still consider a request even if they think it might be being made under a pseudonym.

==
Richard - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

Dear Copeland Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Copeland Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Egremont South Ward By Election'.

I am requesting a review because you initially refused my FOI request on the basis that you were not satisfied that I am a real person. However, yesterday (17 October 2017) you successfully responded to two other, separate FOI requests that I had submitted. If you are happy to respond to those requests and not this one then it shows either a lack of consistency in the way that you apply your policies and / or an unwillingness to release information that may be embarrassing or harm the reputation of the organisation. In either case I would expect the ICO to take a dim view of the reluctance to provide the information. If you could provide me with a link to the required information on your website, that would be satisfactory.

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

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Johnson

Clifford Walker, Copeland Borough Council

Dear Madam,

Thank you for contacting Copeland Borough Council with your request for an Internal Review.

This has been assigned to a caseworker. We will aim to send you a full response by 20 November 2017 which is twenty working days from the date we received your request.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Cliff Walker
Information Management Officer
Business Support
Copeland Borough Council

Tel: 01946 59 8529
Email: [email address]

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ. Tel: 01946 598300. Fax: 01946 598303. www.copeland.gov.uk, [Copeland Borough Council request email]

Working to improve lives, communities and the prosperity of Copeland

Marissa Joyce, Copeland Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Johnson,

 

Firstly allow me to introduce myself my name is Marissa and one of my
roles as the Councils’ Customer Relations Officer is to carry out reviews
of the refusal of Freedom of Information requests.

My findings are that Mr Walker had authority to refuse your first request
 under FOIA Sec 8 (1b), we will not normally respond to FOI's unless we
are satisfied with identification.  I note that Mr Walker gave you the
option to meet in the Council offices with you or advised that he would be
happy to respond if you could produce acceptable identification which
could be in the form of a driving license, utility bill or something
similar that establishes your full name, date of birth and address with
photo ID.   He also advised that he was happy to place your request on
hold pending receipt of identification from you with the stipulation that
if no identification was received within 20 working days, the request
would be withdrawn.

Your subsequent requests were correctly responded to out of curtesy as
they pointed out legislative shortcomings which were immediately corrected
and the information published.  

 

This concludes my Internal Review of your request for information. If you
remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may apply to the Information
Commissioner’s Office for an independent review of the way the Council has
handled your request. You can contact the Information Commissioner at The
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Alternatively, if you wish to provide evidence of your identity then we
will be more than happy to progress your original request.  

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Marissa Joyce

Customer Relations Officer

Copeland Borough Council

 

Tel: 01946 598525

[1][email address]

 

Please note my normal working hours are Tuesday to Thursday 9.00am until
5.00pm.

 

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street,
Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ. Tel: 01946 598300. Fax: 01946 598303.
[2]www.copeland.gov.uk, [3][Copeland Borough Council request email]

 

[4]Description: Description: Copeland and LGC Award logos 2

Working to improve lives, communities and the prosperity of Copeland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Marissa Joyce,

Thank you for your response. I'm somewhat perplexed at the explanation of why you responded to my other two FOI requests; the potential here is that a statutory election process has not been correctly followed therefore I fail to see how this is at all different from the two requests you have answered. All I asked for was a link to the required notices on the council's website. And to be clear, omitting the details of the council's statutory officers from the website is not a "legislative shortcoming".

I will indeed be referring this matter to the ICO, but more importantly I will be making the electoral commission aware as any failure in the process could nullify the election or lead to a petition.

In the meantime I would be grateful if you could please refer this request and review to the council's Monitoring Officer for his views and final decision. It seems that yet again CBC is playing fast and loose with the FOI process and choosing which requests to respond to. Which of course draws even more public attention to the ones that are refused.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Johnson

Marissa Joyce, Copeland Borough Council



I am out of the office until Tuesday 7th November.  If the matter is
urgent please call Copeland Direct on 01946 598300 or email
[Copeland Borough Council request email].  I will answer any emails received as soon as
possible and apologise for any inconvenience.

Marissa Joyce

Customer Relations Officer

Usual working days - Tuesday to Thursday.

 

 

 

Copeland - the best place to live in Cumbria This email is confidential
and is for the attention of the addressee only. Copeland Borough Council
accept no responsibility for information, errors or omissions contained in
it. We make every effort to keep our network free from viruses. You should
independently check this e-mail and any attachments for viruses, as we can
take no responsibility for any computer viruses that might be transferred
by way of this e-mail.

Customer Relations, Copeland Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Johnson,

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in this reply.

 

I am sorry that you remain dissatisfied  however as stated the internal
review process is now complete and therefore the Councils Monitoring
Officer will not be responding to your request, however please be assured
he has been made aware of the content.  

 

I note that you are referring the matter to the ICO and Electoral
Commission, we will therefore await their contact and respond accordingly.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Marissa Joyce

Customer Relations Officer

Copeland Borough Council

 

Tel: 01946 598525

[1][email address]

 

Please note my normal working hours are Tuesday to Thursday 9.00am until
5.00pm.

 

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street,
Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ. Tel: 01946 598300. Fax: 01946 598303.
[2]www.copeland.gov.uk, [3][Copeland Borough Council request email]

 

[4]Description: Description: Copeland and LGC Award logos 2

Working to improve lives, communities and the prosperity of Copeland

 

 

 

 

 

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