Dear House of Commons,

Could you please release the material known as the "Erskine May drafts", as referred to in Parliament’s policy on the retention, destruction and archiving of its information, currently available at:

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/uplo...

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Taylor,

 

Freedom of Information request F18-290

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 24 July 2018, received by
us on the same date, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 22 August 2018.

 

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted above and in the subject line of this email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Price

IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

 

[1]cid:image002.jpg@01D02B64.34D76640

Click [2]here for details about Freedom of Information

in the House of Commons and to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

From: Richard Taylor [mailto:[FOI #501128 email]]
Sent: 24 July 2018 15:06
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Erskine May drafts

 

Dear House of Commons,

Could you please release the material known as the "Erskine May drafts",
as referred to in Parliament’s policy on the retention, destruction and
archiving of its information, currently available at:

[3]https://www.parliament.uk/documents/uplo... Internet
Publication.v.03.pdf

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
[4]http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

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

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[5][FOI #501128 email]

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Information requests to House of Commons? If so, please contact us using
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[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

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show quoted sections

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Taylor,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F18-290

 

Thank you for your request for information. You asked us to release the
material that is listed in Parliament’s published policy on the retention,
destruction and archiving of its information, as ‘Erskine May drafts’. 
This entry refers to the drafts of the publication “Erskine May:
Parliamentary Practice”.

 

This information is held by the House of Commons, however we have
concluded that it is exempt from disclosure on two grounds. First, drafts
of the next edition (25^th) of Erskine May are withheld under section 22
(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which is the exemption
for information held by the public authority with a view to its
publication at some future date (whether determined or not). Although we
are not intending to publish the drafts themselves, much of the revised
and updated information in the drafts will form part of the new edition of
this publication.  Section 22 is a qualified exemption, and accordingly we
have to consider whether the public interest is in withholding the
information or in disclosing it.

 

We have considered the public interest in the disclosure of this
information. We accept there is interest in a new edition of this
publication as it is considered the most authoritative work on
parliamentary procedure and practice, both at Westminster and in
democracies with Westminster-style parliaments.

However, since such drafts are working documents which are subject to
review and revision before publication, we consider that their disclosure
would be of only limited value to the public. The unique status of Erskine
May rests upon it being considered the authoritative point of reference
for parliamentarians and this could be undermined by the existence of
alternative unfinished drafts. For this reason, the material held in order
to produce future editions of Erskine May is disposed of when a new
edition is published. A new (25^th) edition of Erskine May is under active
preparation and will be published within a reasonable time. We have
concluded, therefore that it is reasonable in all the circumstances that
the material should be withheld until publication.

 

Secondly, we consider drafts of Erskine May to be exempt from disclosure
under section 43(2) FOIA, because the disclosure of this information would
potentially be prejudicial to a third party’s commercial interests. This
is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public interest test
again applies.

 

We have acknowledged the level of public interest in this material.
However, the copyright of Erskine May is owned by the Erskine May Trust.
The Trust is not a public authority under the terms of the FOIA, and may
reasonably be thought to be the beneficial owner of the material sought.
While the contents of the next edition will be written by House of Commons
clerks, the Trust has entered into a contract with a commercial publisher
to produce the new edition (as all past editions have been produced). The
early release of draft material might prejudice the commercial position of
the publisher. This, in turn, may affect the Trust’s ability to cover its
production costs and may jeopardise the production of future editions, on
which both Houses of the UK Parliament and a number of overseas
Parliaments rely. We have therefore concluded that the greater public
interest lies with non-disclosure.

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request.  Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research & Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [1][House of Commons request email].  Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[2]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Jean Fessey | Information Rights Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

 

[3]cid:image002.jpg@01D02B64.34D76640

Click [4]here for details about Freedom of Information

in the House of Commons and to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

 

From: Richard Taylor <[FOI #501128 email]>
Sent: 24 July 2018 15:06
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Erskine May drafts

 

Dear House of Commons,

Could you please release the material known as the "Erskine May drafts",
as referred to in Parliament’s policy on the retention, destruction and
archiving of its information, currently available at:

[5]https://www.parliament.uk/documents/uplo... Internet
Publication.v.03.pdf

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
[6]http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

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

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[7][FOI #501128 email]

Is [8][House of Commons request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to House of Commons? If so, please contact us using
this form:
[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[11]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

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.

show quoted sections

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