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External work commissioned without advert or tender

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I would like to request the following information.

Since Elizabeth Denham took up her role as Information Commissioner, I would like to request how many times the Information Commissioner’s Office has engaged consultants, companies or other specialists to deliver services to the ICO without putting the work out to tender or otherwise advertising the opportunity externally. This should cover training, consultancy and advice of any kind. I do not wish my request to include legal advice obtained from external lawyers.

If such work has been commissioned, for each instance, I would like to request the following information

1) The name of the company or individual that was awarded the work
2) How much they were paid (if any work is currently ongoing, how much the ICO has agreed to pay)
3) A summary of what work was done, or what services were provided
4) A summary of the recorded information which explains why the work was not advertised externally, or which demonstrates the company / person's unique ability to carry out the work.
5) The name of the person who made the decision to appoint the company or person to carry out the work

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

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.

For information about what we do with personal data see our [2]privacy
notice.

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
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Information Commissioner's Office

27 March 2019

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0823941

 

Dear J Shoesmith

I am writing further to your request which we received on the 26 February.
Please accept my sincere apologies, unfortunately the response to your
request is delayed. We will provide this to you at the earliest
opportunity and certainly by 3 April 2019. 
 

If, for any reason, we can’t respond by this date, we will let you know
and tell you when you can expect a response.

 

Yours sincerely
 

Sarah Whelan
Senior Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 414 6322  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Could you provide me with an explanation of why your response to my request has been delayed?

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

Jenny Shoesmith

Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

You said that this request would “certainly” be answered by April 3rd. That was 2 days ago. Please provide a response and an explanation of the delay (and failure to meet your own extended deadline).

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

Information Commissioner's Office

10 April 2019

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0823941

 

Dear J Shoesmith

I should firstly reiterate our sincere apologies for the length of time
it is taking for us to provide you with a response to your request.
 
Your request was received at a time the ICO is experiencing a high demand
for its services. Our records show that in the first financial quarter of
this year alone the number of information requests handled by the ICO was
approximately 54% higher than in the same period last year.
 
I can confirm I am liaising with other departments to collate the
information falling within the scope of your request and I will provide a
response as soon as this is completed. 
 

Yours sincerely
 

Sarah Whelan
Senior Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 414 6322  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
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Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

This request is almost a month overdue. I would like to receive a clear explanation of why it has taken so long for you to answer this request. "We are really busy" is not a good enough explanation. The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the FOI Act, and should properly resource the FOI team in her own office. Please tell me when you are going to answer my request, and why it is so late.

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

Jenny Shoesmith

Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Information Commissioner's Office's handling of my FOI request 'External work commissioned without advert or tender'.

This request is more than two months overdue. I would like an independent person to investigate the nature of the delay. This should not delay your process of dealing with the original request, and I do not believe it should prevent me from asking for an internal review should your final response involve a refusal.

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,

Jenny Shoesmith

Information Access Inbox, 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]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...

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.

For information about what we do with personal data see our [2]privacy
notice.

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
[3]here.

Twitter

Find us on Twitter [4]here.

 

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Information Commissioner's Office

3 June 2019

 

Case Reference Number RCC0847775

 

Dear J Shoesmith

Thank you for your correspondence dated 16 May 2019.
 
This correspondence will now be treated as a request for an internal
review under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
We will aim to respond by 14 June 2019 which is 20 working days from the
day after we received your recent correspondence.  This is in accordance
with our internal review procedures. 
 
Yours sincerely
 

Sarah Whelan
Senior Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 414 6322  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information about what we do with personal data see our [3]privacy
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Jenny Shoesmith

Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

When are you going to answer my request? It is two months overdue.

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

Information Commissioner's Office

13 June 2019
 
Case Reference Number RCC0847775
 
Review of response to information request
 
I write further to your email of 16 May 2019 in which you requested a
review of the handling of your request dealt with under the reference
number IRQ0823941.  I am the Group Manager in the Information Access
service team and I have been asked to review the way we handled your
request for information. I can confirm that I have had no prior
involvement in the handling of this request.
 
 
Your information request
 
You contacted us on 26 February 2019 and stated:
 
“Jenny Shoesmith [mailto:[FOI #556393 email]] Sent:
26 February 2019 21:33 To: AccessICOinformation Subject: Freedom of
Information request - External work commissioned without advert or tender
Dear Information Commissioner?s Office, I would like to request the
following information. Since Elizabeth Denham took up her role as
Information Commissioner, I would like to request how many times the
Information Commissioner?s Office has engaged consultants, companies or
other specialists to deliver services to the ICO without putting the work
out to tender or otherwise advertising the opportunity externally. This
should cover training, consultancy and advice of any kind. I do not wish
my request to include legal advice obtained from external lawyers. If such
work has been commissioned, for each instance, I would like to request the
following information 1) The name of the company or individual that was
awarded the work 2) How much they were paid (if any work is currently
ongoing, how much the ICO has agreed to pay) 3) A summary of what work was
done, or what services were provided 4) A summary of the recorded
information which explains why the work was not advertised externally, or
which demonstrates the company / person's unique ability to carry out the
work. 5) The name of the person who made the decision to appoint the
company or person to carry out the work Yours faithfully, Jenny Shoesmith

 

Your request for internal review
 
You wrote to us on 16 May 2019 and asked for an internal review stating
the following:
 
“Jenny Shoesmith [mailto:[FOI #556393 email]] Sent:
16 May 2019 16:44 To: Information Access Inbox Subject: Internal review of
Freedom of Information request - External work commissioned without advert
or tender Dear Information Commissioner's Office, Please pass this on to
the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews. I am writing to
request an internal review of Information Commissioner's Office's handling
of my FOI request 'External work commissioned without advert or tender'.
This request is more than two months overdue. I would like an independent
person to investigate the nature of the delay. This should not delay your
process of dealing with the original request, and I do not believe it
should prevent me from asking for an internal review should your final
response involve a refusal”
 
On 3 June 2019 we wrote to you to confirm that we had received your
request for an internal review and to state that we aim to respond to your
request by 14 June 2019 which is 20 working days from the day we received
your request.
 
On 4 June 2019 you replied again to us to state:
 
“Dear Information Commissioner's Office, When are you going to answer my
request? It is two months overdue. Yours faithfully, Jenny Shoesmith”
 
Our internal review
 
 
I have undertaken a review of your information request as you asked which
regarded the reasons for or nature of the delay in the response to you
information access request.
 
It may be helpful to explain that your request was received at a time of
unprecedented demand on our services. We received 2,326 information
requests in 2018/19 – a 54% rise on the number we handled in 2017/18. We
responded to 94% of these requests within the relevant statutory deadlines
of 20 working days upon receipt of a request unless a statutory extension
is applicable.
 
This, of course, means that in 6% of cases we were not able to respond to
the requests on time, and on this occasion I’m sorry to say this was true
of your request.
 
I have liaised with the Senior Information Access Officer handling your
request, Sarah Whelan, and she is consulting with our colleagues in
Private Office. She will have a response for you no later than Friday 21
June 2019.
 
I uphold your complaint in this instance and my review finds that your
service from The Information Commissioners Office was not what we strive
for. I apologise again for the service you received and thank you for your
interest in the work of The Information Commissioners Office.
 
 
Complaint procedure
 
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this review you can make a
formal complaint with the ICO in its capacity as the regulator of The
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please follow the link below to submit
your complaint:

[1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Elizabeth Baxter
Information Access Group Manager
 
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 3131840  F. 01625 524510  [2]ico.org.uk  [3]twitter.com/iconews
For information about what we do with personal data see our [4]privacy
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Jenny Shoesmith

Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

This internal review is completely inadequate. It does not provide any explanation as to why my request has been so delayed. I request, as a matter of urgency, that you provide a clear explanation of what led to this unacceptable delay, either in reply to this email, or in the final response. Someone in the ICO must know what the reasons are, and should have the courtesy to set out what they are. If you will not do this, I will complain both to the ICO in its capacity as FOI regulator, and the PHSO. It would clearly be in your interests not to waste resources dealing with such complaints, and simply tell me what has been going on.

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

Jenny Shoesmith

Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

You have missed your own deadline, months after you should have answered this request. Your inability to answer a simple FOI promptly would be a disgrace if you were a local council. The fact that you are the FOI regulator makes your handling of my request a scandal.

I am utterly powerless here - I cannot complain to the regulator about your contempt for FOI because you are supposed to be the organisation I would complain to. Do you have no shame at all? No self respect?

What am I supposed to do now?

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Shoesmith

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

My understanding is you can complain to the ICO about the ICO's failure to comply with FOI law.

The enforcement team within the ICO will consider if the disclosure team within the ICO has fulfilled its duties under the law.

Information Commissioner's Office

1 Attachment

9 July 2019

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0823941

 

Dear J Shoesmith

 

Thank you for your request for information. We received your request on 26
February 2019. We have considered your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
 
Please accept my apologies for the delay in our response. As previously
advised your request was received at a time when the ICO is experiencing
a high demand for its services.  

By way of further explanation, I can advise that to provide the
information you requested has involved liaison with many different
departments of the ICO.  There is not a single point of contact who could
provide the information. Therefore to provide the information has required
involvement from many ICO officers and this has taken time. However, we
acknowledge that this has been outside of the timescale for compliance and
we apologise for not providing the response to you sooner and for any
inconvenience caused.
 
Your request
 
‘I would like to request the following information. Since Elizabeth Denham
took up her role as Information Commissioner, I would like to request how
many times the Information Commissioner’s Office has engaged consultants,
companies or other specialists to deliver services to the ICO without
putting the work out to tender or otherwise advertising the opportunity
externally. This should cover training, consultancy and advice of any
kind. I do not wish my request to include legal advice obtained from
external lawyers. If such work has been commissioned, for each instance, I
would like to request the following information 1) The name of the company
or individual that was awarded the work 2) How much they were paid (if any
work is currently ongoing, how much the ICO has agreed to pay) 3) A
summary of what work was done, or what services were provided 4) A summary
of the recorded information which explains why the work was not advertised
externally, or which demonstrates the company / person's unique ability to
carry out the work. 5) The name of the person who made the decision to
appoint the company or person to carry out the work.’
 
Our response 
 
I can confirm that we hold information that falls within the scope of your
request. 
 
I have provided information in response to each part of your request.
Please find the answers to the questions asked contained in the attached
CSV file.
 
I have also provided some information on a discretionary basis, to ensure
you receive a full response to the questions asked.
 
This concludes our response, I hope you find this information useful.
 
Next steps
 
I hope this response is clear. If you would like me to clarify anything
about the way your request has been handled please contact me.
 
You can ask us to review the way we have handled your request. Please see
our review procedure
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
 
Following our internal review, if you remain dissatisfied with the way we
have handled your request, there is a statutory complaints process and you
can report your concern to the regulator. I have included information
about how to do this separately.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 

Sarah Whelan
Senior Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 414 6322  F. 01625 524510  [2]ico.org.uk  [3]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information about what we do with personal data see our [4]privacy
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Josh Smith left an annotation ()

The attached file is a .csv file but has been saved with an incorrect extension. The .xls on the end of the file names means it might not open in Excel correctly. but if you rename the file to remove the .xls from the end (so that it's called FOI IRQ0823941.csv) it will open.

Note that Microsoft Windows hides file extensions by default, and you'll need to turn off the option to "hide extensions for known file types" before renaming the file. Instructions on how to do that are here:
http://solverbase.com/w/Windows_10:_Show...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Jenny Shoesmith please sign in and let everyone know.