Dear Barnet Borough Council,

I am writing to ask how many households failed to respond to the Electoral Registration forms over the last two years (2015 & 2016). Out of those who failed to respond, how many were fined and how much was the average fine?

Yours faithfully,

Mr Scott

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

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Dear Freedom of Information Act,

Please answer this request promptly as it is now over a week overdue.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Scott

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

This is an automated message.

Thank you for contacting Barnet Council's FOI team. If you have submitted an FOI request someone will be in touch with you shortly with your case number so that you know who in the council is dealing with your enquiry.

We aim to provide a full response to a valid FOI request within 20 working days, where this is not possible we will keep you informed of progress.

If you are emailing about another matter, one of the team will be in touch with you within 2 working days.

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

Dear Mr Scott

In order for the council to process your request we will require a full name.

Regards

Nick Taylor
Information Management Officer
Information Management Team (IMT), Building 2 NLBP

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom of Information Act,

Thank you for your reply. Can you please show where in the FOI Act that it says that a full name is required, as well as why this was not mentioned when I first made the request and only became known when you failed to reply promptly? My name has not been an issue until today.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Scott

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

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Thank you for contacting Barnet Council's FOI team. If you have submitted an FOI request someone will be in touch with you shortly with your case number so that you know who in the council is dealing with your enquiry.

We aim to provide a full response to a valid FOI request within 20 working days, where this is not possible we will keep you informed of progress.

If you are emailing about another matter, one of the team will be in touch with you within 2 working days.

Dear Barnet Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Barnet Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Failure to respond to Electoral Registration Forms'.

You request a full name but do not reply when challenged to back up your assertions. This shows a chronic lack of respect to those requesting information. You also failed to respond in the legal time limit.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr Scott

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

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Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

Dear Mr. Scott,

Thank you for your email. I can confirm that a full name is required under the FOI Act 2000 so that your request can be actioned. As you requested I attach the ICO guidelines for this which can be found at:

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

If you would let me have these details I will progress your FOI request which would be the quickest course of action. However I can otherwise hold an internal review if that is the way that you would like this to be handled.

Kind regards

Chris Lloyd
Information Management Officer
Information Management Team (IMT), Building 2 North London Business Park, N11 1GN

Barnet Online: www.barnet.gov.uk

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show quoted sections

Dear Freedom of Information Act,

Thank you for this link. I refer you to point 25 on Page 7.

25. Any variation of the requester’s title or first name combined
with their surname (e.g. Mr Smith or John Smith) will be
sufficient to meet this requirement. However, a first name or
surname provided in isolation, or a set of initials, will not.

Example
A requester named Robert Jones could call themselves ‘Rob
Jones’, ‘Bobby Jones’, ‘R Jones’, ‘Bob Jones’ or ‘Mr Jones’.
However, they could not just use ‘Robert’, ‘Bob’, ‘Bobby’ or
‘R.J’.

Please answer this request as 'Mr Scott' is acceptable under the ICO guidelines that you have sent me. If this is still not acceptable, please carry out the internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Scott

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

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Thank you for contacting Barnet Council's FOI team. If you have submitted an FOI request someone will be in touch with you shortly with your case number so that you know who in the council is dealing with your enquiry.

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Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

Dear Mr. Scott,

I am afraid that the ICO guidelines are very clear on this matter and I am unable to progress your information request.

Please understand that I do not wish to be obstructive and wish to provide what information we might hold that can be provided. In that spirit if you would supply me with a full name I can begin work on your request. Otherwise I can progress this matter through an informal review as you request.

Kind regards

Chris Lloyd
Information Management Officer
Information Management Team (IMT), Building 2 North London Business Park, N11 1GN

Barnet Online: www.barnet.gov.uk

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show quoted sections

Dear Freedom of Information Act,

Please note that I am not withholding my name purely for the purpose of being obstructive. If you would note from my past requests to other authorities, when contacting Scottish local authorities I have provided my full name, due to the legal requirements of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. You provided the link to the ICO documentation and I responded, quoting the information you provided (Page 7, Point 25), showing that 'Mr Scott' is acceptable under the ICO. At this point my irritation is stemming from, what I can only assume is, an internal policy of Barnet Borough Council. You provided me the link, I found that my name is suitable and provided you with the evidence, yet you still do not wish to proceed. If this is an internal policy of Barnet Borough Council then I would like the courtesy of at least being told that.

I am also in the understanding that you may not hold this information (similar to Tameside and Scottish authorities), refuse to provide the information as the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are not subject to the provisions of the FOI Act as asserted by some councils, but may wish to provide anyway in the interests of transparency (similar to Ealing and others).

I am requesting an internal review of the handling of this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Scott

Freedom of Information Act, Barnet Borough Council

This is an automated message.

Thank you for contacting Barnet Council's FOI team. If you have submitted an FOI request someone will be in touch with you shortly with your case number so that you know who in the council is dealing with your enquiry.

We aim to provide a full response to a valid FOI request within 20 working days, where this is not possible we will keep you informed of progress.

If you are emailing about another matter, one of the team will be in touch with you within 2 working days.

This email and any attachments to it are intended solely for the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain sensitive or confidential material and should be handled accordingly. However, it is recognised that, as an intended recipient of this email, you may wish to share it with those who have a legitimate interest in the contents.

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Richard Carter, Barnet Borough Council

 
Information request
Our reference: 3940797

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

Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 16 March 2018. I'm
sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the council's response to your
information request.
               
We will now conduct an internal review.  The review will be independent
and impartial, will reconsider the merits of the case and will identify
any errors in the handling of your request.
 
We aim to complete internal reviews promptly and in any event within 20
working days from receipt of a complaint.  In exceptional cases we may
take longer, but we will not exceed 40 working days.  This is in line
with  guidance issued by the Information Commissioner.  
 
If, following our review, you are still unhappy with the way we have
applied the Act, you can appeal directly to the Information Commissioner
at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF (telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45;
website: [1]https://ico.org.uk/). There is no charge for making an appeal.
 
Yours faithfully
 
 
Richard Carter
Information Management Officer
Commissioning Group
London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South,
London N11 1NP
Barnet Online: [2]www.barnet.gov.uk
All our [3]Information Management Policies  are on the internet. 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/
2. http://www.barnet.gov.uk/
3. https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/c...

John Dix left an annotation ()

This is a delaying tactic. I have reminded Barnet Council regarding the ICO's guidelines on a number of occasions. As you state the guideline is clear that 'Mr' with a surname is acceptable. I despair of Barnet who seem to be doing everything possible to avoid providing a response. Go to the ICO and see how they react then.

Richard Carter, Barnet Borough Council

 
Information request
Our reference: 3940797

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

Dear Mr Scott
 
I write further to our email acknowledging your request for an internal
review into the handling of your request for information. 
 
You have requested an internal review of the Council's response in
relation to your request.  I have undertaken the internal review and the
outcome of my review is set out below.  Your complaint is upheld.
 
I am sorry that you were given incorrect advice by my colleagues as to
what constitues a valid information request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  I think the confusion arose because it was
misunderstood that your first name was Scott, but now you have
clarified that Scott is your surname this would be acceptable under
the Act and your request is valid,  I apologise for the delay in getting
the information across to you and  I am pleased to be able to provide you
will a full response toyour question.
 
This data is not held by the London Borough of Barnet ' as per electoral
legislation (specifically Representation of the People Act 1983) it is
held by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) who is a statutory post
holder appointed by the Borough.

The ERO is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as they are
not a public authority for the purposes of the Act, as they are neither
specified in Schedule 1 of the Act nor has a Ministerial Order been made
under s5 designating them as a public authority.

Advice and Assistance

The statutory annual canvass process requires that 'Household Enquiry
Forms', (HEFs) are sent to all residential properties within the borough
and that where no response is received within a 'reasonable period' that
HEF Reminder is sent and then that a 2^nd HEF reminder is sent if there is
still no response received within a reasonable period. The ERO will then
then send an officer to make a personal visit on at least one occasion.

The overall number of properties from which no HEF and no response to a
personal visit was recorded following all of these required processes was
28,877 (19.2%) in 2015 and 24,129 (15.6%) in 2016.

Individuals can only be fined following a successful conviction for
'failing to comply with a request for information' from the ERO. No
convictions were sought or subsequent fines imposed for failure to respond
to HEFs in 2016 or 2017.

 
Your Rights
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
 
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Website: [1]www.ico.org.uk 
There is no charge for making an appeal.
 
Yours faithfully
 
 
Richard Carter
Information Management Officer
Commissioning Group
London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South,
London N11 1NP
Barnet Online: [2]www.barnet.gov.uk
All our [3]Information Management Policies  are on the internet. 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/
2. http://www.barnet.gov.uk/
3. https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/c...

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