Alistair P Sloan

Dear Sirs,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Pursuant to the general right of access to information contained in section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I make the following requests for information:

(a) Please provide the full content of all current polices, procedures, standard operating procesedures and similar relating to the Information Commissioner's powers under Section 52 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

(b) Please provide the full content of all records, minutes and similar of discussions with the Metropilitan Police Service cocerning the continued monitoring of the Metropolitan Police Service's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ane the full content of all records, minutes and similar of discssions within the Information Commissioner's Officer about the cotninued monitoring of the Metropolitan Police Service's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For the avoidance of doubt part (b) relates only to those records, minutes and similar which relate to discussions on or after 1 January 2016.

I look forward to recieving the Information Commissioner's substantive response to this request for information.

Yours faithfully,

Alistair P Sloan

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.

 

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

 

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[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Contact us: 0303 123 1113, www.ico.org.uk, livechat and twitter @ICOnews

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Information Commissioner’s Office

3 Attachments

(1)

23 August 2016

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0639142

Dear Mr Sloan
 
Request for information
 
Further to our acknowledgement, we are now in a position to provide you
with a response to your request for information.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with any information ‘held’ by a public
authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request
 
In your email of 25 July 2016 you asked us to provide you with the
following information:
 
“(a) Please provide the full content of all current polices, procedures,
standard operating procesedures and similar relating to the Information
Commissioner's powers under Section 52 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

(b) Please provide the full content of all records, minutes and similar of
discussions with the Metropilitan Police Service cocerning the continued
monitoring of the Metropolitan Police Service's compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 ane the full content of all records,
minutes and similar of discssions within the Information Commissioner's
Officer about the cotninued monitoring of the Metropolitan Police
Service's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For the avoidance of doubt part (b) relates only to those records, minutes
and similar which relate to discussions on or after 1 January 2016.”
 
Our response
 
Please find attached all the information we hold relating to part (a) of
your request and some of the information covered by part (b).
 
“(a) Please provide the full content of all current polices, procedures,
standard operating procesedures and similar relating to the Information
Commissioner's powers under Section 52 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.“

Our Guide to FOI contains some relevant information via the following link
from our website:
 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
 
As provided in a previous response, we have attached our standard
operating procedure which gives some general guidance on our powers
regarding section 52 Notices.
 
Our Freedom of Information Regulatory Action Policy is published on our
website. This outlines our regulatory powers under FOIA, including those
determined under section 52 of the FOIA and how we use them:
  
 [2]https://ico.org.uk/media/1859/freedom_of...
 
 
“(b) Please provide the full content of all records, minutes and similar
of discussions with the Metropilitan Police Service cocerning the
continued monitoring of the Metropolitan Police Service's compliance with
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ane the full content of all records,
minutes and similar of discssions within the Information Commissioner's
Officer about the cotninued monitoring of the Metropolitan Police
Service's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For the avoidance of doubt part (b) relates only to those records, minutes
and similar which relate to discussions on or after 1 January 2016.”

Please find attached our response to part (b) of your information request.
This contains some of the information we hold consisting of the meeting
reports and correspondence between the ICO and the MPS from 1 January 2016
until the date of your request. Please note that part of this information
contains statistics from 2015 that were sent to the ICO within the
timeframe of your information request. Some of this information has been
withheld (see below).
 
We are also releasing some information which was extracted from the
correspondence and meetings between our Strategic Liaison department and
the MPS during that timeframe that principally relate to data protection
but contain references to FOIA monitoring:
 
Meagan Mirza (Group Manager, Strategic Liaison) to Martin Hewitt (MPS) on
14 January 2016 at 11:49:

“I refer to your letter of 10th November 2015 in which you provided a very
helpful update in terms of the Met’s performance on DP and FOIA…my
colleague, Ged Tracey, will be writing to AC Craig Mackey separately on
FOI performance with a view to arranging a meeting to discuss.”

The Strategic Liaison Meetings of 26 January 2016 and 24 February 2016
state that the ‘Reason for meeting’ is “To monitor DP SAR and FOIA
performance” but the meetings were about DP monitoring. The 24 February
2016 report also adds (relating to the MPS) that “Some DP staff have been
moved to work on FOI cases.”

Finally, an email on 22 July 2016 at 11:58 from Meagan Mirza to the MPS
ended with, “My colleague, Ged Tracey, will contact you separately in
relation to FOIA performance.”  Ged Tracey is Principal Policy Adviser at
the ICO.

For the avoidance of doubt, the remainder of this correspondence/reports
relates to the MPS’s compliance with the DPA 1998 and is therefore not
within the scope of your request.
 
Information withheld
 
We have withheld some information from the information provided to the ICO
by the MPS regarding the monitoring of its compliance with the FOIA. This
consists of information about ‘live’ cases and the part of the
spreadsheets that provides ‘context’.  
 
This information has been withheld under the provisions of section 44 of
the FOIA which places prohibitions on disclosure. 
 
Section 44 of the FOIA places prohibitions on disclosure and is an
absolute exemption which does not require a consideration of the public
interest test of the type required by the qualified exemptions.

Section 44(1)(a) of the FOIA states;

‘(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure (otherwise than
under this Act) by the public authority holding it -
(a) is prohibited by or under any enactment’

The enactment in question is the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and
specifically Section 59 of the DPA. Section 59 states that neither the
Commissioner nor his staff shall disclose;

“any information which :
 

 1. has been obtained by, or furnished to, the Commissioner under or for
the purposes of the information Acts.
 2. relates to an identified or identifiable individual business, and
 3. is not at the time of disclosure, and has not been available to the
public from other sources,

unless the disclosure is made with lawful authority.”

Section 59(1) DPA is worded as follows:
(1) No person who is or has been the Commissioner, a member of the
Commissioner’s staff or an agent of the Commissioner shall disclose any
information which
(a) has been obtained by, or furnished to, the Commissioner under or for
the purposes of the information Acts,
(b) relates to an identified or identifiable individual or business, and
(c) is not at the time of the disclosure, and has not previously been,
available to the public from other sources,
unless the disclosure is made with lawful authority.

Section 59(2) explains that there are five circumstances when the ICO
could have lawful authority to disclose; this is an exhaustive list. The
circumstances are:

“(a) the disclosure is made with the consent of the individual or of the
person for the time being carrying on the business,
(b) the information was provided for the purpose of its being made
available to the public (in whatever manner) under any provision of this
Act,
(c) the disclosure is made for the purposes of, and is necessary for, the
discharge of –
(i) any functions under this Act, or
(ii) any Community obligation,
(d) the disclosure is made for the purposes of any proceedings, whether
criminal or civil and whether arising under, or by virtue of, this Act or
otherwise, or
(e) having regard to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of
any person, the disclosure is necessary in the public interest.”

I will set out how each provision is made out in this case.

Section 59 (1) (a) is satisfied because the information was obtained by
the ICO for the purposes of the information Acts. The Information Acts
consist of the Data Protection Act 1998 and by amendment the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  

Section 59 (1) (b) is satisfied because the information relates to an
identifiable business – the Metropolitan Police Service.

In relation to section 59 (1) (c), the information has not been disclosed
to the public and therefore this does not provide a route to disclosure.

Section 59 (2) (b) provides circumstances where lawful authority could be
achieved. We can say that in relation to (a) we do not have consent to
disclose this information and in relation to (b) the information was not
provided to the ICO for the purpose of being made public.

In relation to (c) we must consider whether this applies in any way
without reference to the ICO having received an information request
because section 44 (1) FOIA sets out that ‘Information is exempt
information if its disclosure (otherwise than under this Act)’. We find
that we are not required to disclose this information in order to
discharge a function under the information Acts or a Community obligation.

Further, in relation to (d) a disclosure would not be for the purposes of
proceedings.

Finally, we turn to (e). We should clarify that the public interest
threshold here is very high, not least because disclosure in contravention
of section 59 by the Information Commissioner or his staff may constitute
a criminal offence (s.59 (3)). We do not consider that threshold is met
here.

The requested information was provided to the ICO in the course of
carrying out its function as regulator of the Data Protection Act 1998 and
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we do not see that we have lawful
authority to disclose it here.

We do not consider that giving access for the purposes of a freedom of
information request provides us the lawful authority we require to
disclose it.

Finally, we have withheld from the attached information any third party
personal data provided by the MPS relating to the monitoring cases in
order to protect the identities of these third parties. We have also
redacted the names and contact details of certain members of MPS staff. 
 
This personal information is exempt from disclosure to you under section
40(2) of the FOIA which, by virtue of section 40(3)(a)(i), allows a public
authority to withhold information from a response to a request under the
FOIA when the information requested is personal data relating to someone
other than the requester, and its disclosure would contravene one of the
data protection principles.
 
We consider that none of the individuals referred to in this
correspondence would anticipate or expect their details to be disclosed.
The release of this information may have a detrimental or distressing
effect. Therefore, we consider that such a disclosure would be unfair and
in breach of the first data protection principle which states that –
“Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully ….  It is for this
reason that we have taken the decision to withhold this information from
you in reliance on section 40(2) of the FOIA.
 
Review procedure
 
I hope this provides you with the information you require.  However, if
you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Access Team at the address below or
email [3][ICO request email]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team, at the address given or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website [4]here  .
 
Yours sincerely
 
Janine Gregory
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545770  F. 01625 524510  [5]ico.org.uk  [6]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information requests please use [7][ICO request email]
 
 
 
 
 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
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3. mailto:[ICO request email]
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5. http://ico.org.uk/
6. https://twitter.com/iconews
7. mailto:[ICO request email]

Information Commissioner’s Office

2 Attachments

23 August 2016

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0639142

 

Dear Mr Sloan

Please find attached the second and final part of our response to your
information request.

Yours sincerely

Janine Gregory
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545770  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email
For information requests please use [3][ICO request email]

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/
2. https://twitter.com/iconews
3. mailto:[ICO request email]

Dear Ms Gregory,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
REFENCE: IRQ0639142

Thank you for your response to the above noted request for information. I shall consider the terms thereof and be in touch in due course should I wish the Commissioner to review any part of the response.

Kind regards,
Alistair P Sloan

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.

 

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
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
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2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

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