Dear Department for Communities and Local Government,

Please provide me with the following materials/information in an electronic format:

— Any internal correspondence, as in between DCLG staff, lawyers, ministers and special advisers, on the subject of FOI requests from Derek Tickles and/or the Department's stance with regard to them.
— Any correspondence in which DCLG staff, lawyers, ministers and/or special advisers communicated with an external person or body to obtain advice about responding to Derek Tickles' FOI requests.
— Any information about a "witch hunt" and/or investigation to establish which DCLG employee is masquerading as Derek Tickles, including copies of any relevant correspondence. (I am basing this point around a claim on Derek Tickles' blog http://derektickles.blogspot.com/2011/04... which may or may not be true.)

Yours faithfully,
Steve Elibank

Martin Harding,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Elibank

Please see the attached response to your request for information of 27
April 2011.

Martin Harding
Department for Communities and Local Government
FOI Advice Team
D/06 Ashdown House
St. Leonards on sea
Tel: 0303 44 41025
 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Steve Elibank

Dear Martin Harding,

Your ref: F0004758

I wish to request an internal review of your refusal to answer my request.

Your view that my request has no serious purpose or value is disingenuous at best. You must surely be aware that there is a significant public interest in knowing about the way in which government departments handle Freedom of Information issues, especially where there are allegations of potential waste of resources involved (ie. if Mr Tickles' suggestion that there is a "witch hunt" is true, that would arguably be a waste of departmental time).

Your second point, that my request is harassment of your department, is quite simply unfair. As I have mentioned above, it is a perfectly reasonable attempt to scrutinise CLG's handling of an important area of public business (FOI) and if your staff find such reasonable attempts offensive, then that is something they will simply have to cope with, because FOI is a legal obligation.

I look forward to receiving the response of your internal review within the 20-working-day period as specified by the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Elibank

Hilarie White,

Dear Mr Elibank

REQUEST FOR INTERNAL REVIEW

Thank you for your email of 20th May 2011, in which you seek a review of
the response provided by the Department for Communities and Local
Government to your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act.

The review will be considered under the Department's internal review
procedures. A full re-evaluation of your request will be undertaken.

Your request has been allocated to an Internal Review Officer and you
should receive a reply by 20th June 2011.

FOI Advice Team
Knowledge Management Division
Department for Communities and Local Government
Zone 2/A3, Eland House
0303 444 2222

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Dear Hilarie White,

Ref: F0004758

In your message of June 8th, you said that I should receive the results of the Internal Review by today. I expect you to honour that commitment.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Elibank

CLG-FOIAdvice,

Dear Mr Elibank

Thank you for your email.

In line with the Information Commissioner's guidelines the Department aims to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, and I therefore advised you that you should expect to receive a response by today, 20th June.

However, the review officer has advised me that he will need extra time to consider this case, and will respond to you no later than 19th July 11.

Yours sincerely
Hilarie White

FOI Advice Team
Knowledge Management Division
Department for Communities and Local Government
Zone 2/A3, Eland House
0303 444 2222

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Derek Tickles left an annotation ()

Steve

You got a mention in the Local Government Chronicle this week

http://www.lgcplus.com/briefings/corpora...

Their article was about DCLG treating FoI requests as vexatious.

I am sure lots of people will be interested in the results of the internal review you requested.

Derek

Steve Elibank left an annotation ()

Ooh, interesting: think you could paste/email a copy of the article? (I don't have a subscription....)

Derek Tickles left an annotation ()

Steve - I hope you got the email, if not please let me know.

Derek

Steve Elibank left an annotation ()

I did, thanks very much. Been a rather busy couple of days, sorry for not replying!

Dear CLG-FOIAdvice,

F0004758

I requested an Internal Review on May 20th, and you informed me on June 20th that you were unable to complete it on time but would get back to me "no later than July 19th."

You have failed to do that, and unless I receive a full Internal Review response by 11am tomorrow morning, a complaint will immediately be lodged with the Information Commissioner and copies sent to my MP and to the media.

Steve Elibank

Ashley Pottier,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Elibank

You asked for an Internal Review of how the Department for Communities and
Local Government had handled your Freedom of Information request. Attached
is a letter setting out my findings from the review I have conducted.

I would be grateful if you can confirm receipt of my letter.

Thank you.

Ashley Pottier

<<Elibank FoI Final.doc>>

Ashley Pottier
Strategy and Programme Team
Communities and Local Government
3/H6, Eland House
Bressenden Place
London, SW1P 5DU.

Extension: 43214
Direct line: 0303 444 3214
Office mobile: 07976 496166

'CLG Strategy & Programme Team - working on our strategic priorities'

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Ashley,

F0004758

I hereby confirm receipt of your Internal Review, and will be complaining to the ICO forthwith because I think that your handling of this matter has been wholly unacceptable, both in terms of timescale and of actual response.

I would also like to object to your suggestion that "implicit in [my] request is an endorsement of Derek Tickles" – this is an utterly ridiculous assertion on the part of CLG. People frequently make FOI requests about a wide variety of different issues, including (from a brief look at the Home Office's page on the WhatDoTheyKnow website, as an example) fraud, arson and terrorism. I think it can safely be said that taking an interest in any of those topics does not constitute an endorsement, and I fail to see why my request for information about your department's handling of Mr Tickles in any way implies that I support him.

In the same spirit that you asked me to confirm receipt of your message, I ask that you confirm receipt of this one.

Steve Elibank

Ashley Pottier,

Dear Mr Elibank

Thank you for your email - I can confirm receipt of it. I am sorry that you are unhappy with my Internal Review. As you highlight, the next stage of the process is an appeal to the Information Commissioner.

Thank you.

Ashley Pottier

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