FOI Training

Richard Bowden made this Freedom of Information request to Rother District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Richard Bowden

Dear Sir or Madam,

Can you please supply me with details on training provided to Council staff on how to deal with requests made under Freedom of Information. If any training has been provided by third parties, please detail these companies and how much, for each of the last three financial years, has been paid to each. If any training materials are used (including emails, memos, reports etc containing instructions), please also make these available.

Yours faithfully,

Richard

Lynda Crawford, Rother District Council

Dear Sir
Thank you for your request. However, before I can process this can you please let me have your full postal address for my records as required by S.8(1)A of the Act.
Lynda Crawford
Admin Assistant

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Richard Bowden

Dear Lynda,

I quote below section 8 of the Act in its entirety:

----

8. Request for information

(1) In this Act any reference to a “request for information” is a reference to such a request which—

(a) is in writing,

(b) states the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence, and

(c) describes the information requested.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), a request is to be treated as made in writing where the text of the request—

(a) is transmitted by electronic means,

(b) is received in legible form, and

(c) is capable of being used for subsequent reference.

----

I see nothing in 8(1)A, or indeed elsewhere in the Act, that allows you to demand a full postal address. On the contrary the DCA's guidance on this point, as can be found at http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/guidance/progu..., states clearly: "If a request is received by email and, although no postal address is given, the email address of the sender is included, then this should be treated as the return address."

I would therefore ask on what basis you are refusing to process my request?

Yours sincerely,

Richard

Lynda Crawford, Rother District Council

Dear Mr Bowden

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 2000

Thank you for your request received on 10 July 2008 requesting information
about training provided regarding Freedom of Information. We are
processing your request in conjunction with the Corporate Resources
Division and hope to be able to respond to you within 4 weeks.

If the requested information is supplied, it is probable that this request
will be answered. With reference to the note at the foot of your email,
however, would you please note that the response will be personal to
yourself and that no consent to publish it, for instance on a web site, is
given. Any application for consent to re-use information will be
considered under the Re-use of Public Sector Inforamtion Regulations 2005,
but if consent is given a charge may be made to you.

David Edwards
Interim Solicitor
01424 7878490
www.rother.gov.uk

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Lynda Crawford, Rother District Council

Dear Mr Bowden

I refer to your request and write to advise you that we now have the
necessary information, if you will supply an address for correspondence we
will supply the information, but we would not consent to its being posted
on a website.

for David Edwards
Interim Solicitor
01424 787840
www.rother.gov.uk

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Richard Bowden

Dear Lynda/David,

Can you please clarify whether this information is only in hard-copy and requires to be delivered through the postal service, or can be delivered electronically.

Yours sincerely,

Richard

Lynda Crawford, Rother District Council

1 Attachment

<<act_download.pdf>>
Dear Mr Bowden

I refer to your request received on 10 July 2008 about training provided
regarding Freedom of Information.

It has not been established that an e-mail address is an "address for
correspondence" for the purposes of section 8 (1)(b). I am awaiting
guidance from the Information Commissioner.

In the meanwhile, I am concerned that treating such requests as invalid is
creating a false impression about this Council, and there is no point in
withholding information that is easily supplied without placing
significant burdens on the Council, so we will comply with this request on
a voluntary, without prejudice, basis.

Extensive training was provided in house in the run up to the
implementation of the Act. This included purchase of a video "Freedom of
Information" by Video Arts. We also displayed posters and circulated
material supplied by the Government. There is a staff guide to FOI, a
copy of which is attached. No training was provided by third parties.

You may use our internal complaints procedure if you are dissatisfied. If
you are still dissatisfied you may appeal to the Information
Commissioner. Please contact Anne Bruin, Team Leader - Customer Services,
if you wish to complain.

Yours sincerely
David Edwards
Interim Solicitor
01424 787840

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