Force Executive Board December 2012

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Cambridgeshire Constabulary should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Cambridgeshire Constabulary,

Could you please release the agenda, reports, presentations made, and attendance list, relating to the Force Executive Board meeting held on the 4th of December 2012.

I stress that I am seeking all papers, not just the agenda and minutes.

I am specifically interested in the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner; I would like to know if he was invited, if he attended, and if he did attend which items he was present for and what role he played. I suspect recorded information may be held in relation to this, for example correspondence with the Commissioner's office providing notification of the meeting and any response.

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

It is no longer the case that many key papers, or versions of them, will end up in public via the Police Authority. I also note that had the agenda for this meeting been pro-actively published in advance on the force website it may have been possible to focus this request further. The force has a webpage which contains information on these meetings:

http://www.cambs-police.co.uk/about/foi/...

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Dear Richard

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0669/2012
We acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information (FOI) request which
was received by Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 04/12/2012

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  You will receive a response within the statutory
timescale of twenty working days as defined by the Act. In some
circumstances, we may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is the
case, you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest
opportunity.

If we require any further clarification regarding this request, you will
be notified.

We would advise you that the nature of certain requests may involve
payment of a fee.  If this is the case, you will be notified.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
telephone on 01480 456 111 asking for the Information Access Office or
email [Cambridgeshire Constabulary request email]

Regards

Julie Purse
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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Cambridgeshire Constabulary

2 Attachments

Dear Richard

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0669/2012
In reply to your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, received 04/12/2012

Request

     1.  Could you please release the agenda, reports, presentations made,
    and attendance list, relating to the Force Executive Board meeting
    held on the 4th of December 2012.
   
    2.   I stress that I am seeking all papers, not just the agenda and
    minutes.
   
    3.   I am specifically interested in the role of the Police and Crime
    Commissioner; I would like to know if he was invited, if he
    attended, and if he did attend which items he was present for and
    what role he played. I suspect recorded information may be held in
    relation to this, for example correspondence with the
    Commissioner's office providing notification of the meeting and any
    response.

I have added numbers to your request to clarify my response.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) requires us to handle all
requests in a manner that is blind to the identity of the requestor.  Any
information released in response to a request is regarded as being
published, and therefore in the public domain without caveat.
We have completed all searches within Cambridgeshire Constabulary and
hereby enclose your response.

Response

Question 3. The Police and Crime Commissioner was invited as a guest to
the Force Executive Board, however, due to prior diary commitments (a
private meeting in Belgium) he was unable to attend.

Your request for information, Question 1. and Question 2., has now been
considered and I am not obliged to supply the information you have
requested due to exemptions provided by the Act.

In respect of Section 1(1)(a) of the FOI Act I can confirm that
Cambridgeshire Constabulary do hold information about,

 1.  Could you please release the agenda, reports, presentations made,
    and attendance list, relating to the Force Executive Board meeting
    held on the 4th of December 2012.
   
2.   I stress that I am seeking all papers, not just the agenda and
    minutes.

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires Cambridgeshire
Constabulary, when refusing to provide such information (because the
information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which:  
(a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c)
states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

The exemptions applicable to the information are:

Section 22 - Information Intended for Future Publication

Section 22 relates to information where the authority has made a decision
to publish the information but the date for publication has not been
reached.

This is a qualified class based exemption and as such I am required to
apply a public interest test.

In researching your questions, I have been advised by the relevant
Business Manager that the papers for FEB meetings will be published once
ratified.  For the December meeting the papers will be ratified in January
and published thereafter.

Public Interest Test

Factors Favouring Early Disclosure

There are no factors favouring early disclosure as the minutes and papers
are due to be published in January 2013.

Factors Favouring Non-Early Disclosure

The decision to publish the minutes and papers had been taken prior to
your request. To bring forward that publication would cause the
constabulary unnecessary expense.

Balancing the arguments

There are no factors that favour the earlier publication of the minutes
and papers requested. A publishing schedule is in place that will make all
information requested available in the near future. To bring forward the
publishing date would incur unnecessary expenditure to the constabulary.

In accordance with the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for
this particular part of your request.

If you are unhappy with this response, please see the attachment below,
which sets out your rights to appeal.

Francis

Francis Crawford
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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Dear Cambridgeshire Constabulary,
Re: FOI Request 0669/2012

Many thanks for your response.

1. I would like to seek clarification of the sentence which states:

"the papers for FEB meetings will be published once ratified. For the December meeting the papers will be ratified in January and published thereafter."

While I understand the ratification of a meeting's minutes at a future meeting is a common occurrence I have never come across a situation where a meeting's agenda and papers are "ratified" at a subsequent meeting and I am therefore requesting an explanation.

2. I am greatly encouraged, though sceptical, in relation to the statement:
"A publishing schedule is in place that will make all information requested available in the near future."

I note that in the past the full papers for the Force Executive Board meetings have not been pro-actively published; and even the agenda for the December 2012 meeting has not yet been published at:

http://www.cambs-police.co.uk/about/foi/...

In light of this, to support the assertion that "A publishing schedule is in place" - which is being relied upon to reject my request, could you please release that publishing schedule / policy and let me know when it was adopted and via what mechanism (eg. decision by a committee, or decision by a particular individual).

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0669/2012

Dear Richard,

        In reply to your two questions arising from our response to your
request.

        Question 1. Our publication Scheme is in place on our Website and
follows the Model Publication Scheme prepared and approved by the
Information Commisioner. It shows under the 'Aim of the Scheme', what
information Cambridgeshire Constabulary publishes or intends to publish as
a matter of course.
        On the 'Information page' at 4. How we make decisions, the
publication of 'Agenda and minutes for the senior decision making
committe', Link will take you to the published minutes and agenda.

        In our response to your request for information, we are stating
that all of the information you seek with regard to the Force Executive
Meeting held on the 6th December 2012 will be available following the
January 2013 Force Executive Board meeting when the Minutes will be
ratified. The Agenda and Minutes will be published under our Publication
Scheme, the papers will then be available on written request.

        From the Model Publication Scheme prepared and approved by the
Information Commisioner, 'Information held by a public authority that is
not published under this scheme can be requested in writting, when its
provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act'.
        Cambridgeshire Constabulary are commited to protecting the
communities we serve, preventing and detecting crime, it must be
recognised that certain information,in the public interest should not be
disclosed. Information concerning ongoing investigations, investigative
methods, Intelligence and the use of related operational techniques must
be protected. They are central to the maintenance of a safe and just
society. In this respect Cambridgeshire Constabulary will, when
appropiate, apply reasonable consideration of the exemptions afforded by
the Freedom of Information Act.

        Previously the papers of Force Executive Board meetings have been
published by the Cambridgeshire Police Authority within their Publication
Scheme. The Police and Crime Commisioner may choose to follow that route
to disclosing the content of the papers you require.  

        Question 2. Our publication scheme shows the shedule for the
publication of information. From the example above, On the 'Information
page' at 4. How we make decisions,
         Scheduled: Minutes are published once agreed at the next
subsequent meeting.

        I would expect the Agenda and Minutes of the 6th December 2012
meeting to appear on our Website following the January 2013 meeting.

        In respect of individual papers contained in the minutes of the
meetings, decisions on publication are taken during the ratification
process and those which are suitable for immediate publication are
published as soon as is practical after that process.  An example of this
would be our finance reports which are normally made public along with the
Annual Accounts.  Any papers which are not published immediately should be
requested through the FOI process for consideration.  Due to the cost and
volume of the work that is required, we request that only those papers
which are of genuine interest are asked for.

        I would also advise that the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime
Commissioner has a transparancy agenda so may separately intend to publish
these documents.

Regards

Francis

Francis Crawford
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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Dear Cambridgeshire Constabulary,

I would like to request an internal review into the force's response to my Freedom of Information request which you have assigned your reference: 0669/2012.

I would like the review to consider if the exemptions cited to refuse my request have been properly applied and if the response I have received has been accurate and appropriate.

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

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Dear Richard

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0669/2012

We acknowledge receipt of your request for an Internal Review of our
response to you dated 21/12/2013.

Your request asked for information about

 1.  Could you please release the agenda, reports, presentations made,
    and attendance list, relating to the Force Executive Board meeting
    held on the 4th of December 2012.
   
    2.   I stress that I am seeking all papers, not just the agenda and
    minutes.
   
    3.   I am specifically interested in the role of the Police and Crime
    Commissioner; I would like to know if he was invited, if he
    attended, and if he did attend which items he was present for and
    what role he played. I suspect recorded information may be held in
    relation to this, for example correspondence with the
    Commissioner's office providing notification of the meeting and any
    response.
Your appeal will now be considered when the Appeal Panel convenes on
Wednesday 13th February 2013 .  You will be notified of the outcome of
this appeal in writing.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
telephone on 01480 456111 asking for the Information Access Office or
email [Cambridgeshire Constabulary request email]

Regards

Francis

Francis Crawford
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

At the time of writing, January 2013, the latest pro-actively published minutes are from August 2012:

https://www.cambs-police.co.uk/about/foi...

Niki Howard,

1 Attachment

Following the FOI Appeals Panel which sat yesterday, please find attached
a letter setting out the decision

 

Niki Howard

Assistant Chief Officer

 

 

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The response states:

"The Panel has considered your application and have noted the decision made by the
Information Access Office (IAO) on 21st December 2012 refusing the information on the
basis of Section 22, Information intended for future publication.

Having considered all the available information and as chair of the panel I am looking
into how these papers can be made more readily available to the public in future. Work is
underway to provide you with all the papers requested."

Winston Smith left an annotation ()

Richard

Looks like you got a really good result here, well done!

WS

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

1 Attachment

Dear Richard

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NOs: 0669/2012, 0060/2013 and
0091/2013

I write in connection with your requests for information which have been
received and acknowledged by Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I also refer you
to the response to your appeal in respect of 0669/2012 by the Chair of the
Appeal Panel dated 14th February 2013.

I regret to inform you that Cambridgeshire Constabulary have not been able
to complete its response to your requests by the date originally stated.

The FOI Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly and in any case no
later than 20 working days after receiving your request. We must consider
firstly whether we can comply with Section 1 (1)(a) of the Act, which is
our duty to confirm or deny whether the information requested is held and
secondly we must comply with section 1(1)(b), which is the provision of
such information. However, when a qualified exemption applies either to
the confirmation or denial or the information provision and a public
interest test is engaged, the Act allows the time for response to be
longer than 20 working days, if the balance of such public interest is
undermined.

In this case we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of
the public interest lies in respect of either of the above obligations. We
estimate that it will take an additional 20 working days to take a
decision on where this balance lies. Therefore, we plan to let you have a
response by 15th March 2013 . If it appears that it will take longer than
this to reach a conclusion you will be kept informed.

These requests relate to the publication of the Agendas, Minutes and
Papers in respect of the FEB meetings held in December 2012, January and
February 2013.

The specific exemptions which are likely apply in relation to your
requests are:

s21 Information which is already in the public domain. Where minutes and
agendas are already in the public domain, they will be classed as exempt
by virtue of this absolute exemption.
s22 Where information has been scheduled for future disclosure, this will
be considered for exemption under this section of the Act. If this
exemption applies you will be notified when the documents are published.
s30 Information which exists as part of an ongoing or closed investigation
will be subject to this qualified exemption
s31 Information which may affect Law Enforcement capability through
release will be subject tothis qualified exemption.
s38 Any information which may endanger the physical or mental health of
any individual may be subject to this qualified, harm-based exemption.
s40 This exemption may apply to information which may breach any Principle
of the Data Protection Act should it be disclosed. In some instances this
exemption may require a public interest test.
s41 Any information which has been provided in confidence will be
considered for protection through this absolute exemption.
s42 Legal Professional Privilege. This qualified exemption may apply to
legal information in relation to ongoing proceedings.
s43 Information the disclosure of which constitutes a trade secret or
would adversely affect our financial interests may be exempted under this
section of the Act.

All the above are class-based exemptions except s31 and 38 which are
prejudice based.

I would advise the applicant that the Agenda and Minutes of all these
meetings is the subject of our Publication Scheme and will be published in
accordance with that schedule. Thus the Agenda and Minutes will be
published within one month of ratification by the Board, under normal
circumstances these are ratified at the next meeting of the Board.

Whilst the timescale of 15th March has been given, it is not considered to
be realistic due to the very large volume of redaction work which will
need to be completed in order to fullfil your request fully. A realistic
expectation would be in the order of 12 to 15 weeks. If you are able to
pare your request down into a smaller task, this would reduce this
timescale. Alternatively I would be content to provide a comprehensive
list of the documents for you to select those which are of immediate
interest to you.

The documents requested by 0669/2012 will be dealt with first and then in
chronological order unless you express a preference as to the order
received.

Once you confirm the documents required, we shall calculate the
disbursement costs which will apply and invoice accordingly. In view of
the nature of this request and the volume of documents required, please
also provide a postal address for correspondence.

If required, I am happy to discuss your requirements by telephone on 01487
772036 during office hours.

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

(See attached file: Complaint Rights May-11.pdf)

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused. Should you wish to discuss
this matter please write or contact the Information Access Office on
telephone number 01480 456 111 Ext 2036 quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

David

David Price
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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