Foreign Trips By DCLG Ministers and Officers

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Communities and Local Government,

Can you please supply the following information?

1. A list of locations and dates, since May 2010, where DCLG
Ministers have been on foreign trips?

2. For each trip can you provide details any other DCLG staff member that accompanied for all or part of trip? Please supply name and job title?

3. Please supply detailed expense claims for each attendee of thetrips? Include if possible claims that were submitted and subsequently rejected.

Yours faithfully,

Tony Maycock

Martin Harding,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Maycock

Please see the attached response to your request for information of 16
June 2011.

Regards

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.

Hi Martin Harding,

Thanks for replying.

Just the point on question 3. Could you let me have copies of expense claims for each attendee as well as any that may have been submitted but subsequently rejected. Appreciated that some detail may be in Parliamentary questions, but that response may not have addressed all expenditure.

One other thing. A very similar request to my own has been made by Amy Fisher (as on WDTK) but you have at this time declined to provide her with the information. Is there any reason for this inconsistency of treatment? Also, why would you almost take the full 20 days to query the individuals identify or motives? I did think that the ICO Good Practice Guidance No. 6 suggested that requests should be both applicant and motive blind.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Maycock

Amy Fisher left an annotation ()

Thank you for raising the inconsistent handling of our requests. I am feeling persecuted!

Martin Harding,

Dear Mr Maycock

Thank you for your further e-mail of 4 August concerning the Department's response to your request for information.

As shown in the annex of information that accompanied that response, the expenses claimed by individuals in connection with the relevant trips undertaken by Ministers in the Department was "nil". As such, I have not formally treated your e-mail of 4 August as a further request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. I trust, though, that this provides you with the clarification you were seeking.

On your point regarding the request submitted in the name of Amy Fisher, I am afraid the Department cannot comment to one applicant on it's handling of a request for information by another applicant. Nor would this be appropriate when the Department has not yet reached a decision regarding that request.

Regards

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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Dear Martin Harding,

Perhaps you can address the general point about taking so long to raise with an applicant questions about identity and motive.

I'm also concerned that different requests received different responses and it raises the question as to whether an offence under s.77 of the act has been committed.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Maycock

Martin Harding,

Dear Mr Maycock

As I can only, as you recognise, address your question in general terms, I can only say that the Department aims of course to respond to requests promptly and in any case within the statutory 20 working day time limit. Where clarification of a request is needed we would certainly in all cases aim to do that as soon as we can.

I can assure you that the Department is of course very clear about the provisions of s.77 of the FOI Act and has no reason to think that they are relevant in this case.

Regards

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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