Freedom of Information requests

T Thomas made this Freedom of Information request to Woking Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Woking Borough Council did not have the information requested.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Since the inception of the Freedom of Information Act to date

1)how many requests for information under the act has the council received?

2)how many have times has the council failed to respond within the statutory 20 day period?

Yours faithfully,

T Thomas

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Woking Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Freedom of Information requests'.

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

Yours sincerely,

T Thomas

Woking Borough Council

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[email address]

Sent request to Woking Borough Council again, using a new contact address.

Comments, Woking Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail message.

A member of the team will respond to you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to someone, please call our main switchboard on 01483 755855. Please also be aware that a wide range of information about the Council and its services is available on our website www.woking.gov.uk.

Comments, Woking Borough Council

Thank you for your email.

I have forwarded your request on to our Legal section and asked that a reply comes direct to yourself.

Kind regards,

Beverley Rogers
Customer Services Officer

Telephone Number:01483 755855
WEB: www.woking.gov.uk

________________________________

From: T Thomas [mailto:[FOI #3287 email]]
Sent: Fri 02/01/2009 23:59
To: Comments
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Freedom of Information requests

Dear Sir or Madam,

Since the inception of the Freedom of Information Act to date

1)how many requests for information under the act has the council
received?

2)how many have times has the council failed to respond within the
statutory 20 day period?

Yours faithfully,

T Thomas

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Is [Woking Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
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Peter Bryant, Woking Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your e-mail.

The Council operates a "business as usual" approach to freedom of
information requests. This means that we do not record how many requests
are received. Neither do we log how long it takes to respond to them. We
therefore do not hold the information that you have asked for in a
recorded form.

I hope that you are satisfied with the way in which your request for
information has been dealt with. If not, the Council has decided that any
complaint regarding requests for information that cannot be dealt with
satisfactorily on an informal basis should be dealt with in accordance
with its established complaints procedure. I attach a copy of "We're
listening. How to give feedback on Woking Borough Council's Services"
which gives details of how to make a complaint. I am also happy to discuss
any queries that you may have regarding how we have dealt with your
request for information. In addition, you may apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision whether your request for information has been
dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act (although I
understand that the Information Commissioner may decline to become
involved if you have not first exhausted the Council's complaints
procedure). The Information Commissioner may be contacted at Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; tel. 01625 545745; fax.
01625 524510; e-mail. [1][email address]

Regards,

Peter Bryant,

Head of Legal Services,

Woking Borough Council

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: T Thomas [mailto:[FOI #3287 email]]
Sent: Fri 02/01/2009 23:59
To: Comments
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Freedom of Information requests

Dear Sir or Madam,

Since the inception of the Freedom of Information Act to date

1)how many requests for information under the act has the council
received?

2)how many have times has the council failed to respond within the
statutory 20 day period?

Yours faithfully,

T Thomas

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/about...

Is [Woking Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Woking Borough Council? If so please
contact us using this form:
[3]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/contact
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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T Thomas left an annotation ()

Peter Bryant, Head of Legal Services, Woking Borough Council does not think it important to record the number of times his council breaks the law regarding FOI requests.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/me...

Dear Peter Bryant,

Woking Council Constitution

10.03 Statutory Functions of the Monitoring Officer

(b) Ensuring lawfulness and fairness of decision making. After
consulting with the Head of Paid Service and Chief Finance Officer,
the Monitoring Officer will report to the Full Council or to the
Executive in relation to an executive function if he or she
considers that any proposal, decision or omission would give rise
to unlawfulness or if any decision or omission has given rise to
mal-administration. Such a report will have the effect of stopping
the proposal or decision being implemented until the report has
been considered.

Every time the FOI officer decides not to acknowledge a Freedom of
Information request with the 20 day statutory limit they are making
a conscious decision to break the law. Why is the monitoring
officer not bringing this to the attention of the council?

Yours sincerely,

T Thomas

Peter Bryant, Woking Borough Council

Dear Mr Thomas,

Thank you for your e-mail.

There is no evidence that any Officer of the Council is making a
decision not to reply to FOI requests within the statutory time limit.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Bryant
Head of Legal Services
Woking Borough Council

show quoted sections

Dear Peter Bryant,

Well there won't be any evidence that any Officer of the Council is making a decision not to reply to FOI requests within the statutory time limit will there?

You have already admitted you don't keep records. That the whole point. If as you say the Council operates a "business as usual" approach to freedom of information requests. This means that we do not record how many requests are received. Neither do we log how long it takes to respond to them. We therefore do not hold the information that you have asked for in a recorded form. How an earth do you know if any Officer of the Council is making a decision not to reply to an FOI request within the statutory time limit.

Your logic is perverse. You should keep records then you would know. Is the ICO aware you don't keep records?

Yours sincerely,

T Thomas

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

More to the point is the Council aware that their monitoring officer is not interested whether the council is breaking the law or not?

Anne Hide left an annotation ()

One of the FOI Act main exclusions is the authority does not hold the information in a recorded form. Hence no doubt the response to this FOI request. 'We (meaning the council) do not hold the information asked for in a recorded form.' Under the FOI Act they are not obliged to generate the information. Essentially any public authority can use the same tactic. Just don't record any sensitive information. This tactic should be identified by elected representatives on various oversight committees. The question they should be asking their staff is 'Why don't we record this information? What have we got to hide? Particularly information as to whether the council is breaking the law or not. The good citizens of Woking need to do lobby their councillors to do something about it because the ICO or LGO won't.

http://www.amv3.com/forum/viewtopic.php?...