Greville Janners Written and Oral Evidence Kirkwood

Cathy Fox made this Freedom of Information request to Leicestershire County 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 refused by Leicestershire County Council.

Dear Leicestershire County Council,

Some time ago, you released some documents in this request. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j...

Having reviewed them they do not appear to comply with the ICO guidance on redaction

"Provide as much meaningful information as possible. For example, when redacting names you may still be able to give an indication of the person’s role, or which pieces of correspondence came from the same person.
As far as possible, ensure that what you provide makes sense. If you have redacted so much that the document is unreadable, consider what else you can do to make the information understandable and useful for the requester."

One document provided is obviously part of a much larger
one, couldyou say what this is titled and a description if useful.

The documents were stored here but this page does not exist, please could you say where the council now makes them available http://axlr8.leicsfoi.org.uk/disclosureL...

FOI, Leicestershire County Council

Dear Ms Fox,

Thank you for your email. In your request for information 7664 you were
referred to information already available on our disclosure log (Request
7291). We believe that the redactions applied were appropriate and no
queries were raised by the original requester.

The response documents were held in a now obsolete system and therefore
the link to that disclosure log is no longer available.  If individuals
have a reference number for an old FOI request which they wish to access
we are happy to provide the response documents to them directly.

I can process your question regarding the title of the larger document, as
a new request. If you would like me to do this please let me know.

Kind regards,

Dawn Laverick
Complaints/FOI Team
Business Support Services
Leicestershire County Council 

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Dear FOI,

Thankyou for the response from the complaints team.
In light of that response, i am making a new request for the two documents https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j...
but in line with the ICO's redaction guidelines.
It is not claear which redactions are the same person's names and which are different people, and these shoudl be labelled in line with the guidance.

"Provide as much meaningful information as possible. For example, when redacting names you may still be able to give an indication of the person’s role, or which pieces of correspondence came from the same person.
As far as possible, ensure that what you provide makes sense. If you have redacted so much that the document is unreadable, consider what else you can do to make the information understandable and useful for the requester."

I also request that the information be given as to "One document provided is obviously part of a much larger
one, could you say what this is titled and a description if useful."

I am told that "The response documents were held in a now obsolete system and therefore
the link to that disclosure log is no longer available."

It would seem good practise to republish these documents on your disclosure log website especially as on your current website it states "We keep a record of Freedom of Information requests and responses in our disclosure logOpens another website in new window . Your request may have been answered before and you can search the disclosure log online"

web.archive.org/save/https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/about-...

Could you also tell me when the old site became obsolete and if all FOI requests before that date are similarly affected.

It appears unreasonable for a requestor to somehow "have a reference number for an old FOI request which they wish to access we are happy to provide the response documents to them directly." when there is no record on your site.

It also is important information for victims of abuse and as such , bearing in mind the inglorious role payed by Leicestershire County Council in the child abuse in the county, I wopuld aks that these documents ( as well as all released child abuse docuements ) are placed on the new disclosure website.

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

leicestershire@infreemation.co.uk,

Thank you for your information request. This is an automated response and
acknowledgement.

If you have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), your request
will be considered and you will receive our response within the statutory
timescale of 20 working days.

If we need to clarify anything or your query is regarding a different
matter one of our FOI team will be in contact within 5 working days.

Cathy Fox left an annotation ()

Amazing how these automated responses take 5 days to come through!

leicestershire@infreemation.co.uk,

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Fox,

 

Your request has now been considered and the information is attached.

If you have any difficulty in accessing the information please contact
[Leicestershire County Council request email], quoting the FOI Request Number.

If you're not happy with how we’ve dealt with your Freedom of Information
request, you can complain and ask us to review our decision. Further
details are available from:
http://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/about-t...

Further information about your rights to information is available from the
Information Commissioner's Office at [1]www.ico.org.uk

 

Kind regards,

FOI Team

Leicestershire County Council

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear [email address],
Please carry out an internal review on my request

My request was in regard to 2 documents previous released and now not available on your website

1. I also request that the information be given as to one document provided is obviously part of a much larger one, could you say what this is titled and a description if useful

2 I am making a new request for the two documents GrevilleJanner documents provided to Mirror newspaper in 2016 but in line with the ICO's redaction guidelines.

You refused
"We have reviewed the ICO’s guidance to which you refer, we have also reviewed the ICO’s Code of Practice in respect of Anonymisation. We have reviewed the redactions to consider anonymisation. However, ICO is clear that where anonymisation could create risk of identification and this is reasonably likely, the information should be regarded as personal data.Therefore, we are unable to provide you with the information. The exemption applied is Section 40(2) -Someone else's personal data This exemption applies because the information requested has been considered to be someone else's personal data and is exempt from disclosure under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is an absolute exemption and therefore a public interest test is not required. "

However it appears in regard to point 1, that you are claiming the title and a description is personal data. It is difficult to understand how you cannot write a description underS16 which is not personal data, and difficult to understand why a title cannot be redacted if it contains personal information.

In regard to point 2 , it is extremely hard to understand how the data could lead to personal identification if each individual is given an identifier and their responses are identified with this. I therefore ask for an internal review of the the fact that ICO guidance is not being followed ".. when redacting names you may still be able to give an indication of the person’s role, or which pieces of correspondence came from the same person."
I do not believe that labelling each person with an identifier and so that each person will lead to identification, nor is it extremely likely.

Please also give the exact parts of the sections that were relied on of the ICO guidance and codes.

Please also state where the documents are still publicly available as per your answer "Those documents remain public available."

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

Dear FOI,

Please carry out an internal review on my request

My request was in regard to 2 documents previous released and now not available on your website

1. I also request that the information be given as to one document provided is obviously part of a much larger one, could you say what this is titled and a description if useful

2 I am making a new request for the two documents GrevilleJanner documents provided to Mirror newspaper in 2016 but in line with the ICO's redaction guidelines.

You refused
"We have reviewed the ICO’s guidance to which you refer, we have also reviewed the ICO’s Code of Practice in respect of Anonymisation. We have reviewed the redactions to consider anonymisation. However, ICO is clear that where anonymisation could create risk of identification and this is reasonably likely, the information should be regarded as personal data.Therefore, we are unable to provide you with the information. The exemption applied is Section 40(2) -Someone else's personal data This exemption applies because the information requested has been considered to be someone else's personal data and is exempt from disclosure under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is an absolute exemption and therefore a public interest test is not required. "

However it appears in regard to point 1, that you are claiming the title and a description is personal data. It is difficult to understand how you cannot write a description underS16 which is not personal data, and difficult to understand why a title cannot be redacted if it contains personal information.

In regard to point 2 , it is extremely hard to understand how the data could lead to personal identification if each individual is given an identifier and their responses are identified with this. I therefore ask for an internal review of the the fact that ICO guidance is not being followed ".. when redacting names you may still be able to give an indication of the person’s role, or which pieces of correspondence came from the same person."
I do not believe that labelling each person with an identifier and so that each person will lead to identification, nor is it extremely likely.

Please also give the exact parts of the sections that were relied on of the ICO guidance and codes.

Please also state where the documents are still publicly available as per your answer "Those documents remain public available."

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

leicestershire@infreemation.co.uk,

Thank you for your information request. This is an automated response and
acknowledgement.

If you have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), your request
will be considered and you will receive our response within the statutory
timescale of 20 working days.

If we need to clarify anything or your query is regarding a different
matter one of our FOI team will be in contact within 5 working days.

FOI, Leicestershire County Council

Dear Ms Fox

Thank you for your email and request for an internal review of the
response you received to your FOI request (ref: FOI 1310).  I also note
that you've sent the same request via our webform.

In line with our policy, I will carry out an internal review and provide
you with a response within 20 working days and by 25th November 2019 at
the latest.

Kind regards

Rita Nathwani
Team Leader, Complaints & Information Services
Business Support Services
Leicestershire County Council
[email address] / [Leicestershire County Council request email]
0116 305 7422
[email address]
0116 305 4107

show quoted sections

leicestershire@infreemation.co.uk,

Dear Ms Fox

My colleague Rita Nathwani is on annual leave for 3 weeks and i her
absence I have picked up the Internal Review that she had commenced in
relation to FOI 001310

You have requested that an internal review be carried out in respect of
the Council’s decision to withhold certain information in relating to
documents concerning the late Greville Janner. 

I will consider both the lawfulness and reasonableness of the Council’s
decision.

In reply to your request that the information be given as to ‘one document
provided and that the document provided is part of a larger document’ I
can confirm that the document is complete. 

The page numbering and paragraph numbering have been created by the
transcribers of the entirety of the oral evidence obtained on behalf of
the IICSA inquiry.  I confirm the documents provided to you, have been
provided in full, subject only to the redaction of the names of data
subjects. 

Person Information Exemption

As regards the redaction of names, I am fully satisfied that the exemption
under Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is engaged.    The
Council was therefore entitled to redact the information provided.

Section 40 is an absolute exemption and it was not necessary for the
Council to justify the decision by reference to relevant public interest
factors.  That said, there is a strong public interest in protecting the
anonymity of individuals (especially victims) associated with allegations
of historical sexual abuse. 

If, in appropriate cases, a Court or a competent Tribunal considers that
any individual should not be entitled to anonymity then it could make
appropriate orders. However, it is not for the Council to unilaterally
breach the personal information rights of the individuals concerned.

It is relevant in this context that that the Independent Inquiry into
Child Sexual Abuse is ongoing.   The Data subjects involved in that
process have requested anonymity.  The Council is a participant in those
proceedings it would certainly expect to respect the Inquiry’s orders and
the wishes of the individuals affected.

Request for Contextual information

You have requested that the Council consider providing additional
information regarding the data subjects whose names were redacted.  
Specifically, you have placed reliance on a statement from the ICO in the
following terms: -

".. when redacting names you may still be able to give an indication of
the person’s role, or which pieces of correspondence came from the same
person." [1][1] 

 

It is clear from the language used (i.e. “you may be able”) that the
disclosing authority has a discretion over whether to make enhanced
disclosures.   I am satisfied that the Information Commissioner was not
seeking to undermine the Section 40 exemption.   

I confirm that the Council has carried out an exercise to assess whether
the additional information (e.g. job titles, or descriptions of the data
subjects) could be provided.   The Council carried out this assessment
specifically to consider whether your request for contextual information
could be accommodated without compromising the anonymity of the data
subjects.

Having undertaken that assessment, I accept that that making further
disclosures would risk identifying of the concerned data subjects.  In
reaching this conclusion, the Council has taken into account information
which is already in the public domain.   

With the above in mind, I have concluded that Council’s original decision
was reasonable.  Therefore, I do not consider that the Council is in
breach of provisions of the Freedom of Information Act or relevant
guidance.

I would add that the redactions do not render the documents
unintelligible.   Therefore, further disclosures do not appear to be
necessary in any event.

In summary, I believe that it is reasonable to uphold the Council’s
original decision.    So far as I am able, I am willing to provide
clarification on my reasoning. 

However, if you are dissatisfied with my decision you are entitled to
complain to the Information Commissioner whose address is set out below:-

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Simon Parsons

Complaints and Information Manager

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

[2][1]
[3]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/foiextract20191126-20557-3ew0j8#_ftn1
2. file:///tmp/foiextract20191126-20557-3ew0j8#_ftnref1
3. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...