Grove Pension Solutions

Robb Stark made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner's Office

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 Information Commissioner's Office.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Please provide me with the name of the consultancy firm that provided erroneous advice to Grove Pension Solutions Ltd - as mentioned on your website. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...

Please provide me with any correspondence between your office and Grove Pension Solutions regarding their employment of a consultant and the advice given to them.

Please provide any correspondence between your office and the consultancy firm in question.

Yours faithfully,

Robb Stark

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
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[1]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...

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Yours sincerely

The Information Commissioner’s Office

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References

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1. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
2. https://ico.org.uk/global/privacy-notice/
3. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...
4. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner's Office

29 March 2019

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0832737

 

Dear Mr Stark

Thank you for your recent request for information. We received your
request on 26 March 2019.
 
We will be considering your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. You can expect us to respond in full by 25 April 2019. This is 20
working days from the date we received your request. If, for any reason,
we can’t respond by this date, we will let you know and tell you when you
can expect a response.
 
If you have any questions please contact me using the IRQ case reference
number above or by replying to this email and leaving the subject field
unchanged.
 
Thank you for your interest in the work of the Information Commissioner's
Office.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
 

Alexis Karlsson-Jones
Senior Information Access Officer, Risk and Governance Department
Corporate Strategy and Planning Directorate
Working pattern: Tuesday - Friday
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
For information about what we do with personal data see our [3]privacy
notice. Please consider the environment before printing this email

 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/
2. https://twitter.com/iconews
3. https://ico.org.uk/global/privacy-notice/

Information Commissioner's Office

24 April 2019

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0832737

 

Dear Mr Stark,

Further to my letter dated 29 March 2019, I can confirm we are now in a
position to provide you with a response to your information request of 26
March.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with any information ‘held’ by a public
authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Your Request
 
“Please provide me with the name of the consultancy firm that provided
erroneous advice to Grove Pension Solutions Ltd - as mentioned on your
website.
 [1]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...
 
Please provide me with any correspondence between your office and Grove
Pension Solutions regarding their employment of a consultant and the
advice given to them.
 
Please provide any correspondence between your office and the consultancy
firm in question.”
 
Our Response
 
I can advise you that we do not hold information within the scope of your
third request.
 
I can confirm we hold information that is within the scope of your first
and second request.
 
However, we are unable to disclose this information as it is exempt under
section 31(1)(g) of the FOIA. This exemption applies when disclosure would
or would be likely to prejudice our ability to carry out our regulatory
function.
 
The exemption at section 31(1)(g) of the FOIA refers to circumstances
where the disclosure of information “would, or would be likely to,
prejudice – … the exercise by any public authority of its functions for
any of the purposes specified in subsection (2).” 
 
In this case the relevant purposes contained in subsection 31(2) are
31(2)(a) and (c) which state;
 
“(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply
with the law”… and
“(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise,”    
 
Although the investigation into Grove Pensions Solutions Ltd has now
concluded, the ICO is in the process of addressing concerns with the
advising organisation referred to in our notice. Clearly, the purposes
cited above, apply when the Information Commissioner is considering
whether or not organisations are complying with the Privacy and Electronic
Communication Regulations (PECR) and/or the Data Protection Act (the DPA).
The ICO requires a ‘safe space’ in which to consider regulatory actions,
which is free from external influences. This ensures the confidentiality
of our enquiries and analysis of incidents.
 
We consider that disclosure of this requested information, given that it
pertains to an organisation that has been investigated for a breach of
data protection legislation or been the subject of a data protection
complaint, would result in prejudice to the functions of the ICO. This is
because it would discourage this organisation as well as others from
engaging with us, stemming the free flow of communication between us and
them.
 
This exemption is not absolute. When considering whether to apply it in
response to a request for information, there is a ‘public interest test’.
That is, we must consider whether the public interest favours withholding
or disclosing the information. 

In this case the public interest factors in favour of disclosing the
information are as follows: 

* Increased transparency in the way in which we carry out our
investigations;
* The understandable public interest in what inaccurate information was
provided to Grove Pension Solutions Ltd and who provided this.  

The public interest factors in maintaining the exemption are as follows:

 

* We consider that the disclosure of this information would be likely to
compromise our ability to investigate and therefore affect the
discharge of our regulatory function in vital areas, including our
ability to influence the behaviour of data controllers and to take
formal action.
* There is a public interest in maintaining the ICO’s ability to raise
concerns with organisations as it sees fit without undue external
influence and with the ability to make decisions without undue
influence which might affect our decision making or divert our
resources.
* Ad-hoc disclosures during this and/or other investigations would be
likely to result in caution from involved organisations we require to
further any investigation. Caution or non-cooperation would prejudice
our ability to deliver our regulatory objectives. There is a strong
public interest in the ICO being an effective and efficient regulator.

Having considered the arguments both for and against disclosure we do not
find that there is sufficient weight in the arguments that favour
disclosure. We consider that the public interest in our ability to carry
out future engagement and, if necessary, investigation unhindered
outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of the name of the
consultancy firm, and any correspondence the ICO has exchanged with Grove
Pensions Solution Ltd regarding their engagement of this consultancy firm.
 
We recognise that some of the risk of prejudice and the balance of the
public interest might change once we have completed our discussions with
the advising organisation to Grove Pensions Solutions Ltd.

This concludes our response to your request.
 
Complaint and Review Procedure
 
If you are dissatisfied with your request for information under FOI and
wish to request a review of our decision or make a complaint about how
your request has been handled you should write to the Information Access
Team at the address below or e-mail [2][ICO request email].
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request received
after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation. To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team at the address given or visit our website if
you wish to make a complaint under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website [3]here.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 

Alexis Karlsson-Jones
Senior Information Access Officer, Risk and Governance Department
Corporate Strategy and Planning Directorate
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 313 1886 F. 01625 524510  [4]ico.org.uk  [5]twitter.com/iconews
For information about what we do with personal data see our [6]privacy
notice. Please consider the environment before printing this email

 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...
2. mailto:[ICO request email]
3. https://ico.org.uk/media/1883/ico-review...
4. http://ico.org.uk/
5. https://twitter.com/iconews
6. https://ico.org.uk/global/privacy-notice/