Dear House of Commons,

I am requesting the following:

1) Guidance/documents provided to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Hoyle, upon taking that office

Yours faithfully,

Kacey Montagu

FOI Commons, House of Commons

Dear Kacey Montagu,

 

Freedom of Information request F21-260

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 29 May 2021, received by
us on the 1 June 2021, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 29 June 2021.

 

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted above and in the subject line of this email.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

We will work hard to answer your information rights requests during the
current COVID 19 situation in line with statutory requirements, however
some requests may be affected by access to collections and availability of
staff. We will keep you informed of any identified delays in answering
your request.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Price

IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

 

[1]www.parliament.uk | [2]@ukparliament | [3]@houseofcommons

[4]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the Public

[5]Supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy

 

 

 

From: Kacey Montagu <[FOI #761108 email]>
Sent: 29 May 2021 17:57
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Guidance provided to Speaker of
the House

 

Dear House of Commons,

I am requesting the following:

1) Guidance/documents provided to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir
Hoyle, upon taking that office

Yours faithfully,

Kacey Montagu

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

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[6][FOI #761108 email]

Is [7][House of Commons request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to House of Commons? If so, please contact us using
this form:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

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

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

FOI Commons, House of Commons

2 Attachments

Dear Kacey Montagu,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F21-260

 

Thank you for your request for information as copied below. You have asked
for guidance documents provided to the Speaker of the House of Commons,
upon him taking that office.

 

This information is held by the House of Commons. A Briefing for the New
Speaker was prepared for Sir Lindsay Hoyle upon taking office in November
2019, and is attached to this response.

 

Some parts of the briefing are redacted by virtue of a number of
exemptions laid down in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
Further information about the exemptions which apply is provided below.

 

Section 31 – law enforcement

 

Some information in the briefing which relates to security procedures has
been redacted.  This information is withheld in accordance with section
31(1)(a) and (b) FOIA, as disclosure of it would be likely to prejudice
the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension of offenders.
This is not an absolute exemption and requires a public test to be
performed.  

 

We have considered our obligation to assist the public in understanding
how we conduct our business and the legitimate interest in the use of
resources funded by the taxpayer. The Speaker’s role does have an
oversight of some security measures, and there is a public interest in
understanding what that entails. However, these obligations and legitimate
interests are outweighed by the risks of criminal activity being
undertaken if the information was disclosed. In providing the information
requested, we would be publicising planning and processes the details of
which would constitute valuable information to those with malicious or
criminal intent. In turn, we would be failing in our duty to assist those
service providing us with law enforcement, hindering their work in
preventing and detecting crime.

 

For these reasons, the House has concluded that the public interest in
withholding this information outweighs the public interest in disclosing
it.

 

Section 24 – national security

 

Some information in the briefing has been exempted from disclosure in
accordance with section 24 FOIA, because withholding it is necessary for
the purpose of safeguarding national security. This is a qualified
exemption and the public interest test applies.

 

We have considered our obligation to assist the public in understanding
how we conduct our business and the legitimate interest in the use of
resources funded by the taxpayer. The Speaker also has a role related to
ensuring that members of Her Majesty’s Government can work safely and
securely on the parliamentary estate, which it may be in the public
interest to understand in more detail. However, whilst there may be a
public interest in access to this information, it is considered that in
this case it is not in the wider public interest to disclose specific
information as there is a risk of national security being compromised.
This is because the disclosure of this information would publicise
planning that would constitute valuable information to those intending on
targeting the work of Government ministers and officials. Groups planning
attacks are known to conduct extensive research, building up a picture of
security measures from various sources, so if this planning were
publicised, there is a risk that this information would assist those who
aim to maliciously target Ministers and disrupt the proper workings of
government.

 

In these circumstances, it is our view that the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the
information.

 

Section 40 – personal information

 

The names, job titles and contact details of some individuals have been
redacted from the briefing. Members of Parliament, Peers and senior staff
of the House of Commons Administration can reasonably expect some personal
data related to the performance of their public duties to be disclosed and
as a result their names and job titles have not been redacted. However,
for other individuals, where the balance between the legitimate interests
in the disclosure of the information does not outweigh their reasonable
expectation of privacy, their names, job titles and contact details have
been redacted. We have concluded that in the case of this latter group,
the disclosure of this information would not be consistent with the data
protection principle found in Article 5.1(a) of the UK General Data
Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). Accordingly, this information has been
withheld in accordance with section 40(2) FOIA. This is an absolute
exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

 

Section 34 – parliamentary privilege

 

Some information in the briefing is subject to parliamentary privilege and
is exempted from disclosure under section 34(1) FOIA. This exemption has
been applied because it is required for the purposes of avoiding an
infringement of the privileges of either House. The privileges of the
House of Commons include the right to maintain exclusive cognisance over
matters relating to proceedings. This is an absolute exemption and the
public interest test does not apply.

 

Section 27 – international relations

 

Some information in the briefing has been exempted from disclosure in
accordance with section 27(1)(a) and (b) FOIA, because disclosure would be
likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and any other
state, and between the United Kingdom and any international organisation
or international court. This is a qualified exemption and the public
interest test applies.

 

We have considered our obligation to assist the public in understanding
how we conduct our business and the legitimate interest in the use of
resources funded by the taxpayer. In particular, there is a public
interest in knowing that relations with other states and other
international organisations are being properly maintained. However, while
there may be a public interest in this information, there is a strong
public interest in withholding the information, because of the risk to
prejudice to international relations. The effective conduct of
international relations depends on maintain the trust and confidence of
other states and international actors. Disclosing information about
bilateral visits, before formal invitations are made, would harm
international relations because it would undermine our ability to conduct
relations with other states and international actors in a predictable and
reliable way. If the information was disclosed, public knowledge of who is
being considered for invitation to visit and who is not might cause damage
to diplomatic relations between the UK and those actors, and in turn may
call for a diplomatic response to contain or limit damage which would not
otherwise have been necessary.

 

In these circumstances, it is our view that the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the
information.

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request.  Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research & Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [1][House of Commons request email].  Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

Following an internal review, if the decision to apply section 34 FOIA
(parliamentary privilege) is upheld, a certificate signed by the Speaker
may be issued. This certificate provides conclusive evidence that the
exemption was required for the purpose described in our response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[2]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Rights Officer
Information Rights and Information Security

House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
[3][IMG]

 

[4]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the public

 

The House of Commons welcomes feedback. If you have any compliments,
complaints or comments,
about the service that you have received please send an email
to [5][email address]

 

 

From: Kacey Montagu <[FOI #761108 email]>
Sent: 29 May 2021 17:57
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Guidance provided to Speaker of
the House

 

Dear House of Commons,

I am requesting the following:

1) Guidance/documents provided to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir
Hoyle, upon taking that office

Yours faithfully,

Kacey Montagu

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

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[6][FOI #761108 email]

Is [7][House of Commons request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to House of Commons? If so, please contact us using
this form:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

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

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections