How often do Internal Reviews find in favour of residents?

The request was successful.

Dear Harrogate Borough Council
An Internal Review is, effectively, the final process available to residents who seek answers from Harrogate Borough Council.
If residents are dissatisfied with the outcome of a Freedom of Information request, they have the right to ask for an Internal Review which will look again at the way their request was handled. The review is supposed to be undertaken by a senior officer completely unconnected with the matter being considered. This is designed to ensure the process is entirely impartial.
However, there is now some disquiet as to how impartial this process is: and I should therefore be grateful if you would:
1) Confirm the number of Internal Reviews into FOI requests Harrogate Borough Council undertook in the two-year period, October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2017.
2) Of the Internal Reviews in that two-year period, will you please confirm on how many occasions did the review uphold the original decision; and the number of occasions when a Council officer was judged to be at fault and the Internal Review criticised the original decision?

Yours faithfully,

Peter Lilley

Foi, Harrogate Borough Council

Dear Mr Lilley

 

Thank you for your email which we received on 02/10/2017. We are treating
this as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. This means that —

 

o if we need more information about what you want, we will contact you
again as soon as we can; the twenty working days in which to give you
the information will start once we know exactly what you want
o if we do not hold the information, we will, if we can, transfer your
request to an authority who does hold it, and tell you what we have
done (please contact us immediately if you do not want us to do this);
otherwise, we will let you know that we do not hold the information
o if we hold the information and there is no reason to withhold it, we
will send it to you as soon as we can.  If there is likely to be a
delay for any reason, we will let you know
o if we believe that there is a good reason why the information should
not be disclosed, we will let you know as much as we can about how we
reached our decision

 

We will respond to your request promptly, and in any event, within the 20
working day limit as set out in s10 of the Act.

 

Regards

 

Rich Kemp LLB (Hons)

(Debt & Information Law)

Legal & Governance

Harrogate Borough Council

PO Box 787

Harrogate

HG1 9RW

 

tel: 01423 500600 (ext - 58602)

email:  [1][email address]

[2]www.harrogate.gov.uk

 

 

Rich Kemp, Harrogate Borough Council

Dear Mr Lilley

 

Thank you for your email requesting information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (‘FOIA’). Please find below our response:

 

1.       20 internal reviews carried out (from 1614 requests received in
that period)

2.       15 upheld the original decision. On 5 occasions the independent
senior officer conducting the review decided that further information
should be disclosed. The internal review does not necessarily conclude
that the original decision should be ‘criticised’ or that there is any
‘fault’ on the part of council officers. An internal review looks at the
original response from an independent perspective, and with legal advice
the review may instruct further disclosure where appropriate based on the
facts and merits of the request.

 

It should also be noted that the internal review is not the final process
available to an FOI applicant, if they remain unsatisfied with the
findings of the internal review it is subsequently their right to complain
to the Information Commissioner.

 

If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled,
please contact -  

 

Freedom of Information Officer, PO Box 787, Harrogate, HG1 9RW

 

or email [1][Harrogate Borough Council request email]

 

The Council has an internal appeal system.  If your complaint is about the
decision which has been made you will usually be entitled to have your
case reviewed by an officer from a department which has not been involved
in the decision previously.   

 

If, after their decision, you are still not happy, you may appeal to-  

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113

website: [2]https://ico.org.uk/

 

Regards

 

Rich Kemp LLB (Hons)

(Debt & Information Law)

Legal & Governance

Harrogate Borough Council

PO Box 787

Harrogate

HG1 9RW

 

tel: 01423 500600 (ext - 58602)

email:  [3][email address]

[4]www.harrogate.gov.uk

 

 

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org