Hurlingham Park decision making

The request was successful.

Dear Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council,

Could you please release any data, documents, minutes or correspondence which relate to the decision to allow World Polo, or other interested parties behind the Polo in the Park event, use of Hurlingham Park

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

Dear Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Hurlingham Park decision making'.

The council has failed to respond to this Freedom of Information request within the legal time limit stipulated by the Freedom of Information Act. I received a notification that a delay would be incurred, posted to a different FoI request, which stated I would receive a responce by the 8th of December 2010. I have since had no further correspondence with the council regarding this FoI request.
This is the third request I have made to the council to have experienced a significant delay. I would appreciate knowing why at the very least the council has not had the common courtesy to inform me that their response would be further delayed.

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

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

Dear Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council,

Thank you for the recent reply to this request, although yet again it was placed elsewhere an error i would appreciate being rectified. I entirely understand the Councils decision not to release confidential data which would compromise its commercial interests and have no intention challenging this qualified exemption at this time.

However, details in the documents you have released require me to press you for further details. Notably the letter from Jane West to Mr Fox-Davies discusses the polo event and the "potential benefits it will bring to the park". The other documents show no discussion of benefits to the park having occurred. Did they take place, if so why were they not released?

If they form part of World Polo's proposal which the first document you attached notes is "confidential at this stage" could you review this proposal and redact any confidential information and then release it. If not can you please state why.

Furthermore the first document released, an email dated 11 July 2008 ,makes it apparent that this was not the first discussion of Polo in the Park between the two individuals whose names have been redacted. This can be concluded because the terms in which it is discussed make it apparent both are well aware of the basic details of the event. Where is the documentation for previous discussions?

I of course appreciate some information may have been deleted or retrieval may incur expenses above the required limited but in both cases you are required to explicitly state this is the case.

Finally, the minutes released from the resident services cabinet briefing 14 July 2008 show approval for the pilot. Where is the corresponding minutes approving extension of the entire scheme? Surely you could also attach minutes agreeing details of the contract whilst redacting reference to specific sums or other information which might impact the Councils commercial interests. This would be extremely useful as it might read as follows.

'Scheme seems to represent a fair payment of £***** whilst renovating aspects of the parks infrastructure and bring in high numbers of visitors which would benefit local commerce."
or alternatively it might read
"yes lets take the £***** and get rid of that running track which is nothing but a costly expense."
In either case it would be in the public interest to know the basis on which the decision was taken.

I do apologise for the length of this reply but it seems important to show the precise reasons that I'm dissatisfied with your response in this instance. I would also like to inform you I will be submitting a separate FoI request in due time asking for details of the public consultation discussed in one of the documents released. Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

Alison Ross-dow, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

3 Attachments

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

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Freedom of Information Act 2000

Dear Mr. Raffal

Thank you for your request for an internal review, received 14 December
2010. I have calculated that the statutory deadline for a full response
was 14 January 2011. As this is now overdue, I am prioritising resolution
of this case with a view to providing you with the results of my
investigation no later than 21 January 2011.

Please accept my apologies for the delay and for any inconvenience caused.

Yours sincerely

Ciara Shimidzu
Information Manager
[email address]

Ciara Shimidzu, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

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Freedom of Information Act 2000

Dear Mr. Raffal

I am sorry to have to inform you that there is a delay in sending the
results of the internal review to you, following your Request for
Information.

I understand that the results of the review were due to be sent to you on
14 January 2011, however due to staff sickness this has not been possible.

I apologise for this delay and hope to provide the information to you by 4
February 2011.

Ayse Ergen
Information Management Officer
[email address]

Yours sincerely,

Ciara Shimidzu, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

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Dear Mr. Raffal

Re: Internal Review re case 299296- Polo in the Park

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Thank you for your application for an Internal Review regarding your
request for information, received 14 December 2011.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to provide you with a
response within the first 20 working days and have therefore extended the
deadline as permissible under the Act to 40 working days. The revised due
date is now Friday 11 February.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused and be assured
that your Internal Review is being dealt with as a matter of high
priority. The Information Management Team has been highly stretched due
to ongoing, unplanned staff absence and technical issues before Christmas
that resulted in a backlog of work that is now being addressed.

Yours Sincerely,

Ayse Ergen - Temp Information Management Officer
On the behalf of Ciara Shimidzu - Information Manager

Dear Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council,

I have been extraordinarily patient in your handling of this internal review but I must now protest in the strongest possible terms at this new delay. I am well aware that under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the council has a maximum allowance of 40 days. However the ICO good practise guide states that if it takes longer than the customary twenty days the recipient should be informed before twenty days has elapsed. The council did not do so.

On the 17 January 2011 I was told "the statutory deadline for a full response was 14 January 2011. As this is now overdue, I am prioritising resolution
of this case with a view to providing you with the results of my investigation no later than 21 January 2011"

On the 27 January 2011 you contacted me as follows "I understand that the results of the review were due to be sent to you on 14 January 2011, however due to staff sickness this has not been possible.
I apologise for this delay and hope to provide the information to you by 4 February 2011.

The council has changed that date once again. That it has once more done so before the previous target had elapsed is shocking. I am sure you can understand that I am very far from "assured" that my "internal review is being dealt with as a matter of high priority"
I have no doubt a competent analysis of the situation during the past week or even as late as yesterday would have allowed you to inform me of this new delay before the deadline arrived.

I am aware of your staffing shortages as I have had the pleasure to speaking to your senior information manager Ms Ross-Dow several times. However that does not explain the gross mishandling of my internal review. Bland apologies have been issued to me at every stage of the inadequate handling of this case and I think it is quite appropriate that I now receive a detailed explanation as to how this situation has come to be mismanaged in such a serious manner.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Shimidzu Ciara, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Dear Mr. Raffal,
Thank you for your enquiry and comments. Please accept my further apologies as I am aware that you should have been advised sooner than today.

With your permission, I will provide you with a detailed response to the concerns you list below as part of your internal review which is now due next week. Once you have received your response by the revised extension date, if you are dissatisfied with my explanation then I suggest you raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

I sincerely appreciate your patience with the shortcomings in the service you have received from the Information Management Team - we are only now making headway into our backlog of RFIs and internal reviews with the assistance of a temporary Information Management Officer.
Kind regards...

Ciara Shimidzu - Information Manager
Finance and Corporate Services
3rd Floor - SmartSpace, Hammersmith Town Hall
Tel. ext. 3895
BlackBerry: 07795 208032

show quoted sections

Dear Shimidzu Ciara,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. If it more convenient for you to provide the details behind the abhorrent handling of this case at the same time that you provide your internal review then please feel free to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Jon Hill, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Dear Mr. Raffal

Environmental Information Regulations 2004

We write regarding your request for information about planning constraints
on Stamford Bridge, received on 26 October 2010 and clarified on 21
January 2011.

It is with regret that we have been unable to complete our response within
the 20 working-days as required by the Environmental Information
Regulations. This is because we require an extension under the Regulations
due to the complexity and scale of the work involved. The Regulations
allow for an extension of up to 20 additional working days to requests
where the process of accessing, retrieving and supplying the information
will be complex, and the amount of work required voluminous.

Please be assured that we are dealing with your request as matter of
urgency and we hope to provide you with a final response by 23 February
2010.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Yours sincerely

Jon Hill
Senior Information Management Officer
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Information Management Team/Finance & Corporate Services
3rd Floor Smartspace
Hammersmith Town Hall
King Street
London W6 9JU
DL: 020 8753 5865

www.lbhf.gov.uk

Director of Finance & Corporate Services: Jane West

Dear Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council,

You previously informed me you were extending the deadline for your internal review to the 40 day maximum allowed by the Freedom of Information Act (2000)The maximum legal time limit has now expired. Given the previous handling of this case I would have assumed you would have at the least informed me you would be unable to comply with what is now the third time limit you have provided and the maximum allowed by law. I do not believe I can accurately convey to you how utterly exasperated I am at how this case has been handled.

Please inform me of the LATEST date you expect to be able to provide me with the results of your internal review.
Given your failure to comply with this latest time limit I expect that Ms Ciara Shimidzu will be providing the 'detailed response' to my concerns promised on 4 February 2011, which was to be provided with the review on 11 February 2011, tomorrow on 14 February 2011 including why the council has breached yet another time limit.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Hill Jonathan, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

I am currently out of the office until Monday 14 February. If you have an urgent query about the following, please contact the appropriate officer below:
* members of the public should submit all requests for information under FOIA and EIR to the h&f InTouch Team - h&[email address]
* internal Freedom of Information and Information Rights Compliance matters - [email address] or Ayse Ergen on 020 8753 5865;
* Information Security Management - Adrian Dewey on 020 8753 1104.
All other urgent queries are to be referred to Ciara Shimidzu on 020 8753 3895.

Regards,

Jon Hill
Senior Information Management Officer

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Ciara Shimidzu, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

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Dear Mr. Raffal

Further to our conversation yesterday, I have spoken to the Information
Manager and she has assured me that she will be looking at this case today
and that her response will include a full explanation as to the delays in
providing this information. I apologise for the continued delays in
providing you with a response.

Yours sincerely,

Jon Hill
Senior Information Management Officer
020 8753 5865

Dear Ciara Shimidzu,

Thank you for your recent email. If there are still delays to be suffered for the internal review I would appreciate being informed now and told the maximum length of time it will take to resolve them and what has caused them.
As the analysis of what caused the earlier delays was due to be provided with the internal review on the 11 February 2011 I would appreciate being provided with these details now. I previously consented to your information manager providing them with the internal review but as I made clear in my most recent message I asked that since you have failed to comply to the most recent deadline you should provide me with that explanation now. I asked they be provided on Monday, this has not happened as it is only reasonable to assume they were compiled to meet the 11 February deadline I expect the council to provide me with this information as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Shimidzu Ciara, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Dear Mr. Raffal,
I am in the process of reviewing your request to gauge the extent of the delay and I will advise you asap. I am now dealing with a backlog of internal reviews and apologise for the further delay.

Thank you for your patience.
Kind regards...

Ciara Shimidzu - Information Manager
Finance and Corporate Services
3rd Floor - SmartSpace, Hammersmith Town Hall
Tel. ext. 3895
BlackBerry: 07795 208032

show quoted sections

Ciara Shimidzu, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

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Dear Mr. Raffal

Further to our email communication today, I can now provide you with an
update on your request for an internal review regarding case 299296.

As I mentioned in my acknowledgement email to you, sent 17 January 2011, I
had not been aware that you had made two separate requests (14 and 21
December 2010) for an internal review for case 299296 until that date.
This was due to the fact that the officer dealing with your case had
assigned the review to the wrong officer on the H&F request handling
system. For your information, all such requests should be assigned to
me. Since the date of my acknowledgement email to you, I have been
handling your request which had an extended deadline of 10 February 2011.
As you are aware, this deadline has now passed. This delay was caused by
a backlog in my work as I have been standing in for one of my team who has
been absent now for almost 3 months. This backlog includes all requests
for internal review and, unfortunately, there were some requests that were
more overdue than yours.

I have been able to progress your request this week and am currently
reviewing the additional information sent from the relevant department. I
am also checking the information provided in response to your original
request to ensure the exemptions had been applied correctly. I have set
aside some time to complete this task and liaise further with the
department concerned over the remainder of this week. I therefore plan to
provide you with a full response no later than Monday 21 February 2011.

Again, please accept my apologies and thank you for your patience.

Yours sincerely,

Ciara Shimidzu
Information Manager

[1][email address]

020 8753 3895

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Ciara Shimidzu,

Thank you for your recent email. In your explanation as to how this situation has occurred you have failed to address how the council provided me, and then failed to meet, a number of target times. If you initially looked at the situation and concluded it would take 4 working days, as per the email sent by the council 17 January 2011, how did this become 8 working days when you missed this date and then contacted me on the 27 January 2011? This doesn't seem to be explained by staff illness. If complications have arisen that have required you to take longer than previously envisaged surely you should have contacted me as soon as this became apparent and explained what those complications were. Also as I'm sure you're aware the Information Commission states that if a public authority requires longer than twenty days for an internal review, a matter it only considers warranted in exceptional circumstances as I understand it, then they should inform the recipient before the twenty day deadline has elapsed. If you intended to extend the deadline to forty days you should have informed me as soon as possible. Why was this nit done?

You are now in breach of the deadline for internal reviews laid down in the Freedom of Information Act and yet you intend to provide me with a response some eight working days later. My main concern is that the Council does not seem to understand how important a failing it is to issue numerous target times and then repeatedly miss them. Unless this concern is addressed I see little alternative but for me to contact the Information Commissioner at the end of this process.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Ciara Shimidzu, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

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Dear Mr. Raffal,

I have been working on your case all day but just need to finalise the
accuracy of the relevant exemption and Public Interest Test. I will
complete this with the department concerned by tomorrow and then forward
your response to you together with the additional information we have been
able to locate.

Kind regards,

Ciara Shimidzu
Information Manager
[1][email address]

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Ciara Shimidzu, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

16 Attachments

Hammersmith & Fulham - Information request - Information Management Team

Our reference: 299296

show quoted sections

Dear Ciara Shimidzu,

Thank you very much for your recent provision of documents. I do appreciate the hard work you have put into providing me with the information in regards to this FoI request. As I'm sure you can understand given the depth of detail provided I haven't finished a detailed analysis of all the evidence you provide and so might need to contact you about specific aspects. However, I do seem to be having a problem opening up attachments included in documents e.g. the attachments in the document entitled PITP 2009 Evaluation.doc. Would it be possible for you to attach these directly to a document rather than in an email for me?
Also I rather fear you have failed to redact evidence in some of the documents, although of course I appreciate the extra information.

What I would appreciate is an explanation as to why this large body of evidence wasn't initially released. Also what does the council intends to do to avoid the problems experienced over deadlines in this request. I hope you will address this speedily as otherwise I fear I will have to contact the Information Commission.

Thank you once again for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Shimidzu Ciara, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Dear Mr. Raffal,
Thank you for your email. I will look into the problems you are facing with opening the document you have cited but I will be unable to do this today. With regard to the redaction, it has all been checked by the department concerned. I also explained to you why this information was not initially released in my response which was not upheld hence the additional information being sent to you. As you know, I am tackling the issue regarding our deadlines but staff take time to recruit and train, even temporary staff, and I am sure you are aware of the current financial situation that every local authority is working within.

If you are unhappy with the response to your request for an internal review, you are entitled to take your complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.
Kind regards...

Ciara Shimidzu - Information Manager
Finance and Corporate Services
3rd Floor - SmartSpace, Hammersmith Town Hall
Tel. ext. 3895
BlackBerry: 07795 208032

show quoted sections

Dear Shimidzu Ciara,

Thank you for your prompt response. My observation about the redactions was that there are several passages which contain specific financial figures highlighted in blue which have NOT been redacted. If that is intended thats fine but several seem to be the same figures redacted elsewhere which suggests these should have been removed.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

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