IBIC Corr

JJ Evans made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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Dear Ministry of Justice,

Under FOIA, Please provide copies of all e-mail correspondence (including attachments) sent to OR from Antonia Romeo during the period 1st December 2022 - 31st January 2023 that relate to Infected Blood Compensation.

Yours faithfully,

JJ Evans

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

3 Attachments

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find attached correspondence regarding the above.

Yours faithfully,

Ministry of Justice Disclosure & Library Team,
Information Services Division

Security and Information Group

Post Point 5.22

102 Petty France

London

SW1H 9AJ

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Dear Disclosure Team,

This FOI request will be escalated to the ICO if no full response by close of play today.

Yours sincerely,

JJ Evans

Dear Disclosure Team,

Gone to ICO today.

Yours sincerely,

JJ Evans

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

1 Attachment

Dear JJ Evans,

We hope you are well today.

Please see attached a letter requesting a second 'Public Interest Test' extension in relation to your FOI request. This should have been sent to you by the initial deadline for your request (08 May 2023). We apologise that this was not sent to you on that date. Please let us know at the earliest opportunity whether this is acceptable.

Your FOI request has been passed on to the relevant team and is being dealt with as a priority. Thanks

Kind regards

Security and Information Group

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Dear Disclosure Team,

A response is yet to be received. The date given in your last message was 6th June.

Yours sincerely,

JJ Evans

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

3 Attachments

Dear JJ Evans,

Please find attached our response in relation to your FOI request. We
apologise for the delay in responding. Thanks

Kind regards

Security and Information Group

Ministry of Justice

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

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Dear Ministry of Justice,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Justice's handling of my FOI request 'IBIC Corr'.

I am writing to request an Internal Review of your response to my FOIA request 230208050.

I do not wish to challenge the application of S40. I do, however, wish to challenge the applications of S35(1)(a) and S35(1)(b). You should be aware that DWP recently withheld similar information on identical grounds and, following ICO intervention, disclosed the information.

Firstly, To be exempt, the information must relate to the formulation or development of government policy. It is disputed that the information meets this test.

The ICO is clear that "the exemption does not cover information relating purely to the application or implementation of established policy. It is therefore important to identify where policy formulation or development ends and implementation begins."

The government has already accepted the moral case for compensation (Citation: HC Deb, 15 December 2022, c1249). Indeed, the government has already paid £100,000 in interim compensation payments to those infected still alive, bereaved partners and some estates. It is, therefore, incorrect to assert that the formulation of policy relates to the principle of Infected Blood compensation itself. It is far more likely the information requested refers to "the application or implementation of established policy". The information likely relates to what the Paymaster General referred to in the House of Commons as "taking forward work strands" relating to infected blood compensation.

As part of the public interest test, I do not believe enough weight, if any, has been given to the fact that many of those infected and affected by infected blood products do not think that the government is progressing with the established policy of paying compensation in relation to infected blood. Releasing this information would increase public confidence that the government is doing what it says it is doing. Furthermore, if the information shows the opposite, then the public interest favours the public knowing that is the case.

Even if it could be shown that some information is captured by S35, it is disputed that all of the information requested is captured by S35.

The government asked Sir Robert Francis KC to undertake a compensation framework study some years ago, separately from the Infected Blood Inquiry. Sir Robert's independent study was delivered to the government in March 2022 and the Paymaster General informed the House of Commons in December 2022 that Sir Robert was advising the government on how best to introduce his compensation framework.

"The term 'formulation' of policy refers to the early stages of the policy process". That is not where infected blood compensation is. Interim payments have been paid and the framework has existed for almost a year. Infected blood compensation is in the implementation stage.

The term "framework" is specifically used by the ICO in their guidance. Given Sir Robert has delivered the compensation framework to the government well over a year ago, this is of particular significance: "In this context, the policy can be seen as a framework of ‘rules’ put in place to achieve a particular objective. This framework sets in stone some fundamental details, but also inevitably leaves more detailed decisions to be made by those implementing the plan, thus giving some inbuilt flexibility on how it can be delivered. Any such adjustment or decision that can be made within this inbuilt flexibility – ie without altering the original objectives or rules – is likely to be an implementation decision rather than policy development."

Even if some information is shown to be captured by S35(1)(a), it does not mean that the same information is also covered by S35(1)(b) and vice versa.

It is disputed that release of the information would significantly undermine Ministerial unity and effectiveness or result in less robust, well-considered or effective Ministerial debates and decisions.

I again emphasise that Infected Blood compensation is at the implementation stage according to the guidance laid down by the ICO, not the formulation stage.

It is argued that even if S35(1)(b) applies to some of the information, the public interest will fall in favour of the disclosure of the information, mainly for the same reasons described above. Lack of transparency from the government is a significant factor in the story of infected blood, and so special and increased weight should be given to the disclosure of information in this area.

Yours faithfully,

JJ Evans

Dear Disclosure Team,

Lack of response to IR will go to ICO on 7th July if no response before then.

Yours sincerely,

JJ Evans

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

Dear Sir

The response to your internal review is being processed & the dead line for responding is the 7th July

Regards

Disclosure Team

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FOI-PrivateOffice, Ministry of Justice

4 Attachments

Dear JJ Evans,

Please find attached letter in regards to your request dated 09 June 2023.

Kind Regards,

Private Office

Ministry of Private Office Directorate
Justice
102 Petty France, Westminster, London, SW1H 9AJ
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This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
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are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
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ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

Dear FOI-PrivateOffice,

A response to this is due by tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,

JJ Evans

FOI-PrivateOffice, Ministry of Justice

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FOI-PrivateOffice, Ministry of Justice

4 Attachments

Dear JJ Evans,

Please find attached letter in regards to your freedom of Information
request.

Kind Regards

Private Office

Ministry of Private Office Directorate
Justice
102 Petty France, Westminster, London, SW1H 9AJ
Decorative image
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail. If you
need to print it, please consider printing it double-sided

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

Dear FOI-PrivateOffice,

Gone to ICO today.

Yours sincerely,

JJ Evans

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

6 Attachments

Dear Sir/Madam,

Further to the attached, you will note that this letter extended the time
allowed to conduct an Internal Review by a further 10 working days – from
4 August to 18 August. We hereby now apply the full 20 working day
extension as allowed by 5.5 of the Code of Practice. We, therefore, intend
to reply by 4 September 2023.

Yours faithfully,

Ministry of Justice Disclosure & Library Team,
Information Services Division

Security and Information Group

Post Point 5.22

102 Petty France

London

SW1H 9AJ

Find out more on [1]People Finder

Follow us on Twitter [2]@MoJGovUK
Protecting and advancing the principles of justice

From: FOI-PrivateOffice <[email address]>
Sent: 04 August 2023 18:42
To: [FOI #958020 email]
Subject: Freedom of Information Request - 230609015
Importance: High

Dear JJ Evans,

Please find attached letter in regards to your freedom of Information
request.

Kind Regards

Private Office

Ministry of Private Office Directorate
Justice
102 Petty France, Westminster, London, SW1H 9AJ
Decorative image
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail. If you
need to print it, please consider printing it double-sided

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

References

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FOI-PrivateOffice, Ministry of Justice

4 Attachments

Dear JJ Evans,

 

Please find attached response to your Internal Review request, dated 09
June 2023.

 

Kind Regards

 

Private Office and Parliament Directorate

 

 

[1]Ministry of Private Office and Parliament Directorate
Justice
102 Petty France, Westminster, London, SW1H 9AJ
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P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail. If you
need to print it, please consider printing it double-sided

 

 

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

References

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Dear FOI-PrivateOffice,

Gone to ICO today.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Evans