Ignored FOI Requests

Fred Ormerod made this Freedom of Information request to Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

The request was partially successful.

From: Fred Ormerod

18 January 2011

Dear Wigan Borough Council,

Browsing the 'whatdotheyknow' website I noticed a number of FOI
requests submitted to Wigan Borough Council ("WBC") that are long
overdue. Some have received an acknowledgement but nothing more,
whilst some have not even received an acknowledgement.

I refer you to the following examples:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/te...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/te...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/fo...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/na...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/us...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/br...

In respect of each of the above requests for information, please
provide a copy of WBC's response.

If no response was provided, for each request please provide a copy
of internal emails, memos or other documents discussing these
requests and how they should be handled.

Please supply any documentation in which the decision was taken to
not provide a response to each of these requests.

Please provide a copy of WBC's policy on Freedom of Information and
handling requests (if this is available on your website, please
provide me with the URL).

Please also confirm how many FOI requests received by WBC since
January 1st 2010 have not had a response, and that date each such
request was received by WBC.

Should you have any queries regarding this, or require any
clarification, do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

Fred Ormerod

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Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

19 January 2011

Please quote ID 2135 on all correspondence/emails/faxes

Dear Sir

I am emailing to confirm the receipt of your recent FOI request to Wigan
Council.

We will respond as soon as possible and in any case no later than 16th
February 2011, which is 20 working days after the receipt of your request.

If you have any comments or questions in the meantime, please direct them
to [Wigan Borough Council request email], or at Wigan Council, Town Hall, Library
Street, Wigan WN1 1YN.

Your contact is Sharon Crippin, Email [email address].

Regard

Sharon Crippin
Assistant Data Protection Officer
Business Support Services
Wigan Council
Town Hall
Wigan
Tel: (01942) 827002 Internal: 2002
email: [email address]
[1]www.wigan.gov.uk

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From: Fred Ormerod

9 February 2011

Dear Wigan Borough Council,

Just a courtesy email to query if you'd managed to collate the
information yet, or will this be a "day 20" job?

Talking of day 20, can I just point out that your email is
incorrect - you've stated a deadline of 16 February: the 20 working
day deadline is in fact 15 February.

Given the subject of my enquiry, if a response is not received on
or before the 15 February I shall refer this directly to the ICO
due to persistent non-compliance with s10 of the Act.

Yours faithfully,

Fred Ormerod

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Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

9 February 2011

I am currently out of the office and will return on Friday 11th February 2011. Your e mail has not been forwarded.

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Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

15 February 2011


Attachment FOI Request Temporary Immigration Cap to the UK Organisations.html
1K Download

Attachment FW Freedom Of Information Request Reference 1972.html
3K Download

Attachment 142.pdf
59K Download View as HTML

Attachment FW FOI Request National Land Information Service Land Data.html
2K Download

Attachment FW FOI Request National Land Information Service Land Data.html
6K Download

Attachment FW Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
17K Download

Attachment Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
15K Download

Attachment FW FOI request.html
50K Download

Attachment RE Foi Request.html
47K Download

Attachment FW Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
9K Download

Attachment RE Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
9K Download

Attachment RE Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
8K Download

Attachment Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
8K Download

Attachment FW Freedom of Information request Use of Agency Social Work Professionals.html
6K Download

Attachment Wigan Council Policy on Freedom of Information.pdf
31K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Ormerod

I am writing to respond to your freedom of information request which we
received on 18th January 2011. This request has been handled under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your request and is detailed below.
Browsing the 'whatdotheyknow' website I noticed a number of FOI requests
submitted to Wigan Borough Council ("WBC") that are long overdue. Some
have received an acknowledgement but nothing more, whilst some have not
even received an acknowledgement. I refer you to the following examples:

[1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/te...
[2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/te...
[3]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/fo...
[4]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/na...
[5]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/us...
[6]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/br...
In respect of each of the above requests for information, please provide a
copy of WBC's response.
If no response was provided, for each request please provide a copy of
internal emails, memos or other documents discussing these requests and
how they should be handled.

Please supply any documentation in which the decision was taken to not
provide a response to each of these requests.
Please provide a copy of WBC's policy on Freedom of Information and
handling requests (if this is available on your website, please
provide me with the URL).

Please also confirm how many FOI requests received by WBC since January
1st 2010 have not had a response, and that date each such request was
received by WBC.

Please find below the response to your request.
To provide you with some background regarding the management of FOI
requests within Wigan Council, I took up the position of Assistant Data
Protection Officer on 11th October 2010, and since that date all requests
are co-ordinated and managed by myself, a database is kept upto date to
manage/analyse and co-ordinate all requests. Prior to this date, as no
Data Protection Officer was in post, 5 employees were responsible for
managing and co-ordinating the requests. Although the requests were
logged onto the database for analysing numbers, the database wasn't used
to manage and co-ordinate each request/response. Each employee had hard
copy files relating to each request which contained copy e mails and
correspondence.

In relation to reference 172 and 171 - both these requests are identicial
and were received into our FOI mailbox at exactly the same time - 17:30pm
on 9th November 2010. As it was clear that the requests were duplicates,
only one was actioned. An acknowledgement was sent to the requestor on
10th November at 11:39am (attached below) and a full response sent to the
requestor on 10th December at 11:49am (attached). I am not aware why the
requestor has not updated the status on the 'what do they know' website.

<<FOI Request - Temporary Immigration Cap to the UK Organisations>> <<FW:
Freedom Of Information Request - Reference 1972>>

In relation to reference 142 - this request was received on 13th August
2010. I have attached a document below which gives an e mail trace of
information that had been sought in relation to a response. A full
response however was not sent to the requestor. There was no decision
made not to respond to the requestor, the reason that a response was not
done was unfortunately, due to the high volumes of requests received and
the management of the requests at that time, which resulted in this
request being over-looked.

<<142.pdf>>
In relation to reference 78 - this request was received 6th August 2010.
Attached below is the document trace for this request. A full response
was not provided to the requestor. I would re-iterate what I have
confirmed in relation to request 142 that no decision was made not to
respond to the requestor, and the reason that a response was not done was
unfortunately, due to the high volumes of requests received and the
management of the requests at that time, which resulted in this request
being over-looked.

<<FW: FOI Request - National Land Information Service (Land Data)>> <<FW:
FOI Request - National Land Information Service (Land Data)>>

In relation to request 17 - this was received on 22nd March 2010. I
attach below a series of e mail correspondence relating to seeking a
response from the relevant department/s in relation to a response, however
a full response was never sent to the requestor, this again is due to the
reasons cited in relation to references 142 and 78.

<<FW: Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency Social Work
Professionals>> <<Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency Social
Work Professionals>> <<FW: FOI request>> <<RE: Foi Request >> <<FW:
Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency Social Work Professionals>>
<<RE: Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency Social Work
Professionals>> <<RE: Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency
Social Work Professionals>> <<Freedom of Information request - Use of
Agency Social Work Professionals>> <<FW: Freedom of Information request -
Use of Agency Social Work Professionals>>

In relation to the last request on your list, I can find no trace of
receiving this request in our mailbox, and can find no evidence of the
request being allocated to any of the team, I therefore have no
correspondence to provide.

I have attached below the internal policy for Freedom of Information, this
is available to all staff via our internal intranet.

<<Wigan Council Policy on Freedom of Information.pdf>>
Attached below is the link to the public facing internet site featuring
Freedom of Information.
[7]http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/Council...
In relation to the number of FOI's received by Wigan Council that have not
been answered for 2010. I can provide information from 11th October 2010,
as the information is easily extractable from the system used, however I
cannot provide statistics prior to this date as no database/system was
used to monitor and manage the requests. From the 1st January 2010 until
the 10th October 2010 we received 431 FOI requests, all the requests were
managed manually and to establish whether all requests have been answered
would involve looking through 431 files to establish from the paperwork
whether a response was done. I estimate that to proceed with this task
would take at least 10 minutes per file, and would therefore equate to
4310 minutes/71 hours. I am therefore refusing to provide a response to
this part of the request under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act allows requests to
be refused if the process of finding, collating and providing requested
information would exceed the appropriate limit set out in regulations
passed by Parliament. The appropriate limit for local government is
£450, to be calculated at a rate of £25 an hour - a total of 18 hours.
We cannot say how much it would actually cost to process the request - the
£450 limit and the assumption of an hourly rate of £25 comes from the
legislation.

We are obliged to provide you with advice and assistance in order to bring
your request into the 18 hours limit. I have to admit that I do not know
what advice to provide. I can however provide the figures in relation to
your request from the 11th October 2010, please see below.

From the 11th October 2010 to today's date - 15th February, Wigan Council
has received 284 Freedom of Information Requests. At present, 4 requests
have exceeded the deadline, the information is being collated at the
moment and are awaiting a full response to the requestor, please see
below.

Request received 7th December 2010
Request received 23rd December 2010
Request received 6th January 2011
Request received 17th January 2011
If you are unhappy with any aspect of this response, an independent senior
officer will review this decision. Please let me know if you would like to
arrange this.

You can also complain to the Information Commissioner, who is the
regulator for Freedom of Information. His website is
[8]www.informationcommisioner.gov.uk and his helpline number is 0303
1231113.

His staff may ask you to exhaust our internal complaints procedure if you
choose to complain to his office now.
I apologise for the delay in responding to this request, this is due to
the high volume of requests that are currently being received. If you need
any further information please do not hesitate in contacting me

Yours Sincerely

Sharon Crippin
Assistant Data Protection Officer
Business Support Services
Wigan Council
Town Hall
Wigan
Tel: (01942) 827002 Internal: 2002
email: [email address]
[9]www.wigan.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/te...
2. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/te...
3. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/fo...
4. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/na...
5. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/us...
6. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/br...
7. http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/Council...
8. http://www.informationcommisioner.gov.uk/
9. file://www.wigan.gov.uk

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