Information about your dealings with Stonewall [Extraneous material removed]

The request was refused by West Midlands Fire Service.

Dear West Midlands Fire Service,

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Please provide any information that you hold answering to any of the following descriptions:

1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.

2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application or programme.

3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.

Yours faithfully,

Ermine Amies

Asif Malik, West Midlands Fire Service

2 Attachments

Ref: FOI/21021

 

Dear Ermine Amies

 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

 

I can confirm that we have received your request concerning dealings with
Stonewall.  Your request was received on 4^TH February 2021 and I am
dealing with it under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  

In certain circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I
will let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay this before we will proceed to deal with the request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me on 0121 380
6561. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Kind Regards

 

Asif Malik

Data Processor

Data Management

West Midlands Fire Service

Emaill: [1][email address].

Telephone: 0121 380 6561

[2]logo

[3]Corporate E-mail Signature (1)

 

show quoted sections

Asif Malik, West Midlands Fire Service

2 Attachments

Ref: FOI/21021

 

Dear Ermine Amies

 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST  

 

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the
information requested on 4^th February 2021

 

 

Please find below a summary of our findings.

 

Request.

 1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity
Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,”
including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please
redact personal details if necessary.

 

Reply

No application in 2020 as the workplace index was suspended due to covid.

All details of application are electronic submitted to a stonewall portal
which can only be viewed by members we do not have copies of our
application

 

Request.

 1. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation
to either application or programme.

 

Reply

Feedback is given verbally with a meeting with a stonewall client manager,
we then use this to develop an action plan.

 

Request.

 2. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or
2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you
claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say
in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim
to be entitled to withhold it).

 

Reply

Only communication was reference membership renewal or advertising events

 

Request.

 

 3. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out
connected with any of these applications (including any equality
impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the
same kind, if no further assessment was done).

 

Reply

Impact assessment was not done as it was regarded as only having a
positive impact on equality. Actions formed part of larger D & I work
which is impact assessed as required.

 

Request.

 4. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in
2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

 

Reply

£2500+ vat membership per year for each of those years

 

Request.

 5. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme
in the future, and if so which.

 

Reply

We are currently evaluating our membership and have yet to make the
decision on whether to renew our membership or not.

 

If you have any queries about this freedom of information request, please
contact us.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

 

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please
contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99
Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be
found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following
link: [1]https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
SK9 5AF.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Kind Regards

 

Asif Malik

Data Processor

Data Management

West Midlands Fire Service

Emaill: [2][email address].

Telephone: 0121 380 6561

[3]logo

[4]Corporate E-mail Signature (1)

 

show quoted sections

Dear Asif,

Thank you for your response. Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of West Midlands Fire Service's handling of my FOI request 'Information about your dealings with Stonewall #DontSubmitToStonewall'.

Your response omits information requested so this is to request an internal review.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Your response to part 1, 2 & 3 of the request was:

Please find below a summary of our findings.

No application in 2020 as the workplace index was suspended due to covid.

All details of application are electronic submitted to a stonewall portal which can only be viewed by members we do not have copies of our application.

Feedback is given verbally with a meeting with a stonewall client manager, we then use this to develop an action plan.

Only communication was reference membership renewal or advertising events.

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

Please review.

As the Workplace Equality Index is a benchmark tool and a "developmental framework" which you use to measure your achievements and progress on LGBT equality, you will have assessed and reported on 10 areas of employment policy and practice, drafting answers and updating file information.

So I do not accept that you do not hold or have access to this information electronically and/or in final drafts prepared for submission, assessing and reporting on those 10 areas of employment policy and practice, and current year evidence submitted and/or have shared the finished submission with management and/or have links to the staff survey, references, attachments or appendices or other additional information & research for the submission. Organisations receive their scores and in-depth, tailored written and verbal feedback to use as a foundation for future work and action plans. You will also have had a 2 hour face to face feedback meeting and have taken detailed notes on the actions recommended by Stonewall to improve your scores. You will also have received specific advice on HR policies.

So I do not accept that you do not hold or have access to this information electronically and/or:
- final drafts for the Workplace Employment Index
- and/or have shared the finished submission with management
- and/or have links to references, attachments or appendices or other additional information & research for the submission
- and/or staff survey results
- and/or have written feedback and and your own notes from the feedback meetings
- and/or internal records of feedback shared with managers
- and/or have policy advice on HR policies from Stonewall
- and requests for lobbying action on the GRA and other matters.

In your internal review, you may decide Section 12 exemption applies. I direct your attention to your section 16 duty to provide me with advice and assistance to help me to refine my request. For example, it could make it possible for you to comply without incurring excessive costs by providing me with a list of the custodians (by job title; I do not need to know names) you believe to have been the recipients of such communications.

That, of course, would not exhaust your duty to provide me with advice and assistance as there may be other ways in which you can help me to refine my request so that it captures a representative picture of your dealings with Stonewall without exceeding the appropriate limit.

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

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours,

Ermine Amies

For ease of reference, here are your responses to the parts 4,5 & 6 of the request:

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

Reply
Impact assessment was not done as it was regarded as only having a positive impact on equality. Actions formed part of larger D & I work which is impact assessed as required.

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

Reply
£2500+ vat membership per year for each of those years

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.
Reply

We are currently evaluating our membership and have yet to make the decision on whether to renew our membership or not.

Mail Delivery System,

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    attachment.delivery status

    0K Download

  • Attachment

    Internal review of Freedom of Information request Information about your dealings with Stonewall DontSubmitToStonewall.txt

    5K Download View as HTML

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

[email address]
host d205278.b.ess.uk.barracudanetworks.com [18.133.136.188]
SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
550 permanent failure for one or more recipients ([email address]:blocked)

Sent a follow up to West Midlands Fire Service again, using a new contact address.

Mail Delivery System,

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    attachment.delivery status

    0K Download

  • Attachment

    Internal review of Freedom of Information request Information about your dealings with Stonewall DontSubmitToStonewall.txt

    5K Download View as HTML

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

[West Midlands Fire Service request email]
host d205278.b.ess.uk.barracudanetworks.com [18.133.136.188]
SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
550 permanent failure for one or more recipients ([West Midlands Fire Service request email]:blocked)

Sent a follow up to West Midlands Fire Service again.

Mail Delivery System,

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    attachment.delivery status

    0K Download

  • Attachment

    Internal review of Freedom of Information request Information about your dealings with Stonewall DontSubmitToStonewall.txt

    5K Download View as HTML

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

[West Midlands Fire Service request email]
host d205278.b.ess.uk.barracudanetworks.com [18.133.136.188]
SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
550 permanent failure for one or more recipients ([West Midlands Fire Service request email]:blocked)

Asif Malik, West Midlands Fire Service

2 Attachments

FOI21021

 

Dear Ermine Amies

 

We have been made aware of your request for an internal review by
whatdotheyknow.com administration team and  I can confirm that I have
forwarded your request to the data protection officer to review who will
be contact in due course.

 

Thank you,

 

Kind Regards

 

Asif Malik

Data Processor

Data Management

West Midlands Fire Service

Emaill: [1][email address].

Telephone: 0121 380 6561

[2]logo

[3]Corporate E-mail Signature (1)

 

show quoted sections

Sent a follow up to West Midlands Fire Service again.

Asif Malik, West Midlands Fire Service

4 Attachments

Ref: FOI/21021

 

Dear Ermine

 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST  

 

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the
information requested on 14^th March 2021.

 

Please find below a summary of our findings.

 

Request.

Please review. As the Workplace Equality Index is a benchmark tool and a
"developmental framework" which you use to measure your achievements and
progress on LGBT equality, you will have assessed and reported on 10 areas
of employment policy and practice, drafting answers and updating file
information.

 

So I do not accept that you do not hold or have access to this information
electronically and/or in final drafts prepared for submission, assessing
and reporting on those 10 areas of employment policy and practice, and
current year evidence submitted and/or have shared the finished submission
with management and/or have links to the staff survey, references,
attachments or appendices or other additional information & research for
the submission. Organisations receive their scores and in-depth, tailored
written and verbal feedback to use as a foundation for future work and
action plans. You will also have had a 2 hour face to face feedback
meeting and have taken detailed notes on the actions recommended by
Stonewall to improve your scores. You will also have received specific
advice on HR policies.

 

 

So I do not accept that you do not hold or have access to this information
electronically and/or:

 

-final drafts for the Workplace Employment Index

-and/or have shared the finished submission with management

-and/or have written feedback and your own notes from the feedback
meetings-and/or internal records of feedback shared with managers

 

 

Reply

We sourced the information however after careful consideration decided
this information is exempt Section 43 (2)  it is likely to
harm the commercial interests
of a third party. The disclosure of information may lead
to a detrimental impact on the commercial activities and revenue of third
party.

 

Disclosure would also allow competitors to gain a competitive
advantage in providing measures and
advice on the project of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusivity in
the workplace.  

 

Section 41 (2) Information provided
in confidence. (1) Information is exempt information if— (a )it was
obtained by the public
authority from any other person (including another public authority), and
(b)the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than
under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a
breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.
 
Request.

-and/or have links to references, attachments or appendices or other
additional information &research for the submission-and/or staff survey
results.

 

Reply

Please see attached document 1

 

Request.

-and/or have policy advice on HR policies from Stonewall.

 

Reply

Please see attached document 2 we have only provided page 1 and anything
else may lead
to a detrimental impact on the commercial activities and revenue of Stonewall.

 

Request.

-and requests for lobbying action on the GRA and other matters.

 

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 as we do not hold this information. We do not information for
lobbying action on the GRA and other matters

 

If you have any queries about this freedom of information request, please
contact us.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

 

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please
contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99
Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be
found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following
link: [1]https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
SK9 5AF.

 

 

 

Thank you,

 

Kind Regards

 

Data Processor

Data Management

West Midlands Fire Service

[2]logo

[3]Corporate E-mail Signature (1)

 

show quoted sections

Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

West Midland Fire Service ay £2.5k a year to Stonewall. After considerable delays and an internal review, they refuse to share info claiming Section 43 (2) (the commercial interests of a third party) arguing the disclosure of information may lead to a detrimental impact on the commercial activities and revenue of third party. "Disclosure would also allow competitors to gain a competitive advantage in providing measures and
advice on the project of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusivity in the workplace."

They also erroneously claim Section 41 (2) Information provided in confidence - breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.