Information about your dealings with Stonewall [Extraneous material removed]

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ministry of Justice,

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

MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence, Ministry of Justice

3 Attachments

Good Afternoon,

 

Please find the response to your recent FOI request attached.

 

Kind Regards,

 

[1]Ministry of Justice MoJ People Group Correspondence

102 Petty France

12th Floor Tower

London

SW1H 9AJ
[2]Protecting and advancing the principles of justice

 

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Dear MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence,

Thank you for your response.

Please address my request for the government department, the Ministry of Justice and exclude your 33 agencies.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Ermine Amies

MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence, Ministry of Justice

3 Attachments

Good Afternoon,

 

Please find acknowledgement of your recent FOI request attached.

 

Kind Regards,

 

[1]Ministry of Justice MoJ People Group Correspondence

102 Petty France

12th Floor Tower

London

SW1H 9AJ
[2]Protecting and advancing the principles of justice

 

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Dear MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence,

This FOI request was made on 4 Feb not on 25 Feb.

My response on 25 Feb to your letter of 24 Feb was not a new FOI request. It was a prompt clarification that I had not asked for information on all your agencies as follows: "Please address my request for the government department, the Ministry of Justice and exclude your 33 agencies."

So I await a prompt response as the response was due today.

Yours sincerely,

Ermine Amies

Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

This FOI request was made on 4 Feb. MoJ have tried to treat my response on 25 Feb to their letter of 24 Feb as a new FOI request. It was a prompt clarification that I had not asked for information on all MoJ agencies as follows: "Please address my request for the government department, the Ministry of Justice and exclude your 33 agencies." They have note other exemptions may apply (which would permit a further 20 day delay to consider)

MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence, Ministry of Justice

Good Afternoon,

 

The original FOI request sent to us on 4 February was dealt with and
responded to on 24 February, the response provided to you was a request to
refine your request because it breached the cost limit, by refining your
request, we are then able to provide you with an answer to your FOI to the
best of our ability within FOIA. Your response, and any response, to
refinement requests are logged as a new FOI, as laid out in section
10(6)(b) of the FOIA, so we received the refined requested on the 25 Feb,
giving us 20 working days from then to provide you with a response, as
detailed in the acknowledgement letter you received, this will be with you
by 25 March 2021.

 

Kind Regards, MoJ PG Correspondence

 

 

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Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Response due by 25 March 2021

MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence, Ministry of Justice

3 Attachments

Good Afternoon,

 

Please find the response to your recent FOI request attached

 

Kind Regards,

 

[1]Ministry of Justice MoJ People Group Correspondence

102 Petty France

12th Floor Tower

London

SW1H 9AJ
[2]Protecting and advancing the principles 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 'Information about your dealings with Stonewall #DontSubmitToStonewall

Your response to my request is shown below for ease of reference.
______________________________________

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request – 210225005 16 March 2021

Thank you for your revised request received on the 25 February 2021, in which you
asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), excluding its 33 agencies:

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.

Your request has been handled under the FOIA. I can confirm that MoJ holds all of the information you have requested but it is exempt from disclosure under section 12(1) of the FOIA, because prescribed costs would exceed the appropriate limit.

Section 12(1) of the FOIA means public authorities are not obliged to comply with a request for information if it estimates the cost of complying would exceed the appropriate limit. A £600.00 limit applies to all central government departments. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days determining whether the department holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

The exemption under section 12(1) of the FOIA will apply to questions 1, 2 and 3 separately, as the prescribed costs would exceed the appropriate limit. For 1 and 2, we believe to identify, review, and prepare documentation in relation to applications, feedback, and associated activities, will incur costs above the £600.00 limit. We believe to locate, retrieve and extract communications between Stonewall and the MOJ HQ officials will incur costs above the £600.00 limit. Consequently, we are not obliged to comply with your request.

Although we cannot answer your request at the moment, we may be able to answer a refined request within the cost limit.

• You may wish to consider, for example, raising separate FOI requests for questions 4, 5 & 6.

Please be aware that we cannot guarantee at this stage that a refined request will fall within the FOIA cost limit, or that other exemptions will not apply.
________________________________________________________

Public authorities should try to be as helpful and flexible as possible to people making FOI requests.

You note that for parts 1, 2 & 3 separately “Although we cannot answer your request at the moment, we may be able to answer a refined request within the cost limit.“

It is unclear which parts of the request the closing statement “ Please be aware that we cannot guarantee at this stage that a refined request will fall within the FOIA cost limit, or that other exemptions will not apply.” refers to.

I do not accept this answer. You failed to assist me in “reforming or re-focussing” parts 1,2 &3 of my request, so that “information may be able to be supplied for a lower, or no, fee”.*

You also suggest I ask parts 4, 5, & 6 separately. This suggests you think each part could take up to 3.5 days to prepare a response for each part. As part of the internal review, please review this advice too.

For example, it could make it possible for you to comply with parts 2 & 3 of my request without incurring excessive costs by, for example, 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 communications requested under this request.

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

* Source: ICO Section 12 guidance https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

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

Yours faithfully,

Ermine Amies

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

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Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Internal review requested 19 March - and acknowledged.

MoJPeopleGroupCorrespondence, Ministry of Justice

3 Attachments

Good Morning,

 

Please find the response to your recent Internal Review request.

 

Kind Regards,

 

[1]Ministry of Justice MoJ People Group Correspondence

102 Petty France

12th Floor Tower

London

SW1H 9AJ
[2]Protecting and advancing the principles of justice

 

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Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Internal review requested: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

MoJ answered questions 4, 5 & 6 on another request:
(4) The MOJ did not conduct equality impact assessments in relation to the applications under (1).

(5) In the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20 the MOJ spent a combined total of £10,126.80 for services provided by Stonewall.

(6) The MOJ expects to continue its membership with Stonewall in the next financial year.