Investigation into Byers, Hewitt, Hoon or Moran

The request was partially successful.

Chris Richards

Dear Freedom of Information Officer

Could you please provide details of any inquiry carried out by the DFT or any of its Executive Agencies or NDPBs into the actions of Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, Geoff Hoon or Margaret Moran in relation to the claims made by them in the recent Dispatches programme on TV that they may have influenced government policy inappropriately. This should cover both formal and informal inquiries and I need details of:

1 Which documents were inspected and the time and date this happened;

2 Which staff were spoken to and the time and date this happened together with their job titles, what was asked and what the response was;

3 Who instigated the inquiry and why;

4 Copies of all internal communications and documents relating to this issue.

Assurances have been given by government that there is no need for a Parliamentary inquiry on this matter due to confirmation having been provided by the relevant government departments within 24 hours that there was no substance to the claim of these politicians to have influenced policy. I need a copy of any such assurances that have been provided by anyone at the DFT to this effect, when this assurance was given and what the objective basis of this assurance was.

If no inquiry has taken place and no assurances have been given please simply say so and do this promptly. There can be little justification for obfuscation and delay in such circumstances if the civil service is, as it claims, politically independent.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Richards

Lara Bolch, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Richards

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which has been allocated reference number 6388. A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Department for Transport
Information Rights Unit
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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Andrew Ihonor, Department for Transport

Dear Chris,

Freedom of Information Request 6388

You asked for:

o Details of any formal or informal inquiries carried out by any part of
DfT in relation to the claims made by named ministers in the
Dispatches programme.

We would like you to clarify this request by stating which minister you
would like information about.

If you could please respond as soon as possible, then we can process your
request

Kind regards

Andrew Ihonor

Corporate and Finance Manager | Private Office, 5/18 GMH | 0207 944 2210

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Dear Andrew,

Thanks for this. My query relates to any investigation carried out into the claims made by Byers, Hewitt, Hoon or Moran and as such is not specific to any one minister, although I do understand that Lord Adonis was referred to in the relevant programme by Byers and as such this aspect has particular interest.

If an investigation has been carried out by staff in your Department then this should hopefully be very easy to determine as records will exist of this investigation and it was a very recent issue.

I hope that this has clarified matters for you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Richards

Victoria Robb, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

FAO Chris Richards

Please see attached a letter from Lara Bolch in response to your FOI
request of 1 April 2010.

Regards

Victoria Robb

Private Secretary to Robert Devereux

Department for Transport

020 7944 5010

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Chris Richards

Dear Victoria Robb,

Thank you for this response. It is interesting that this matches almost word for word the answer provided by the Cabinet Office implying that you are simply following a line pre-determined from the centre rather than trying to answer this in any genuine fashion.

I have looked at the links and they do not answer any of the specific questions in the FOI query. Could you please answer the actual questions asked in line with both the spirit and the letter of the Freedom of Information Act.

If you are unwilling to do this then I would like to request an internal review in advance of making an appeal to the Information
Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Richards

Chris Richards

Dear Victoria Robb

I received your acknowledgement of my request for an internal
review on the 6th of May. You have still not responded to either my
original request or the request for an internal review.

If I do not received a response to this within two working days of
the date of this communication I will assume that you have decided
not to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information
Act and will appeal this directly to the Office of the Information
Commissioner.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Richards

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Richards

Thank you for your email. I must apologise but there have been a lot of staff relocations taking place recently, and this has led to a delay in completing this review.

We are currently working on a response which we hope to issue by the end of the week.

Once again, I apologise that this has not been completed in a sufficiently timely manner.

Yours sincerely

Lara

Lara Bolch
Information Rights Unit
Department for Transport
D/04 Ashdown House Hastings
(0207 944) 8445

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Lara Bolch, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Richards

Please find attached my response to your request for an internal review,
with apologies for the delay.

Yours sincerely

Phil West

Deputy Director

Railways Value for Money Team

Department for Transport

9^th Floor, Southside

105 Victoria Street

LONDON

SW1E 6DT

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