Investigatory Powers Act 2016

The request was partially successful.

Dear Food Standards Agency,

Your department is listed in schedule 4 'RELEVANT PUBLIC AUTHORITIES AND DESIGNATED SENIOR OFFICERS ETC' of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (linked to here http://freepdfhosting.com/64c5f91342.pdf - please provide a file format you can read if you cannot read this).

Please kindly provide information held on file (if any) which explains why your department needs access to the data gathered in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Yours faithfully,

Lee Jefferson

Maloney, Eamonn, Food Standards Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jefferson

 

Please see attached.

Kind regards

 

Eamonn Maloney

Briefing Officer

 

Incidents and Resilience Unit | Food Standards Agency | Aviation House |
125 Kingsway | London WC2B 6NH | Tel: 020 7276 8245 | [mobile number] |
www.food.gov.uk

 

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

For the latest food news and information visit www.food.gov.uk

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Communications on the FSA's computer systems may be monitored and/or
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purposes.

Maloney, Eamonn, Food Standards Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jefferson

Please see attached.

Kind regards

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

For the latest food news and information visit www.food.gov.uk

This email and any attachments are intended for the named recipient only.
Unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you
have received this email in error, please destroy all copies and inform
the sender immediately by return email.

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government
Secure Intranet (GSI) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable
& Wireless Worldwide in partnership with MessageLabs and on leaving the
GSI this email was certified virus-free. However you should always use
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to open.

Communications on the FSA's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure effective operation of the system and for other lawful
purposes.

Dear Maloney, Eamonn,

Thanks for your time but we have already been provided with this information from the FSA via a different source. We advise you to check with the Regulatory and Legal Strategy Directorate.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Jefferson

Lee Jefferson left an annotation ()

The information requested was indeed provided by a different FSA source and has formed part of an article here:
https://endpropaganda.wordpress.com/2016...

Dear Food Standards Agency,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Food Standards Agency's handling of my FOI request 'Investigatory Powers Act 2016'.

We were provided with a complete response to this request by your Regulatory and Legal Strategy Directorate one day prior to you refusing to comply with the request citing section 35 (1) (a).

The reply your Regulatory and Legal Strategy Directorate provided included the following paragraph:
"You may be aware that, as a response to the horsemeat incident of 2013, the FSA established the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) to provide national leadership in tackling serious criminality in UK food supply networks. The horsemeat incident showed the concern that can be caused to consumers when there is criminality in food supply networks and the need for the FSA to take an active role in protecting public health and consumer confidence in food. To help achieve this, it may be necessary in some targeted investigations for the NFCU to have access to communications data to identify offenders and their criminal activity."

We don't feel there should be a scope for such an inconsistency between your refusal to provide the information and the information sought after being provided by your Regulatory and Legal Strategy Directorate. Who is at fault here?

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,

Lee Jefferson

Helpline, Food Standards Agency

Dear Lee

Thank you for contacting the Food Standards Agency Helpline.

As you may have seen from the automatic acknowledgement of your email, where an enquiry is straightforward, you can expect a reply from us within the next few days. If an enquiry is more complex and we need to consult colleagues in the Agency, this may take longer although we aim to respond within 20 working days.

I am writing to let you know that I have forwarded it to my colleagues in the Agency who will respond accordingly.

I hope this is helpful and please feel free to contact us again if you have any further queries

Helpline
Corporate Support Unit
Food Standards Agency
www.food.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Openness Team, Food Standards Agency

Dear Mr Jefferson

Thank you for your email of 23 December 2016 requesting an internal review of the Food Standards Agency’s reply, of 23 December 2016, to your Freedom of Information request, reference FOI 1972.

We will seek to deal with your request for an internal review within 20 working days from receipt of your email, therefore, by 25 January 2017. If it is not possible to send a substantive reply by that date, we will update you.

Kind regards

Deepak Patel
FOI Adviser
Complaints, Inquiries and Reporting
Corporate Support Unit
Food Standards Agency
Tel: 0207 2768632 (x18632)

show quoted sections

Lee Jefferson left an annotation ()

It would have been reasonable under the FoIA to provide a link to this document:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
with a backup here: http://freepdfhosting.com/9a22706026.pdf

Dear Openness Team,

To further support the need for an internal review (in addition to the evidence provided) it should be noted that your refusal to provide information conflicts with the results from equivalent requests to other departments. Thus WHILE YOUR TEAM REFUSED TO SUPPLY the information citing 'Government policy' the day after a high ranking member of the FSA ACTUALLY PROVIDED US WITH THE INFORMATION REQUESTED, we also have a scenario where the information is in the public domain to an extent so your team could have cited section 21(1) and then provided links to here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... and here: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/join...

Thus the problem you have is one of consistency both within the FSA itself with one party not knowing what the other party is doing and, to a larger extent further inconsistency between the FSA and other departments/authorities with the FSA's FoI team not performing in unison with everyone else.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Jefferson
Journalist.

Dear Openness Team,

To further still question your original response to our request please find below the response from Food Standards in Scotland which openly revealed the same information as your legal team produced (one day prior to your FoI team refusing to supply the information)
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...
Redacted version which we have used in a press article: http://freepdfhosting.com/6dbe73c6c9.pdf

Yours sincerely,

Lee Jefferson
Journalist.

Sykes, Noel, Food Standards Agency

Dear Mr Jefferson

I am dealing with the internal review you have requested in relation to FOI 1972. As you will note below, I was scheduled to issue my reply today but I am writing to confirm that I require further time to examine the case and specifically within this, the use of exemption provisions. I will now issue my reply no later than Friday 3rd February 2017.

Kind regards

Noel Sykes
Complaints, Enquiries and Reporting Manager
Corporate Support Unit
Food Standards Agency
Tel: 01904 232127 (x22127)
[mobile number]
http://www.food.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Sykes, Noel,

We hope the situation to be resolved appropriately. ICO Case Reference Number FS50661265.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Jefferson

Sykes, Noel, Food Standards Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jefferson

Please see attached letter.

Kind regards

Noel Sykes
Complaints, Enquiries and Reporting Manager
Corporate Support Unit
Food Standards Agency
Tel: 01904 232127 (x22127)
[mobile number]
http://www.food.gov.uk

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

For the latest food news and information visit www.food.gov.uk

This email and any attachments are intended for the named recipient only. Unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you have received this email in error, please destroy all copies and inform the sender immediately by return email.

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet (GSI) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable & Wireless Worldwide in partnership with MessageLabs and on leaving the GSI this email was certified virus-free. However you should always use your own virus-scanning software to ensure mail and attachments are safe to open.

Communications on the FSA's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.

Dear Sykes, Noel,

We are satisfied with your opinion on the reason for two different responses from within the FSA (England).

We do not see any reference inside your internal review however to explain why you should deny the information and for the FSA in Scotland to provide the information to a completely identical request. We did point this out to you.

Successful response from the same request made to Food Standards Scotland: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

This again brings us to an issue of consistency to how the Food Standards Agency (England) interprets the Act in one way leading to a refusal to provide information under the FoIA and Food Standards in Scotland providing the information requested. Again these two FoIA requests were identical yet the responses were completely different.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Jefferson
Journalist.

Sykes, Noel, Food Standards Agency

Dear Mr Jefferson

I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence (email) of 3 February and will reply to you within the FSA's service standard of 20 working days.

Kind regards

Noel Sykes
Complaints, Enquiries and Reporting Manager
Corporate Support Unit
Food Standards Agency
Tel: 01904 232127 (x22127)
[mobile number]
http://www.food.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Sykes, Noel, Food Standards Agency

Dear Mr Jefferson

 

In reply to your email of 03 February 2017 I comment as follows;

 

In conducting an internal review I examined the approach taken by the
original responder, examined the information which fell within scope,
noted the outcome of consultation processes completed by the responder and
noted the supplementary emails you sent following your request to
commission the internal review.  My role in the internal review was to
examine and comment on how the FSA managed your request and this did not,
and would not, extend to how one other entirely separate organisation
undertook a similar exercise. 

 

I have noted the reply sent to you by the FSS and also the email you
received from Gareth Williams at the FSA (the latter of course is detailed
in my earlier letter to you), and whilst I feel both organisations do
provide a response which explains why powers are required under the Act we
have further reflected on your request and we can provide this additional
information;

 

The National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) was established by the Food Standards
Agency (FSA) in 2015 as part of the government’s response to
recommendations made in the Elliott Review into the Integrity and
Assurance of Food Supply Networks (The Elliott Review). The government’s
stated aim for the unit is for it “to give greater focus to enforcement
against food fraud in government by analysing intelligence, initiating
investigations and liaising with other criminal and regulatory enforcement
agencies”. The NFCU provides leadership in relation to the food crime
response in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whilst respecting the
devolution of relevant powers. The establishment of the NFCU brought with
it new responsibilities to tackle serious criminality and an accompanying
requirement for powers to acquire communications data in order to
identify, link and initiate action against offenders.  

 

In 2016, Parliament granted the Agency such powers under the Investigatory
Powers Act 2016.  These powers will be used by the NFCU for the purposes
of preventing and detecting crime taking place within food supply chains
(further information about the NFCU can be found on the Food Standards
Agency’s website here 
[1]https://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/the-...  We
anticipate that these powers will be used infrequently and in every case
only where it is necessary and proportionate to do so. Their use will also
be subject to a range of safeguards as set out in the Act including robust
oversight by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

 

I trust that you will find this response helpful.

 

Kind regards

 

Noel Sykes

Complaints, Enquiries and Reporting Manager

Corporate Support Unit

Food Standards Agency 

Tel: 01904 232127 (x22127)

[mobile number]

[2]http://www.food.gov.uk

 

 

 

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

For the latest food news and information visit www.food.gov.uk

This email and any attachments are intended for the named recipient only.
Unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you
have received this email in error, please destroy all copies and inform
the sender immediately by return email.

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government
Secure Intranet (GSI) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable
& Wireless Worldwide in partnership with MessageLabs and on leaving the
GSI this email was certified virus-free. However you should always use
your own virus-scanning software to ensure mail and attachments are safe
to open.

Communications on the FSA's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure effective operation of the system and for other lawful
purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/the-...
2. http://www.food.gov.uk/

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