JSP 398: dated list of editions and copy of extant edition

Waiting for an internal review by Ministry of Defence of their handling of this request.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Please provide the following information

1. A dated list of editions of JSP 398 and any changing document titles.

2. A copy of the extant edition of JSP 398 .

Yours faithfully,

Ceri Gibbons

Dear Ministry of Defence,

By law, the MOD should normally have responded promptly and by 19 April 2021.

Please respond to this request for information by 6 May 2021 or I will be forced to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Yours faithfully,

Ceri Gibbons

Dear Ministry of Defence,

MOD has completely ignored this request.
Please respond in 7 days or I will be forced to complain to the ICO.

Yours faithfully,

Ceri Gibbons

Ceri Gibbons left an annotation ()

This case was referred to ICO (04/06/2021)

Ceri Gibbons left an annotation ()

Reference: IC-110765-P2P9

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Decision notice

Date: 19 July 2021
Public Authority: Ministry of Defence
Address: Whitehall
London
SW1A 2HB

Decision (including any steps ordered)

1. The complainant requested information from the Ministry of Defence
(“MOD”) relating to the joint service manual of the law of armed conflict
(JSP 398). By the date of this notice the MOD had not provided a
substantive response to the request.

2. The Commissioner’s decision is that the MOD has failed to respond to
the request within 20 working days and has therefore breached section
10 of the FOIA.

3. The Commissioner requires the MOD to take the following steps to
ensure compliance with the legislation.
• Issue a substantive response to the request in accordance with its
obligations under the FOIA.

4. The MOD must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of
this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner
making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to
section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.

Request and response

5. On 18 March 2021, the complainant wrote to the MOD via the What Do
They Know website and requested information in the following terms:
“Freedom of Information Act 2000
Please provide the following information
1. A dated list of editions of JSP 398 and any changing document
titles.
2. A copy of the extant edition of JSP 398”

6. Whilst the MOD did not acknowledge this request, the complainant has
provided evidence which shows that the request sent to the MOD’s
published email address. Therefore, the Commissioner has assumed that
the request was received by the MOD.

7. On 2 May 2021 and 27 May 2021, as the complainant had not received a
response, she wrote to the MOD to ask for an update on the status of
her request. By the date of this notice the MOD had not provided a
substantive response to the request.

Scope of the case
8. The complainant contacted the Commissioner on 4 June 2021 to
complain about the MOD’s failure to respond to her request.

9. The Commissioner contacted the MOD on 22 June 2021 reminding it of
its responsibilities and asking it to provide a substantive response to the
complainant within 10 working days.

10. The Commissioner also contacted the complainant on 22 June 2021 to
explain that the MOD had been given 10 working days from that date
within which to provide a response to their request.

11. By the date of this notice, the complainant had not received a
substantive response to her information request.

12. The scope of this notice and the following analysis is to consider whether the MOD has complied with section 10 of the FOIA.

Reasons for decision

13. Section 1 of the FOIA states that:
Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled –
(a) To be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request, and
(b) If that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

14. Section 10 of the FOIA states that responses to requests made under
the Act must be provided, “promptly and in any event not later than the
twentieth working day following the date of receipt.”

15. The MOD did not provide a substantive response to the request within
20 working days of receipt. Therefore, the Commissioner’s decision is
that the MOD has breached section 10 of the FOIA.

Right of appeal
16. Either party has the right to appeal against this decision notice to the
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights). Information about the appeals
process may be obtained from:
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights)

CIO-FOI (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

1 Attachment

Dear Ceri Gibbons,

 

Please see attached response to your request for information on behalf of
the SPO National Security Directorate.

 

Regards

 

Information Rights Team

Ministry of Defence

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Ministry of Defence,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Defence's handling of my FOI request 'JSP 398: dated list of editions and copy of extant edition'.

The public interest test has not been applied properly in this case.

The public need and have the right to know the rules of engagement of UK armed forces.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ceri Gibbons

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

Dear Mr Gibbons,

 

Receipt is acknowledged of your email of 2 September 2021 requesting an
internal review of a response provided by the SPO National Security
Directorate under the Freedom of Information Act on behalf of the
Ministry of Defence, dated 10 August 2021 (reference above).

 

The Department's target for completing internal reviews is 20 working days
from date of receipt and we therefore aim to complete the review and
respond to you by 30 September 2021. While we are working hard to achieve
this, in the interests of providing you with a realistic indication of
when you should expect a response, the majority are currently taking
between 20 and 40 working days to complete.  The review will involve an
independent assessment of the handling of this request and the outcome.

 

We should also advise that the measures implemented by the Department to
prevent the spread of Coronavirus may continue to impact upon our ability
to complete the review within the above timescale but we will aim to
provide you with an update, if necessary

 

Yours sincerely,

 

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team