Key Decisions

P Freeman made this Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear East Devon District Council,

Can you please provide a list (with details of meetings and dates when they were discussed) of "Key Decisions" as defined by The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 considered by the council since 2011.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

P Freeman

East Devon District Council

Thank you for submitting a request for information. We will respond to your request as quickly as possible, within the 20 working day statutory deadline under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For updates on this case, please quote your unique reference number 101000335039 .

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Customer Service Centre
East Devon District Council
Web: www.eastdevon.gov.uk

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Dear East Devon District Council,

Just a reminder that a response to this FoI request about Key Decisions is due by 12 August (see https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/k... ).

Please note that an explicit list of decisions and meetings and dates is required, though I am happy to look up the detail of each decision in the minutes on your web site.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

P Freeman

Customer Service Centre, East Devon District Council

Good Morning,

Thank you for your email. I have forwarded it to our freedom of information officer and asked her to deal. Someone will be in touch in due course.

Kind Regards

Customer Services
Email: [email address]
Tel: 01395 516551
Website: www.eastdevon.gov.uk

Thanks

Steve

show quoted sections

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

Mr Freeman

 

I understand you have been chasing up on the above request. Please note
that our response was sent on 23^rd July and read as follows:

 

Thank you for your request for information. Please find the response to
your query below.

 

Key decisions are part of the business of Cabinet and are listed on the
agendas. These are available from June 2013 to current at:

 

http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/cabinet_agen...

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

If you are not satisfied with the way we have responded to your request,
please fill in our online complaint form at
www.eastdevon.gov.uk/making_a_complaint or write to the Monitoring
Officer, EDDC, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL.

 

Kate Symington

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

01395 517417

www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

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Dear East Devon District Council,

As you can see from https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/k... if you sent a response on 23 July, it was not received.

Your response received today is NOT a response to the question asked.

The information I asked for was "a list (with details of meetings and dates when they were discussed) of "Key Decisions" as defined by The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 considered by the council since 2011."

The FoI Act requires you to:

1. State whether you hold the information.
2. Provide this information.

I would imagine that the answer you have provided so far is a statement that you hold the information. However you certainly haven't provided this information, instead pointing me to a large source of data and asking me to produce the information requested myself. Pointing me to 4 years of minutes is like asking me to go find an unknown number of needles in a large number of haystacks and is NOT an answer to my request.

So, can you please now provide me with the information requested by next Tuesday.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

P Freeman

Dear East Devon District Council,

I note that this FoI request has not been answered within the statutory deadline of 20 working days and that EDDC has now broken the law (again).

As I pointed out, your answer (which required me to chase it) did not answer my question, nor was it in accordance with the FoI Act. Can I now please have an answer to my original question?

I also request an internal review to determine why EDDC is incapable of operating within the law with some FoI requests.

Yours faithfully,

P Freeman

Dear Kate Symington,

I am still awaiting the results of an internal review of this FoI request.

A full history of this FoI request can be found at:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/k...

I would be grateful if you could now undertake the Internal Review as requested and as you are required to do by law.

Yours sincerely,

P Freeman

Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

6 Attachments

Mr Freeman,

 

Further to the letter received from the Information Commissioner’s office
of 26^th March. We have reviewed our response to request reference 335039.

 

Mr Dunn, case officer, has asked us to provide the following detail:

 

1.       Inform the applicant whether we hold the requested information

2.       If it is held, provide the applicant with a copy of it

3.       If the information is held but is not being provided, state which
exemptions are being applied.

 

Your initial request was as follows:

Can you please provide a list (with details of meetings and dates when
they were discussed) of "Key Decisions" as defined by The Local
Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information)
(England) Regulations 2012 considered by the council since 2011. You
acknowledged that you would access the relevant information from the
detail provided.

 

As explained in our response to you of 23^rd July, key decisions are part
of the business of Cabinet and are listed on agendas. A link to the
agendas from June 2013 up until the date of your request has been
provided. I understand that you found this information difficult to access
and so have highlighted in yellow the sections of the agendas relating to
key decisions. I have done similar for 2011 and 2012 and these will be
sent to you under separate cover in order that the size of the email does
not exceed that accepted by your mailbox.

 

In answer to the questions posed by Mr Dunn:

The information we hold on key decisions is as per that listed in Cabinet
agendas

Cabinet agendas from 2011 up until the date of your request (July 2014)
are provided

This information is not exempt from disclosure

 

A list of key decisions since 2011 has been provided to you in the form of
highlighted agenda extracts. I trust this is helpful and that my
highlighting relevant sections in these documents makes it easier for you
to access the detail you require but if you need any clarification or
explanation, please contact Kate Symington in the first instance (who is
cc’d into this email).

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

HENRY GORDON LENNOX

 

Monitoring Officer

East Devon District Council

Tel: 01395 517401

Ext: 2601

Email: [email address]

 

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Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

11 Attachments

Mr Freeman

 

Further to my earlier email, please find attached Cabinet agendas which
list key decisions from 2011 and 2012.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

HENRY GORDON LENNOX

 

Monitoring Officer

East Devon District Council

Tel: 01395 517401

Ext: 2601

Email: [1][email address]

 

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Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

10 Attachments

Mr Freeman

 

Further to my earlier email, please find attached Cabinet agendas which
list key decisions from 2013.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

HENRY GORDON LENNOX

 

Monitoring Officer

East Devon District Council

Tel: 01395 517401

Ext: 2601

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

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Dear Henry Gordon Lennox,

Many thanks for your detailed response. However sending me copies of the relevant agendas does not help me find the key decisions I might be interested in - you are still providing me with a haystack to search through. It seems to me that, within the budget allowed for each FoI request, it is reasonable to expect EDDC to have extracted this data and summarised it into a single table. Indeed, it would hardly have taken any more time to do this than to go through each document and highlight the relevant sections.

Additionally, you have failed to provide any explanation (or indeed any apology) for EDDC failing to undertake the Internal Review in a timely fashion until chased by the Information Commissioner's Office no less.

As a lawyer yourself, I should not need to remind you that providing responses in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, in terms of disclosure, the format of the response and the delivery of the response within the 20-working day period allowed, are statutory requirements, not at the discretion of EDDC whether to follow them or not, and that every time EDDC fails to meet the requirements of the FoIA it is breaking the law. So, for EDDC to wait until being chased by the ICO is not only illegal, but also acting against the spirit of the Act, bringing the FoIA into disrepute.

Can you please now explain why it has taken so long for EDDC to fulfil its legal obligations.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

P Freeman

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

2 Attachments

Mr Freeman

 

Further to our response of 24^th April, we have asked the ICO for their
view as to whether or not our response was reasonable (providing you with
all key decisions relevant to your request but in the form of highlighted
agenda sections). In the absence of a response to this query, we have
taken steps to transfer the detail previously provided into list form and
this is attached.

 

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your internal review and for any
inconvenience caused.

 

I trust this now satisfactorily concludes your request.

 

Regards

 

Kate

 

 

Mrs Kate Symington

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

01395 517417

www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

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Dear Kate,

Many thanks for this analysis which certainly provides me with the information I was seeking - and I appreciate you having gone beyond my original question and providing me with the analysis for a more extended period.

All that now remains is for the Monitoring Officer to complete the Internal Review request properly by providing me with the explanation for EDDC failing to undertake the Internal Review in a timely fashion and requiring the Information Commissioner's Office to chase before something happened - an apology from the Monitoring Officer on behalf of EDDC for its failure to meet the levels of service to me required by law might also be appropriate.

Yours sincerely,

P Freeman

Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Freeman

 

Thank you for your email of 19th June which was sent to Kate Symington. I
am emailing to offer my apologies once again for the delay in responding
to your request for an internal review. I hope this has not caused too
much inconvenience.

 

In terms of providing you with a reason for the delay in this case, this
was simply down to the volume of correspondence and number of requests
being dealt with at that time.

 

I trust this now brings matters relating to this request to a close.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Henry Gordon Lennox

Monitoring Officer

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Henry Gordon Lennox,

Many thanks for your explanation for the delay - which would be more believable if the time-scales had not been so extended and if it wasn't already clear that you undertook the review only when contacted by the ICO.

However I am aware that you have only recently taken over from your predecessor(s), so this is really more of an EDDC issue than one you are personally responsible for.

Anyway, I suggest that we call it a day on this one.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

P Freeman