Legal obligations of staff answering FOI questions

Jenny Griffin made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City 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 partially successful.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

Over a number of years, a group of campaigners has requested quite reasonable information concerning LDL. Many of these questions have been answered by your staff in a manner which seems calculated to obstruct.

Now that the OCL/LDL arrangements are finally receiving attention from a wider audience - I am informed that the Serious Fraud Office has been invited to investigate - I wonder what protections are in place for FOI officers who have provided obfuscatory responses ?

This is not a rhetorical question - if, as seems possible, the financial arrangements concerning LDL result in criminal investigations, it would seem to me that any local government officer who could be shown to have willingly participated in a cover-up might be vulnerable to prosecution.

Q1 : Please provide an organisation chart showing the roles (not the names) of the staff who respond to FOI questions

Q2 : Please provide copies of any documentation which defines the code of conduct for this team

Q3 : Please provide copies of all email correspondence between David McElhinney and members of this team between 1st January 2008 and the present day.

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Griffin

Karen Hellon, Liverpool City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Griffin,

Please find attached our acknowledgement letter for your request for
information.

Yours sincerely

Karen Hellon I Information Team
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 2303 I F: 0151 225 2392 I E: [1][email address]

Online: [2]www.liverpool.gov.uk 

 

 

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2. http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/
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Denise Simmons left an annotation ()

The FOI team will only be responsible for collating the information for the request from the relevant teams. Once they have drafted a response it has to be approved by the relevant Assistant Director or Director before it can be released. I would therefore suggest that the targets of your query should actually be the senior managers from LCC

Jenny Griffin left an annotation ()

Hi Denise,

The point you make is, of course, accurate. All the same, the tone of many FOI responses, the illegal delays and the insulting nature of the hoodwinkery involved - ONLY for enquiries about LDL - creates an impression that the FOI team itself is part of the problem.

I hope, for their sakes, that these colleagues have covered their backs by obtaining and holding emails or other paperwork which makes it clear that they were only following orders. Even then, they might not be safe.

Once this matter is fully exposed - and the SFO are showing an interest at last - then anybody connected to it will be vulnerable.

Dear Ms Hellon,

I note that you are outside the 20 day limit prescribed by law. Given the subject matter, this might be an ironic delay, but I doubt it.

Please respond without further delay

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Griffin

Hellon, Karen, Liverpool City Council

IF YOUR ENQUIRY IS IN RELATION TO FOI/DPA COULD YOU PLEASE EMAIL:- [email address] or contact 0151 225 3132. PLEASE NOTE, the request will only be considered received when it is sent to the information requests email address.

I am currently out of the office with no access to my emails until 5 November 2013. If you need a response urgently, please contact Andrea Glanville on 225 2411/Kevin Symm on 225 2303. For general enquiries email LS Voice. Kind regards Karen

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Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Griffin

Please accept my apologies for this delay. I can confirm I am currently finalising our response and am looking to have it with you by the end of this week.

If I anticipate any further delay I will of course keep you informed.

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

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Kevin Symm, Liverpool City Council

3 Attachments

Please find attached response
Regards,
Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3609 I E: [email address]
Online: [1]www.liverpool.gov.uk

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Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Griffin,

 

Please see attached our response to your FOI request.

 

Regards,

 

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [1][email address]
Online: [2]www.liverpool.gov.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
file:///tmp/BLOCKED::mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/
http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/