LG Act 1974 Part III Section 32(3) notices

Trevor R Nunn made this Freedom of Information request to Brent Borough 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 Sir or Madam,

Over the last five years

(1) How many Local Government Act Part III Section 32(3) notices
has your council served on a Local Government Ombudsman.

(3) How many times has the Ombudsman concerned found the council
guilty of maladministration for misusing a Section 32(3) notice.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor R Nunn

Brent Borough Council

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 545229
====================================================

Dear Mr. Nunn

Thank you for your request for information received on 12 October 2009. We
aim to respond to your request within 20 working days.

Your request has been validated and will be responded to. However, whilst
we may send the formal notification of the decision to the email address you
have provided we will not send the information requested to that address.
This is because we are aware that doing so will automatically result in the
information being published on the whatdotheyknow website. Publication of
information in this way may constitute an unauthorised re-use (under the
Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005) and may infringe
copyright. I would therefore be grateful if you will provide me with an
alternative disclosure address. This can be a postal address, fax number or
an email address, as long as it does not result in automatic publication and
re-use.

If you wish to apply for permission to re-use any of the requested
information you may do so by writing to the IT Standards Manager at Brent
Council, Floor 5, 349-357 High Road, Wembley HA9 6BZ , telephone 020 8937
1402, e-mail [Brent Borough Council request email]

If you wish to appeal against the requirement to provide an alternative
disclosure address you can do so by writing to the IT Standards Manager at
the address given above.

You also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner. However,
the Information Commissioner will not normally consider an appeal until you
have exhausted your rights of redress and complaint to the Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF; Telephone: 01625 545 700, www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Stephen F Williams,
For Brent ITU
[email address]

--
The use of Brent Council's e-mail system may be monitored and communications read in order to secure effective operation of the system and other lawful purposes.

Brent Borough Council

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 545229
====================================================

Dear Mr. Nunn

Further to our earlier correspondence I am writing to advise that the
Council is in a position to provide information in response to your request
on being provided with the alternative address for correspondence requested.

Yours sincerely

Stephen F Williams,
for Brent ITU
[email address]
--
The use of Brent Council's e-mail system may be monitored and communications read in order to secure effective operation of the system and other lawful purposes.

Dear Sir or Madam,

You have a return address for your response please comply with the FOI act and deliver the response to the address given.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor R Nunn

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Brent Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'LG Act 1974 Part III Section 32(3) notices'.

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

Yours faithfully,

Trevor R Nunn

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

The fact information is subject to copyright and restrictions on re-use does not exempt it from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS left an annotation ()

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ag...

The Council is refusing to answer your request because it has a reasonable suspicion that the name being used on the application (Eric Blair) may not be your real name. The Council is concerned that the use of pseudonyms on sites such as 'what do they know' could facilitate the making of requests which might otherwise be refused, for example on the grounds that it is vexatious, is repeated or forms part of a campaign.

If you wish your request to be answered you will need to provide proof of your identity. You can do this by sending a photocopy of the relevant page of your passport. If you do not have a passport you can provide a recent copy of a utility bill addressed to you at your home.

James Murray left an annotation ()

This administrative insanity almost equals that of the discredited corrupt West Lindsey District Council
which goes to unbelievable lengths to obstruct applications for information.

J.Murray

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Stuart

I am using my real name and always have. Who is Eric Blair and what has he got to do with my Freedom of Information request? In any event they are not refusing the information I have requested on the grounds you suggest. Have you left an annotation on the wrong FOI request by any chance?

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

This is my blog about the subject

http://lgowatcher.blogspot.com/2009/10/i...

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

You are right Jim but the significant advantage of submitting FOI requests through this website is that it makes their insanity public knowledge.

Dear Brent Borough Council,

If I do not receive a response to my request for an internal review or a formal refusal of an internal review within 10 days I will submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor R Nunn

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

The stupidity of Brent's policy is here for all to see. The response to my FOI request consists of two number. How can two numbers be copyright?

Seedher, Raj, Brent Borough Council

Dear Mr Nunn,

Firstly, I apologise for the delay in completing the internal review that you requested.

Having reviewed your request and our request for you to supply us with an alternative address to send your information, I have concluded that your internal review has not been upheld.

The council has not and is not refusing to respond to your request which it accepts is valid and is ready to supply the information requested.

The council does have an issue with using the 'whatdotheyknow' email address. By using this email address, all responses are automatically uploaded on the associated website without any apparent control. You cannot assume that you can use information on the Internet freely just because it is available and free of charge. It does not mean you necessarily have an implied license.

The making of a Freedom of Information request cannot invalidate the council's rights to control further use of its own information or abrogate any duty it may owe to third party copyright holders. The concern is that disclosing information in the manner requested would make the council complicit in any such breach. Responding to an email address that automatically publishes responses does not make it possible for the council to exercise any controls referred to under the new regulations governing the re-use of public sector information, which came into force in July 2005 (Statutory Instrument 1515).

We have advised you of the means and circumstances in which we consider it reasonable to communicate the information requested. I urge you to supply an alternative address so that the information can be sent.

Rajesh Seedher
IT Standards Manager
Information Technology Unit
Business Transformation Department
Brent Council
Telephone 020 8937 1402

show quoted sections

Dear Seedher, Raj,

Thank you for the confirmation, my complaint will be with the ICO later today. You are in clear breach of the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor R Nunn

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Complaint to the ICI submitted today.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Freedom of information Act allows you to obtain information contained within a document but not a copy of a document. Therefore neither I nor the What Do They Know website are re-using a public document and as such the Act referred to by the Council does not apply.

[Re-use of documents, re-use means the use by a person of a DOCUMENT held by a public sector body for a purpose other than the initial purpose within that public sector body's public task for which the document was produced.]

In any event even if the Council could argue that the information they produced in response to an FOI request is in itself a document then neither I nor What Do They Know are re-using it for any other purpose than for which it was produced.

Let's see what the ICO thinks.

Mr Spartacus left an annotation ()

Brent Borough Council are being sly. Mr Nunn has asked for the info and Mr Nunn is entitled to it. If he chooses to post it to a web site then it is for him to decide that. Brent Borough Council is a third party to what Mr Nunn and the web site do. They are not responsible for Mr Nunn's actions.

If Brent Council try to excuse themselves by saying their reply will goes straight to the web site and they become responsible then perhaps some easy workaround could be found.

However Brent Council should first establish that posting this info on a web site is a breach of anything at all.

Go on, Mr Nunn, why not give them another email address for you and then let's see Brent Council wriggle out of the new position they'll find themselves in.

Best wishes.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Thanks for your comments but I prefer to let the Information Commissioner sort this issue out for the benefit of all users of this website. The ICO has found in my favour on many previous occasions and I have no doubt they will do so in this case. Too many public authorities are now using devious tactics in an attempt to stop the public becoming aware of facts that may embarrass them.

This is an example which the ICO recently resolved for me.

http://lgowatcher.blogspot.com/2010/02/l...

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Juts received an acknowledgement that my complaint about Brent has been allocated to a case resolution team.

Case Reference Number FS50294074

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS left an annotation ()

trevor

there has been a mis-posting.. the eric blair reference is to another FOI that was submitted to Brent

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Dear Mr Nunn

Your complaint concerning the London Borough of Brent (the council)

Your information request dated 9 October 2010

Our reference: FS50294074

I refer my email dated 12 February 2010 and write to advise that I am still corresponding with the council regarding a number of issues that are relevant to your complaint.

Mr Spartacus left an annotation ()

Mr Nunn, I'm still following your interesting thread and see that after several months things are progressing slowly. Good luck with your persistence!

Why not ask the Information Commissioner to adjudicate on whether the information has been provided? I wonder if the Information Commissioner can adjudicate on a matter at the same as a complaint is investigated.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Hi Mr Sparticus

Thanks for your interest.

This was my response to the email above from the ICO.

'Thank you for keeping me up to date. However, I doubt anything other than a decision notice one way or another will put a stop to other councils using such tactics in the future or satisfy complainants when a council uses such an excuse not to supply the information requested to the address given.'

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Mr Spartacus, sorry about spelling you name wrongly, I was in a bit of a rush.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

New government promise

'We will ensure that all data published by public bodies is published in an open and standardised format, so that it can be used easily and with minimal cost by third parties.'

http://foia.blogspot.com/2010/05/coaliti...

Another nail in Brent's argument that none of their documents can automatically be published on this website.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

On the 12th October last year Brent said they had the information available as long as I sent them another email address. Please refer to the link below.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lg...

Today, over 7 months later, I receive an email from the ICO stating that Brent has now introduce a different reason for not supplying the information (A section 12 exemption based on the cost of supplying the information).

As a warning to others, from the content of the email I received, WHICH CURIOUSLY INCLUDED THE INFORMATION I REQUESTED, it looks like the ICO is running scared from confronting Brent about their policy of not responding to FOI request using this website.

Therefore, if the information sent to me by Brent via the ICO is not sent to me via the address given in my request, ie this website, I will out of public interest publish the full email I received from the ICO's office.

The final straw in the email was when the ICO asked me to withdraw my complaint because I now had the information I wanted.

PS I refused!

Two questions remain

1) Why is the ICO's office willing to act as a post boy for Brent and not insist that Brent sent the information to the address given for a response?

2) Why do they not want to investigate my complaint about Brent refusing to send the information they promised to the address given?

More when I find out the answers myself.

A Johnson left an annotation ()

Something really funny going on here, can you confirm my understanding of this case.

* You asked for information which Brent confirmed they had ready to send you as long as you gave them an alternative email address.

* You requested a review based on their failure to send the promised information to they address given.

* Brent uphold their earlier decision not to send you the information unless you provide an alternative email address.

* You submitted a complaint to the ICO about Brent's refusal to to send their response to the address you gave.

* 7 Months later Brent give the ICO an altogether different excuse for not being able to give you the information you requested and the information they stated they were in a position to send.

Does that not suggest that they either lied in October 2009 or they are lying to the ICO now?

* You then get the information you wanted from Brent via the ICO to the email address you gave the ICO and not to the one you gave Brent.

* Putting aside the fact that Brent already stated they had the information ready to send, does the fact that you now have the information you wanted not destroy Brent's latest argument that the information you requested was too expensive to collect.

* The ICO then asks you to withdraw your complaint because you have the information you wanted from Brent even though your complaint was based on Brent's refusal to send their response to the address given. Which they still haven't done.

WOW! I can't wait for the next instalment.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Your understanding of events is accurate.

I have just received notification from the ICO following my earlier email that they will continue with their investigation.

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

I made two requests to them through WDTK a while back, and a week ago supplied them with alternate email addresses:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...

No information as yet, despite their original responses claiming that they were "ready to supply the information requested".

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

My complaint was about Brent's refusal to send the information requested to the address given.

They stated they had the information ready to send as long as I provided an alternative address. Sending an alternative address would have defeated the object of my complaint and that was to obtain a ruling on Brent's refusal to send the response to a Freedom of Information request to the address supplied.

If I had given them an alternative address 7 months ago what would they have done? Now in defence of my complaint to the ICO they argue it's too expensive to find the information whilst deviously using the ICO to send me the information to an alternative address.

An address I only gave the ICO regarding my complaint about Brent.

Now I have the information I could publish on this website (the return address I gave Brent for a response) but again that would defeat the object of my complaint which is, and always has been, about Brent's refusal to send the information they promised to the address given in the request.

I am rather disappointed in the way the ICO has knowingly or unknowingly assisted Brent in attempting to deviously circumvent my complaint by forwarding the information from Brent to an address I only gave the ICO.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

More about this fiasco on my blog

http://lgowatcher.blogspot.com/2010/05/h...

Kevin Osborne left an annotation ()

"the ICO has knowingly or unknowingly assisted Brent in attempting to deviously circumvent my complaint by forwarding the information from Brent to an address I only gave the ICO."

Breach of data protection act?

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

No I don't think so because they didn't give Brent my email address only passed on information that Brent gave them.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

It is interesting to note that the Audit Commission have visited my blog on at least six occasions recently.

One can only hope they are concerned about Brent's waste of council taxpayers money trying to block information about themselves being published and therefore open to public scrutiny.

http://lgowatcher.blogspot.com/2010/05/h...

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

The Prime Minister

“Greater transparency across Government is at the heart of our shared commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account; to reduce the deficit and deliver better value for money in public spending; and to realise significant economic benefits by enabling businesses and non-profit organisations to build innovative applications and websites using public data.”

http://foia.blogspot.com/2010/05/governm...

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

A must read for those wanting Brent to respond to their FOI requests via this website.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/d...

Stephen F Williams, Brent Borough Council

Dear Mr Nunn

Following correspondence with the Information Commissioner Office I am
writing to you to respond to your information request in line with the
ICO's suggestions for resolving this matter.

Our response to your request is that we estimate that responding to your
request is likely to exceed the Appropriate Limit. This is because the
information you have requested is not held in a database. If held this
information would be in individual case files and searching these manual
files to check for such information would be likely to exceed the
limit. As you may know, for local government public bodies the limit is
set at -L-450, calculated at -L-25 per person hour, giving some 18 hours
to identify, locate retrieve and extract the relevant records.

What I can tell you is that the opinion of our former Complaints Manager
was that the Section 32 (3) power you refer to had never been exercised by
Brent in the last 10 years, if ever.
Yours sincerely

Stephen Williams
FOI & DPA Consultant
Brent ITU

020 8937 1426

Floor 5
349-357 High Road
Wembley
HA9 6BZ

--
The use of Brent Council's e-mail system may be monitored and communications read in order to secure effective operation of the system and other lawful purposes.

Dear Stephen F Williams,

Thank you for the information. Just a pity you wrongly used an FOI exemption in October 2009 which only served to delay matters and add to the overall cost for taxpayers. A serious error of judgement which, in my opinion, has done nothing for the credibility of Brent Council FOI department and Brent Councillors.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor R Nunn