List of Post Office Branches

Robert Whittaker made this Freedom of Information request to Post Office Limited

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 Post Office Limited,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to request a list of all current Post Office branches/outlets, with the following information about each one: name, address (including postcode), type of branch*, and any internal ID code or database key associated with the branch's record in your main database.

* I am not sure exactly how branches are classified, but I believe there may be a distinction between Crown Post Offices and franchises, and possibly some other distinctions based on importance / the level of services available. I would like whatever classifications you have along these lines.

I would specifically like to request that this information is provided in a re-usable electronic form, such as a CSV file or a spreadsheet. I would also like to request permission to re-use the information under the terms of the Open Government Licence 2.0.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find attached the acknowledgement to your recent Freedom of
Information Request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. Olabopo I Information Rights Team Support

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find the response attached to your Freedom of Information Request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. Olabopo I Information Rights Team Support

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Post Office Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews. I am writing to request an internal review of Post Office Limited's handling of my FOI request 'List of Post Office Branches'.

I wish to complain on five grounds:

1/ Your claimed Section 21 exemption does not apply to all of the information I requested. I specifically asked for details of the branch type and for any internal ID numbers in your database. Neither of these pieces of information appear to be available directly from the online branch-finder. Therefore the types and ID numbers are not exempt under Section 21 and must be disclosed immediately unless another exemption is claimed.

2/ Your claimed Section 21 exemption does not apply to the details of any branches that are not open to the public. I asked for a list of all post office branches, yet you say in your letter that the branch-finder only includes offices that open to the public. Therefore the details for any offices not open to the public must be disclosed immediately unless another exemption is claimed. If there are no longer any such branches, please confirm that this is the case.

3/ Your claimed Section 21 exemption does not apply to the totality of the information I requested. I specifically asked for a complete list of all Post Office branches. While the branch finder will allow me to easily look up the details of an individual branch or a small number of nearby branches, I fail to see how it can be claimed that it makes the information I requested -- a list of all post office branches -- "reasonably accessible " to me.

You say there are currently over 11,000 branches. Even if I had a list of postcodes or places to search for and got ten different branches each time that would still be over 1,100 individual searches and 11,000 links to click though on. This could perhaps be automated by someone sufficiently skilled. However, I don't have such a list of terms to search with, and even if I did, how could I be sure that one of the post offices wasn't the 11th closest for one of the searches, and thus would have been missed out?

In order to have any chance of claiming a Section 21 exemption, I believe that you would need to provide a list of search terms that would be guaranteed to return all post offices. Even then I do not think that conducting all the searches and collecting all the information from the web pages would in any way constitute it being "reasonably accessible ".

As an example, perhaps you could explain how I would use your branch finder (i.e. what precise searches to preform) to obtain a list of all branches within the PE28 postal district. This would be trivial to obtain from the information in the list I requested. Therefore if Section 21 is to apply, the PE28 list would need to be "reasonably accessible " by using your branch-finder.

4/ I believe that you have failed in your duty under Section 10(1) of the FOI Act, by not responding to my request "promptly". Given that your response is basically a carbon copy of the responses issued for previous requests for post office information, and that you clearly have not considered the specific details of my request to which Section 21 does not apply, I fail to see why it would have taken any more than a few minutes to construct your response. It therefore seems somewhat suspicious that your reply happens to have been sent at around 4:30pm on the 20th working day. Please explain why it took so long to process my request in this fashion.

5/ Although not an FOI issue, you have also failed to respond to my request to re-use the information. As you are claiming that, under FOIA Section 21, I already have access to the information I am requesting via your branch-finder, then I think it would be reasonable to assume that my request for re-use should apply to the information there. For the avoidance of doubt, I would like to formally request permission to use branch name and address details from your Branch-Finder under the terms of the Open Government Licence 2.0, for any uses permitted under the terms of that licence. Under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations, you are required to respond to requests for re-use "promptly and in any event before the end of the twentieth working day".

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

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find attached the acknowledgement to your Internal Review Request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. Olabopo I Information Rights Team Support

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Pat Aspinall left an annotation ()

Dear FOIA,

Ref: Freedom of Information Request FOI201408190909

It has now been three weeks since you received my request for an internal review. The first two of my complaints related to the fact that you had failed to fulfil your statutory obligations in respect of either providing the information or providing a relevant exemption to two specific aspects of my request. I was therefore hoping that you would correct these two issues as a matter of urgency, rather than knowingly continue to breach the Freedom of Information Act.

Please let me know by return when you will be fulfilling your duties under the Act in respect of my complaints 1 and 2, and also when you expect to be able to reply in full to my other complaints. If I do not hear from you by the end of this week, I shall be contacting the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

Dear Mr Whittaker,

We are in the process of considering your request for an Internal Review of your original request for information, which has an initial response time of 20 working days under the Freedom of Information Act, as advised in our acknowledgement to you.

However I must advise that Post Office Limited has an internal panel that determines the outcome of Internal Reviews, which have pre-scheduled dates to meet. Unfortunately the next date for the panel is after the date of the reply at 20 days, therefore I must advise that the answer will be delayed.

We will however write to update you on the progress of your Internal Review.

Regards,

Kerry Moodie I Information Rights Manager

1st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ
020 7250 2647

show quoted sections

Dear Sir / Madam,

Many thanks for the reply, although I must say I am very disappointed with the response.

As per the MOJ guidance at https://www.justice.gov.uk/information-a... please provide me with a new target date for the completion of your internal review.

I also have to say that, for my complaints 1 and 2, there is nothing complicated or exceptional there. In fact there is really nothing to actually review at all, since these parts of my request were not dealt with in your original response. I therefore fail to see why a review panel is necessary, or why there is any justification for the review taking longer than 20 working days. These two parts could simply be dealt with as a clarification to my original request, or even as a completely new request. Either way, you would be able to provide a more timely response.

Finally, please note that within my message of 17th September requesting in internal review, there was an explicit request for further information ("Please explain why it took so long to process my request in this fashion.") and an explicit request for permission to re-use the information accessible via your branch-finder. You have a statutory obligation to respond to both of these parts within 20 working days under FOIA and ROPSIR respectively. Regardless of the timings of any review panel meetings, I shall therefore expect to receive your reply to these two requests no later than Wednesday 15th October.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an update attached to your Internal Review request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie I Information Rights Manager

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an update attached to your Internal Review request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie I Information Rights Manager

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOIA,

Thank you for keeping me informed about your (continuing lack of) progress. I have to say that I am very disappointed that you have still not managed to complete your internal review, nor provided a response to the outstanding parts of my requests.

I must therefore request that you also review the following aspects of your handing of my requests:

6/ Your continued failure to provide a response to the outstanding parts of my original request (see complaints 1 and 2), in contravention of the Freedom of Information Act. Once the omissions were pointed out, a response should have been forthcoming within 20 working days. My email of 17th September contained a valid request for this information, and thus the FOIA time limits apply.

7/ Your failure to respond to my re-use request (see complaint 5) within 20 working days, in contravention of the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations. My email of 17th September contained an explicit request for permission to re-use information from your Branch Finder tool, to which you have a legal duty to respond within the specified timescale.

8/ Your failure to complete your internal review within a reasonable time period, or to provide a proper explanation of the need for extra time. There is nothing particularly complicated in my original request, or the grounds for review. If it takes you more than 40 working days to determine whether or not some of the information is "reasonably available" to me, then I would respectfully suggest that it cannot be. I also note that in the MOJ Guidance at https://www.justice.gov.uk/information-a... it states "complex reviews ... should aim to be dealt with within six weeks of receiving the complaint" and "The ICO considers that no case should take longer than 40 working days."

However, please do not let your review of these grounds delay any further your responses to the outstanding parts of my request or your response to my initial request for an internal review. Please provide your response to each item as soon as you have it.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

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

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

This is ridiculous. The Post Office's latest self-appointed deadline of 10th December (60 working days after my request for an internal review) has come and gone. I've had no response, no apology for the lack of a response, no explanation for the continuing delay, and no setting of a new estimate for a response.

I've now written to the Information Commissioner to ask him to investigate.

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please accept my apology for the further delay to your Internal Review
Request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie I Information Rights Manager

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOIA,

In your letter of 15th December 2014, Kerry Moodie stated "I aim to
provide you with a full response as soon as possible, no later than the 22 December 2014."

That date has come and gone, and I have had no further communication from you. If you were unable to provide a response by your latest deadline, the least I would expect is a message to provide an explanation for the delay and a new target date for your response.

Quite frankly, I am getting tired of continually having to chase you up each time you miss your new deadline. There are still outstanding items from my original request of 19th August, you still haven't responded to me re-use request of 17th September, and you have yet to complete your internal review. Why is such a simple FOI request taking you so long to deal with?

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please accept my apologies for the lengthy delay; please find the response
and attachments to your Internal Review request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie I Information Rights Manager

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

show quoted sections

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

I would suggest the 2013 ICO decision that Post Office have relied on in their internal review response has been weakened (and possibly invalidated) by the Court of Appeal's more recent judgment in Innes vs Information Commissioner and Buckinghamshire CC:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

Unfortunately, I'm not sure it does. I think the "reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means" test get applied first. If the information is deemed accessible, the the exemption is engaged, and you don't get as far as being able to express a preference for the format. (This is unfortunately a bit of a loop-hole, since it allows PAs to publish information in deliberately non-reusable formats, then then avoid supplying it in a reusable form.)

Nevertheless I think the previous ICO Decision Notice quoted above is in error. In particular, there was no consideration of whether or not it is actually reasonable for the applicant to access the totality of requested information in the way proposed. Applying the ICO's test of "the public authority has to be reasonably specific to ensure it is found without difficulty" I think that would require the provision of a set of search terms guaranteed to return between them the complete set of data. But even then, I don't think having to conduct thousands of individual searches would fall under "reasonably accessible".

Paul Staples left an annotation ()

On s21 applicant would also have to overcome decisions such as FS 50284087 (http://tinyurl.com/pc6uvl9) esp at paras 41-42 : "How easy or difficult it is to extract the requested information from the means of access listed in the publication scheme does not affect prevent the requested information, in terms of the application of section 21, being described as ‘reasonably accessible’."

Dear FOIA,

Many thanks for you reply. However, I am disappointed to see that it contains a number of omissions.

Under point 1a, you have omitted to provide all the necessary information. I asked for all the "type" information you have. You have supplied a list of Crown branches, but have given me no way to distinguish between other types. According to an old report [1] "there are four types of Post Office: sub post offices , outreach, franchise and crown". There are also different types of outreach services. Please provide the information to allow me to distinguish between all of these. I also believe that there may be a new distinction between "Core Mains" and "non-Core Mains" branches. Again this information has not been provided. Also, since I don't have access to the full list of branches at the date the list of Crown branches you supplied was accurate, I will not be able to tell whether a current branch not on your list is either (a) a non-Crown branch or (b) a new Crown branch that didn't exist at the time your list was generated.

Under point 1b, you omit to provide any evidence of exactly how knowledge of the branch id numbers would be likely to lead to an increase in fraud. If the security of your Cashcheques requires that the numbers remain secret, then I must say it is a very poorly designed system, and I'm surprised your financial auditors have let it stand. Furthermore, these branch numbers are presumably the same numbers that can sometimes be found on Post Office till receipts, and a collection of which were released by Royal Mail Group (when POL was still part of it) in connection with Post&Go machines [2]. The evidence I can see would suggest that the secrecy of these numbers is not considered important in the fight against fraud. Please either withdraw your claim of the
exemption or provide further evidence to back it up.

Under point 3, you have omitted to mention the fact that your branch finder tool [3] is "currently undergoing planned maintenance". Therefore the information is not currently "reasonably accessible" to me via the route claimed. As you pointed out in your original reply, your "branch finder is always the most accurate way for our customers to identify up to date and accurate information. With a network over 11,696 branches there are constant daily changes including branches that may change operating hours , services or relocate to new sites." So it clearly wouldn't be appropriate for me to rely on the data provided by the third-party service run by Royal Mail, as it may not be up to date. In case you claim that the branch finder was accessible at the time of my original request, and that's the time that matters, I will now formally repeat my original request:

"Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to request a list of all current (i.e. as of today) Post Office branches/outlets, with the following information about each one: name, address (including postcode), type of branch, and any internal ID code or database key associated with the branch's record in your main database. I would specifically like to request that this information is provided in a re-usable electronic form, such as a CSV file or a spreadsheet. I would also like to request permission to re-use the information under the terms of the Open Government Licence 2.0."

Under point 4, you have omitted to provide any evidence to back up your claim. In my message to you of 17th September [3], I explicitly asked you to "explain why it took so long to process my request in this fashion." I expect a more detailed response to this request for information under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Under point 5, you omitted to deal explicitly with my request for re-use of the information returned by your Branch-Finder tool under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations. I see that there is a point 5a in your response, but no 5b. So perhaps this consideration was omitted by mistake. If you do not wish to grant use under the terms of the OGL, please consider the Non-Commercial Government Licence instead.

Finally, you have omitted to respond at all to the points 6, 7 and 8 contained in my message of 21st November [5]. Please respond to these points at your earliest convenience.

Regards,

Robert Whittaker

[1] http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binarie...
[2] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/8...
[3] http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder
[4] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...
[5] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

FOIA, Post Office Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find attached an acknowledgement to your recent Freedom of
Information request.

 

Regards

 

O. Olabopo I Information Rights Team Support

[1]split

1^st Floor, Old Street Wing, 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

[2]Footer 5

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an update attached to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

 

O. Olabopo
Information Rights Support
1st Floor, Old Street Wing

148 Old Street
London EC1V 9HQ

020 7250 2647

 

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find the response attached to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

 

 

show quoted sections

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOIA,

I'm afraid that your latest reply has not really addressed any of the points I raised. To clarify, the three most important outstanding issues that you need to address are as follows:

(A) My original FOI request asked for all the "type" information you hold on each Post Office Branch. You have only provided details of the Crown/Non-Crown distinction, and not other type information that you hold. Since your online Branch finder does not include this information, your claimed exemption does not apply. Please tell me what other "type" information you hold on each branch, and then either supply it or issue a refusal notice.

(B) You have yet to issue a formal response to my request to re-use the information I can access through your Branch Finder Tool under either the OGL or the Non-Commercial OGL. Under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations you are required to provide me with a response. I appreciate that the information will get out of date, but that doesn't affect my desire to be able to re-use it while it is still reasonably fresh.

(C) You have not answered my request for an explanation of why it took you so long to produce such a poor initial response to my original request. As per the ICO's guidance at https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio... : "It also follows that an authority which provides its response close to, or on, the final day of the 20 working day limit ought to be able to both account for, and justify, the length of time taken to comply with the request." Please provide this explanation and justification, as I have previously requested.

Finally, under the FOIA you are required to have a Publication Scheme that is approved by the Information Commissioner. I am told by the ICO, that the only approved Scheme is the ICO's own Model Scheme at https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

You will see that that this scheme contains the requirement:

"To publish any dataset held by the authority that has been requested, and any updated versions it holds, unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate to do so; to publish the dataset, where reasonably practicable, in an electronic form that is capable of re-use; and, if any information in the dataset is a relevant copyright work and the public authority is the only owner, to make the information available for re-use under a specified licence."

This clause implements FOIA s19(2A), and I believe it applies to the Post Office Branch data that I have requested, and that you make available via your Branch Finder tool. From the wording of s19(2A) it is clear that the effect of this is that whenever a requested dataset is published, then it must (also) be published in a reusable form unless it wouldn't be "reasonably practicable" to do so. While the decision to publish the dataset can be made on the "not appropriate to do so" test, once a dataset is published, the decision on whether or not it is to be made available in a reusable form must be made only on the "reasonably practicable" test.

The dataset of your Branch Data is clearly being published via your Branch Finder tool, but this is not in a re-usable format. Since you are able to regularly supply data to Royal Mail in a re-usable format to update their branch finder tool, it would clearly be reasonably practicable for you to also make this data available publicly at the same time. I therefore ask that you make the data in your Branch Finder tool available in a re-usable format without further delay.

The clause in the Model Publication Scheme also requires any datasets made available to be licenced for re-use. Please bear this in mind when responding to (B) above.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an acknowledgment attached to your Freedom of Information
request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

 

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find the response attached to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOIA,

Many thanks for your reply, however, it would appear that you have still not fully addressed any of the issues I raised.

(A) You have not confirmed precisely what the "type" information you hold is, and you have not been explicit as to whether there is any other relevant "type" information held. To help me understand your claimed exemption and the full extent of the information held, please provide a list of all fields of "type" information that you hold, and for each field a list of all possible values within that field. (For example, you might have a "General Branch Type" field, containing values that are either"Crown", "Mobile" or "Franchise"; and then a "Contract Type" field, containing a value from "Old Contract A", "New Contract B", "N/A", etc.)

Regarding your claimed exemption, your reply has failed to outline precisely what actual commercial harm may result from the release of the information, and how this harm may arise. Please explain this. You appear to be saying that you have a contractual obligation not to reveal any "type" information about any branches. If you wish to rely on this argument, please disclose the relevant lines from the appropriate contract templates to justify this.

In your Public interest test, I feel that you have too quickly dismissed the strong public interest in knowing the details of contracts awarded by a public body, and also of knowing the setup of individual branches that provide key public services. The importance attached to the public being able to view the details of public sector contracts (and not just the general type of such contracts) can be seen in the rules for central government at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

You have also failed to consider whether it might be possible to release some of the requested information, or to reduce the number of types that you are willing to distinguish between -- essentially this would act like a partial redaction.

(B) I am afraid that as far as my re-use request goes, it is completely irrelevant whether any information is subject to an FOIA exemption. I am specifically asking for permission to reuse the information that I can already obtain through your online branch-finder. The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations specify that you have a duty to consider the request and respond within 20 working days. Additionally, since this information is a data-set that you are making available, your publication scheme (pursuant to FOIA s19(2A)) requires that you make it available for re-use under a "specified" licence. Please grant this permission without further delay.

(C) I am obviously aware of your previous response, and hence my request here was for further detail and justification. What I am looking for is a detailed history of your handling of my request, and a day-by-day account of how the status/progress changed over time. As per the Information Commissioner's Guidelines, you should be able to explain why it was not possible for you to provide the
response any sooner -- so you should be able to justify the need for every one of the 20 working days it took you to respond. Without this more detailed information, it would be very difficult for anyone to challenge your assertion that you have complied with FOIA s10.

Finally, your response has completely neglected the final part of my request concerning your publication scheme. Lets call this point (D) to avoid it being left off again.

(D) Under your Publication Scheme and FOIA s19(2A), for any requested dataset that you make available, you are required to make it available in a re-usable format unless it would not be reasonably practicable for you to do so. It is my contention that the list of branches is such a dataset, which you are making available via your online branch-finder. This is clearly not in a re-usable format, but I believe that it would be reasonably practicable for you to make it available in such a format. (Note that the only test you can apply here is whether it would be "reasonably practicable". So you may not decline to use a re-usable format simply because you don't believe it to be appropriate or because you think it would be commercially detrimental, for example.) Hence I believe that you are failing to comply with your publication scheme. Please publish the dataset that is already made available via your online branch finder tool in a re-usable format without further delay.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an acknowledgement attached to your Freedom of Information
request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find the response attached to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOIA,

Many thanks for your reply. However, there seems to be a number of misunderstandings over exactly what information I am asking for under the different headings. Please allow me to clarify.

A. Extent of branch type information held.

I understand that you have previously refused to provide information on the "type" of each individual branch that you operate. Under this heading I am not asking for the details of what "type" each branch is, but just of a list of what the different possible "type" classifications that you hold are. The reply of 17th April that you refer to specifically refers to an exemption being claimed for "individual Post Office branch 'type' information". here I am not asking you to identify which branch is of which type, so your previously claimed exemption does not apply to this new request. Please either provide this requested information, or provide a refusal notice. As I said before, I am expecting a response along the lines of "There is a 'General Branch Type' field, containing values that are either 'Crown', 'Mobile' or 'Franchise'; and then a 'Contract Type' field, containing a value from 'Old Contract A', 'New Contract B', 'N/A'," etc.

B. Re-Use of Public Sector Information Request.

I'm afraid I do not think I can be much clearer than I already have been here. I am asking for permission to re-use information that I can already obtain through your Branch Finder tool. The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations apply to this information, so you are required to fulfil your duties and provide a response. Additionally your publication scheme requires that you licence for re-use any datasets that you make available (as you are doing through your branch-finder tool). These requirements apply regardless of whether you are able to claim any exemptions for providing the data in other forms under other parts of the FOIA. I am not asking you to provide any additional data here, just for permission to re-use the data that you are already making available online.

C. Justification for Initial Timing of FOI Response

Your response here was most interesting. Despite previously claiming that you definitely responded "promptly" to my request, you are now saying that you have no records of your handling of my request to support that position. Are you sure there are no internal emails, no metadata in the response letter document, and no records in any case management system that you operate that can provide any information at all about the timings and progress with my initial request?

D. FOIA Dataset Provisions

Your response of 15 January 2015 is a refusal notice to my FOIA s1 request for the information. It does not deal with the issue of whether or not you are complying with the dataset provisions in FOIA s19 and in your publication scheme, since I had not raised this as an issue at that point. These dataset provisions apply independently of the request and disclosure parts of the FOIA, so even if information is exempt from disclosure under a s1 request, you may still have to release it to comply with s19 and your publication scheme. This is what I am arguing here, and this is what I would like you to respond to. I believe that you must either release the information that is available via your Branch-Finder tool in a re-usable format, or explain why it would not be "reasonably practicable" for you to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an acknowledgment attached to your Freedom of Information
request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOIA,

Your response to my FOI and RoPSI requests of 1st June (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...) is now more than a week overdue. In your acknowledgement of 4th June (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...) you stated that I should expect a reply by 29th June, but I have yet to receive this. Please explain the delay and let me know when I will be receiving your response.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find the response attached to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

Martin Humphreys
Information Rights Team
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOIA,

Thank you for your response. But once again you have failed to actually address any of the issues I have raised.

Under (A) you have neither provided full details of the "type" information that you hold, not provided a refusal notice. Your message simply refers to the previously requested information, which I am not asking for here. (It is clear from your response at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s... that you hold more than just the Crown/Franchise distinction.)

Under (B) you have not considered my re-use request under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations, only under FOIA.

Under (C) you have neither confirmed nor denied whether you hold the information I requested concerning your handling of my initial request.

Under (D) you have not responded to my complaint concerning compliance with FOIA s19(2A) and your publication scheme -- you have simply repeated arguments you have made concerning your compliance with other (independent) parts of FOIA.

I originally raised these issues in my email of 18th March, to which you responded. I then tried to clarify my requests in two further emails on 29th April and 1st June as I was not satisfied with your responses. As per the ICO guidelines these should have been taken as requests for internal reviews. Please let me know by return if you would like one further opportunity to conduct an internal review and actually respond to any of the issues A-D that I have raised. If I do not hear from you by the end of the week, I shall be submitting a complaint to the Information Commissioner over your handling of my requests.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

PS: I note with interest your indication that you plan to publish a list of branches in the future. As I am sure you are aware though, this cannot be used as an exemption unless the intention to publish existed at the time of the original request. The s22 exemption is also subject to a Public Interest test.

Kerry F Moodie, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an acknowledgement attached to your Internal Review request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie
Information Rights Manager
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

[mobile number]

 

 

show quoted sections

Robert Whittaker

Dear Kerry F Moodie,

Many thanks for your acknowledgement. I will look forward to the outcome of your internal reviews.

Regarding point (B), since you do not yet appear to have yet considered my re-use request under the "Re-Use of Public Sector Information" regulations, please could you now consider my request under the new 2015 regulations that are now in force.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find an update attached to your internal review request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie
Information Rights Manager
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

FOIA, Post Office Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

Please find the response attached to your Internal Review request.

 

Regards,

 

Kerry Moodie
Information Rights Manager
1^st Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Telephone 033 3665 3951

 

 

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org