Dear Common Council of the City of London,
As part of the Government Green paper (Support and Aspiration) the government has outlined a new approach to special educational needs and disability. As part of this initiative the government requires all local authorities in England to set out a Local Offer.
The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available to them in their area and how to access them.
Please provide answers to the following questions
1. What is your local authority currently offering for online advice and guidance for Local Offer?
2. What is the name of the person who is leading on the Local Offer within your Local Authority? Please also provide their job title.
Dear Mr Wright,
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 (FOIA) - INFORMATION REQUEST
The City of London (CoL) acknowledges receipt of your request for information of 23 December 2013.
Public authorities are required to respond to requests within the statutory timescale of 20 working days beginning from the first working day after they receive a request. The Act does not always require public authorities to disclose the information which they hold.
The FOIA applies to the CoL as a local authority, police authority and port health authority. The CoL is the local and police authority for the “Square Mile”, ie the historic City of London, and not for London as a whole. Please see the following link to a map on the CoL's website, which shows the area covered:
The CoL does have some functions, including Port Health Authority functions, which extend beyond the City boundary. For further information please see: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk<http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk>.
Dear Mr Wright
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST
Following receipt of your request for information on the 23 December 2013
our acknowledgement of the same date, the City of London (CoL) responds as
1. What is your local authority currently offering for online advice and
guidance for Local Offer?
The City is currently engaging all partners in developing an active and
transparent Local Offer in line with national guidance which is currently
being developed by the DfE.
2. What is the name of the person who is leading on the Local Offer within
your Local Authority? Please also provide their job title.
Education and Early Years Manager
With regard to the name, please note that this response acts as a part
refusal notice in accordance with section 17 of the FOIA. We consider
that, in accordance with the FOIA section 40(2) exemption (‘personal
information’), we should refuse the information you have requested for the
name of a member of staff which is below higher management level and not
already on the CoL website or otherwise routinely in the public domain.
This exemption is applied as the CoL believes the disclosure of this
information under the FOIA would be a breach of the First Principle under
the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA); that is, the fair and lawful
processing of personal information. The CoL considers that, along with a
staff name, where someone works and who is their employer, is personal
information, and that there is no expectation by individuals of routine
disclosure of such information under the FOIA, which would in effect also
occur should we disclose the name.
We consider that it is necessary to pay due respect to the privacy of
employees in the public sector, and those who are contracted by a public
authority. We do not consider that, because a body receives public
funding, to a greater or lesser degree, its employees automatically
forfeit rights of privacy. We also note that the Information Tribunal has
upheld the view that “to release the name of an individual’s employer
would be to release significant personal data (refer EA/2007/0058), and
hence could be a breach of the Data Protection Principles under the DPA.
A public authority has to consider a disclosure under the FOIA as a
disclosure to the world. We note the Information Tribunal’s statement that
“Disclosure under [the] FOIA is effectively an unlimited disclosure to the
public as a whole” (Information Tribunal Appeal Decision EA/2006/0011 &
0013), which was also referred to by the Information Commissioner
(Information Commissioner's Decision Notice FS 50294078). We would
therefore would have to consider disclosure of the name as a considerable
overriding of the privacy of an individual.
In conclusion, we do not consider that there are any conditions under
Schedule 2 of the DPA which would permit disclosure.
Finally, we note that the website of the information Commissioner's Office
(ICO) shows an extremely limited disclosure of employee names, to a degree
which implies a very high threshold for the unlimited publication of such
information in relation to a public authority which falls within the scope
of the FOIA.
The Education and Early Years Manager is within the Department of
Community and Children's Services. The names of chief officers for all CoL
departments can be found at:
Please note that the City (the "Square Mile") has a resident population of
only about 7400 people.
If you wish to make a complaint about the way the CoL has managed your
enquiry, please make your complaint in writing to email address:
[email address]. For a link to the CoL’s FOI complaints
procedure, please visit the following page:
www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Feedback, at the end of which is located the
FOI complaints procedure. If, having used the CoL’s FOI Complaints
Procedure, you are still dissatisfied, you may request the Information
Commissioner to investigate. Please contact: Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Telephone:
(01625) 545700. Website: http://www.ico.org.uk/.
The FOIA applies to the CoL as a local authority, police authority and
port health authority.
The CoL holds the copyright in this communication. Its supply does not
give a right to re-use in a way that would infringe that copyright, for
example, by making copies, publishing and issuing copies to the public or
to any other person. Brief extracts of any of the material may be
reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988 (sections 29 and 30) for the purposes of research for
non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news
reporting, subject to an acknowledgement of the copyright owner.
Business Service Officer
Department of Community and Children's Services
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