Monmouthshire schoolchildren left without transport to school

The request was refused by Monmouthshire Council.

Dear Monmouthshire Council,

1. Since Monmouthshire County council seems to be the only council that leaves over 16 schoolchildren without transport at the beginning of every September term, what steps have been taken to solve this problem over the last five years?

2. I would like to read any data which shows councillors complaining about the problem and any responses from officers responsible for schools transport.

3. In addition, is their any data available to show how many schoolchildren were stranded by this transport policy last year?

4. Any any data showing when the 'Strand the Over 16's Schoolchildren' policy was made by the relevant committee.

5 As schoolchildren contract to pay transport fees to MCC for whole yearly term times, ( not terms less 8 journeys for example ) MCC will have must refunded parents the money - after failing to comply with their contractual obligations.

Could you provide data of the amounts returned to parents after the of non-fulfillment of the over 16's transport contracts in the past five years?

And how the sums returned to parents have been worked out?

For example -by singular journey from the overall contractual sum, or by compensating parents for enforced alternative ways of paying for journeys e.g. By taxi.

:::::

As an to assist the application of Section 16 explanation, which you will know that I don't thave to give under FOIA, thIs request has been made to :

A
throw some light on the problem of children arriving from outlying areas and being stranded at collection points.

B
understand if the problem has been recognised and if MCC has now solved it.

C
or is still allowing over 16's requiring schools transport to be turned away from buses and be left on the kerb for around 8/10 times -at the beginning of the September term.

D

If Mcc has compensated parents for contractual failure.

:::

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within 
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be 
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received 
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

50. However, if the requester expresses a preference to inspect the original documents (or copies of those documents) then we would expect the authority to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to view the originals (or copies), where practicable. 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
Nb This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees - and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

::


Please note: 
Section 77 FOIA 

77.—(1) Where—
(a) a request for information has been made to a public
authority, and
(b) under section 1 of this Act or section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998, the applicant would have been entitled (subject to payment of any fee) to communication of any information in accordance with that section,
any person to whom this subsection applies is guilty of an offence if he alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals any record held by the public authority, with the intention of preventing the disclosure by that authority of all, or any part, of the information to the communication of which the applicant would have been entitled.
(2) Subsection (1) applies to the public authority and to any person who is employed by, is an officer of, or is subject to the direction of, the public authority. 

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

Hoggins, Averil M., Monmouthshire Council

Dear Jt Oakley

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

 

Responses to your questions are typed directly in your original e-mail
below.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request
for information, you can request a review by e-mail to
mailto:[email address] or by writing to:

 

Paul Matthews

Chief Executive

PO Box 106

Caldicot

NP26 9AN 

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

2nd Floor

Churchill House

Churchill Way

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

Telephone: 02920 678400

Email: [email address]

Fax: 02920 678399

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Regards

 

 

Averil Hoggins

FOI Officer

Tel: 01533 644744

e-mail [email address]

e-bost [email address]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Hoggins, Averil M.,

Thank you but there is no 'email below'.

I would remind you of the terms of an FOIA request.

Particularly providing written replies, instead of providing data available and due under a FOIA.

Please therefore send the missing email -with requested FOIA data and NOT a newly written response -made after the date of request and therefore added to data after the request was made.

:::

FOIA request information.

Request Title/summary within scope.



I am writing to make an open government request for all the 
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information 
Act 2000.

Please send me original recorded information, which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a 
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I 
understand that under the Act, you are required, as a duty,  to advise and assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

ICO guidance: 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...


If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify 
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. 

I will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve 
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to 
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please 
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if 
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act. 

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the 
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with 
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that 
information should not be treated as confidential if such an 
agreement has not been signed.

I request that the response  be provided to me as electronic copies, via WDTK. 

The information should be immediately readable - and, as a freedom of Information request,  not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.



I understand that you are required to respond to my request within 
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be 
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received 
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

50. However, if the requester expresses a preference to inspect the original documents (or copies of those documents) then we would expect the authority to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to view the originals (or copies), where practicable. 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
Nb This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees - and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

::


Please note: 
Section 77 FOIA 

77.—(1) Where—
(a) a request for information has been made to a public
authority, and
(b) under section 1 of this Act or section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998, the applicant would have been entitled (subject to payment of any fee) to communication of any information in accordance with that section,
any person to whom this subsection applies is guilty of an offence if he alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals any record held by the public authority, with the intention of preventing the disclosure by that authority of all, or any part, of the information to the communication of which the applicant would have been entitled.
(2) Subsection (1) applies to the public authority and to any person who is employed by, is an officer of, or is subject to the direction of, the public authority. 

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Dear Monmouthshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Monmouthshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Monmouthshire schoolchildren left without transport to school'.

Since no reply, requesting a review .

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

Hoggins, Averil M., Monmouthshire Council

Dear [title redacted] Oakley

With reference to your Freedom of Information request. A response was e-mailed to you on 21 September 2017. This was on day 14 of your request having been received.

I have copied the response below.

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request for information, you can request a review by e-mail to mailto:[email address] or by writing to:

Paul Matthews
Chief Executive
PO Box 106
Caldicot
NP26 9AN

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

Telephone: 02920 678400
Email: [email address]
Fax: 02920 678399

Averil Hoggins
FOI Officer
Tel: 01533 644744
e-mail [email address]
e-bost [email address]

From: Hoggins, Averil M.
Sent: 21 September 2017 17:04
To: [FOI #428484 email]
Subject: FW: Freedom of Information request - Monmouthshire schoolchildren left without transport to school 170410

Dear Jt Oakley

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Responses to your questions are typed directly in your original e-mail below.

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request for information, you can request a review by e-mail to mailto:[email address] or by writing to:

Paul Matthews
Chief Executive
PO Box 106
Caldicot
NP26 9AN

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

Telephone: 02920 678400
Email: [email address]
Fax: 02920 678399

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Regards

Averil Hoggins
FOI Officer
Tel: 01533 644744
e-mail [email address]
e-bost [email address]

Dear Hoggins, Averil

Are you stating that the review is complete?

And that I should now refer this complaint to the ICO?

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Hoggins, Averil M., Monmouthshire Council

Dear JT Oakley

 

I am sorry you do not appear to have received my previous responses.  I
am, therefore, trying once more.   I have checked on whatdotheyknow.com
site and it does not appear to be picking up my responses.

 

I have copied the responses to your original e-mail below.  Please advise
me if this fails to reach you again.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Averil Hoggins

FOI Officer  (temporary)

Tel: 01533 644744

e-mail [1][email address]

e-bost [2][email address]

 

 

 

Dear Hoggins, Averil M.,

Nothing below.

Since I know that there is data on file, please provide it -after reading the previous explanation correspondence from me on the constraints of a FOIA request

Nb You have already stated that I refer this request to the ICO, at the end of the review above.

I have given you another chance to provide the file data.

Since I don't want to waste the ICO's time and more public money, please now provide a proper response to this FOIA request, or I will forward as you have stated.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Dear Hoggins, Averil M.,

The response time has elapsed. No review seems to have been carried out.

Does MCC intend to carry out a review, or not?

Please respond quickly, or I will have to refer to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Hoggins, Averil M., Monmouthshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Jt Oakley

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The file attached contains the information you have requested.
Monmouthshire County Council's response has been typed next to each of your questions.

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request for information, you can request a review by e-mail to mailto:[email address] or by writing to:

Paul Matthews
Chief Executive
PO Box 106
Caldicot
NP26 9AN

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

Telephone: 02920 678400
Email: [email address]
Fax: 02920 678399

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Regards

Averil Hoggins
FOI Officer (temporary)
Tel: 01633 644744
e-mail [email address]
e-bost [email address]

Dear Hoggins, Averil M.,

Thank you for your review.

Thank you but this is letter - this is not data , as per FOIA.

It is data that you hold on record at the time of the request.

If I had wished for a letter from the or department I would have written to MCC, asking for a reply.

—�

The point is to know the policy ( the exact wording will be in a policy ) and how the councillors have handled the complaints about this problem. As an example of the sort of data which should be availabke on this issue , there should be committee documents discussing the issue for instance.

And I know data exists.....as I have emails from my councillor on the topic.
So where is the explanatory emails data to parents?

You also state, having charged patrents for the whole year - as per contract, then pupils cannot travel without the passes necessary to comply with the annual contract for part of that year.

I have been refunded for the days my child was left without a bus, therefore my FOIA enquiry encompasses what refunds MCC have given to other parents, as I cannot be alone.

This data would be on file, together with the accompanying letter. Yet it is absent from your reply.

Did MCC tell parents that they were entitled to refunds for the days where the school term contract was breached?

That would also be data on file.

Could you please confirm that this letter is in fact your review - as after no information appeared on WDTK, I have already explained that I did not require a letter and therefore already put the request into review.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Dear Hoggins, Averil M.,

Since you have advised me to refer to the ICO, I have done so.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Complaint to the ICO - October 6

Please only reply by email to save postal visits and the environment.

In any response please include my reference which is:

[Monmouthshire schoolchildren left without transport to school]

Thank you

:::::::

Not entirely sure this zip file will work.

1. Details of the organisation your concern is about
Organisation:   Monmouth County Council   
Contact name:   Hoggins, Averil M.,  
Address:  Address: County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA
Contact Us
Telephone: 01633 644644



  
Request Telephone:  Tel: 01533 644744 
  
 Email: contact@monmouthshire.gov.uk
    
2. Your relationship with the organisation
     
Member of the public
3. What is your concern?

MCC does not have a legal duty to transport over 16 schoolchildren, as other Welsh Councils do not, but as far as I know all the other councils manage to supply their over 16’s pupils with bus passes on the first day of term.
MCC argues that this is impossible. It charges the pupils for a the whole period - September onwards- but every year, MCC tells the children that they do not know how many children will be on the busses by term time, so they can’t get on the bus.
This is particularly difficult in a country area as children come in from outlying areas and may not be able to go home as their parents drop them off.
So they are stranded at the point they would normally embark on the bus routes. And some have to find a place to go until someone can pick them up. Others parents group the children together and manage to transport the children to school.

The complications are that some drivers allow the children on, some don’t. This means a scramble for them to find alternative transport.
I took it up with the Welsh government and MCC refunded the days it had failed to transport my daughter to school - the Ombudsman concluding It had broken it’s legal contract for the three terms transport.
That is why I am asking for data to find out if MCC paying parents for this shortfall, since it knows the Ombudsman instructed that it refund me.
:::

Other councils advertise to remind their children to apply for their tickets well in advance, so they do not miss school.
My understanding that this bizarre situation is still happening and that is why I have made this request.

What steps have the council taken to sort this problem out for the children?
The logic of the request is has to find out why MCC cannot give bus tickets in advance to the children, as other councils do.

What separates this Council from the rest in Wales? That I can only know from reading the data.

Since the issue has been in the press in the past, I am trying to find out exactly what steps have been taken since that coverage to provide transport, as per contract, for pupils.

:::
The respondee has provided a capitalised letter in reply but not the data which would help me understand why MCC is so different in its approach to its bussed pupils.

I have tried to be patient and ask the respondee to provide file data as the ‘explanation’ ( when it arrived) does not respond to a request for data. And doesn’t comply with the request.

I have given the respondee extra time after stating I should refer it to the ICO and some examples where data might be held.But to no avail.

So since the respondee has advised me to bring this request to the ICO, I have reluctantly done so.

==

Something else. Please give details.
     
Please send us copies of relevant documents that support your concern

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

4. What have you done to raise your concern with the organisation?

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing how you raised your concern with the organisation.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

5. What did the organisation say?

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

The MCC response is capitalised. It’s illogical and seems to be stating that since it’s an old policy it no longer exists on file. It therefore doesn’t have a bussing policy and presumably has never discussed what might be done for the pupils unable to attend school.

It’s within the request....

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing the organisation’s response to your concern.

1. Since Monmouthshire County council seems to be the only council that leaves over 16 schoolchildren without transport at the beginning of every September term, what steps have been taken to solve this problem over the last five years?
WE ALLOCATE SEATS BEFORE THE START OF TERM WHERE WE HAVE SPARE CAPACITY BUT WE CANT ALLOCATE SEATS ON CONTRACTS THAT ARE FULL TO CAPACITY. THE POLICY IS DISCRETIONARY AND WE CAN ONLY OFFER TRANSPORT WHERE IT IS AVAILABLE.IF SEATS BEOCME AVAILABLE THEN WE MAY ALLOCATE THESE UP TO FOUR WEEKS INTO THE SCHOOL YEAR AS WE ALWAYS HAVE A NUMBERF OF LATE STATUTORY APPLICATIONS WHICH TAKE PRECEDENCE.

2. I would like to read any data which shows councillors complaining about the problem and any responses from officers responsible for schools transport.
OFFICERS DO NOT HOLD ANY DATA CURRENTLY FROM COUNCILLORS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PROBLEM.

3. In addition, is their any data available to show how many schoolchildren were stranded by this transport policy last year?
NO DATA IS AVAILABLE AS NO PUPILS SHOULD HAVE BEEN STRANDED IF THEY HADNT BEEN GIVEN AUTHORITY TO TRAVEL.

4. Any any data showing when the 'Strand the Over 16's Schoolchildren' policy was made by the relevant committee.
THIS POLICY HAS BEEN IN PLACE FOR OVER 6 YEARS SO THIS INFORMATION IS NOT AVAILABLE.

5 As schoolchildren contract to pay transport fees to MCC for whole yearly term times, ( not terms less 8 journeys for example ) MCC will have must refunded parents the money - after failing to comply with their contractual obligations.
WE DON’T REFUND PARENTS AS THE POLICY STATES THAT WE MAY AWARD THE TRANSPORT UP TO FOUR WEEKS INTO THE SCHOOL TERM AND FULL COSTS WILL APPLY . WE WOULD NOT HAVE FAILED TO COMPLY WITH CONTRACT OBLIGATIONS AS THIS IS A DISCRETINARY POLICY SO WE ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO AWARD TRANSPORT.

Could you provide data of the amounts returned to parents after the of non-fulfillment of the over 16's transport contracts in the past five years? N/A

And how the sums returned to parents have been worked out? N/A

For example -by singular journey from the overall contractual sum, or by compensating parents for enforced alternative ways of paying for journeys e.g. By taxi.

:::::

As an to assist the application of Section 16 explanation, which you will know that I don't thave to give under FOIA, thIs request has been made to :

A
throw some light on the problem of children arriving from outlying areas and being stranded at collection points.

B
understand if the problem has been recognised and if MCC has now solved it.

C
or is still allowing over 16's requiring schools transport to be turned away from buses and be left on the kerb for around 8/10 times -at the beginning of the September term.

D

If Mcc has compensated parents for contractual failure.

:::IN RESPONSE TO THESE QUESTIONS WE ARE NOT CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGED TO TAKE POST 16 PUPILS IT IS DICRETIONARY TRANSPORT SO THERE WILL NOT BE A CONTRACTUAL FAILURE.PARENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE POLICY AND NOT SEND PUPILS TO BUS STOPS WITHOUT AUTHORISTATION TO TRAVEL FROM THE AUTHORITY OR WITHOUT APPLYING FOR THE TRANSPORT AS HAS HAPPENED IN PREVIOUS YEARS . WE ADVERTISE THE POLICY WIDELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH THE SCHOOLS AND ATTEND POST 16 PARENTS EVENINGS. THE POLICY AND APPLICATION FORMS ARE ALSO ONTHE WEBSITE.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...
6. Reference number

I couldn't find one

Please tell us any reference number that the organisation has given you, eg account number, policy number etc.

As above.

=====

Nb I know data exists on MCC files, as it’s on an old SAR. In addition, MCC had to pay me for the missed journeys as instructed by the Ombudsman. That will also be on file. There has been Committee discussion on this problem.
However, time has moved on and the problem still exists.

My understanding is that other parents have complained and their redacted complaints are on file.
I’ve read some of them.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I presumed the ICO had access to WDTK. As I provided the link within the complaint.
It seems that it does not ...and relies on the Complaint text alone.

The response from ICO and follow up.

Dear ICO

Thank you - but a review was requested September 21.

Dear Monmouthshire Council,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Monmouthshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Monmouthshire schoolchildren left without transport to school'.
Since no reply, requesting a review .
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...
Yours faithfully,
JTO

Monmouth provided something of a response in answer to this request for a review and stated that if I was unsatisfied with it that I should refer to ICO.
==

The procedure was completed on October 5.,.....

Dear JtO
I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The file attached contains the information you have requested.
Monmouthshire County Council's response has been typed next to each of your questions.
If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request for information, you can request a review by e-mail to mailto:[email address] or by writing to:
Paul Matthews
Chief Executive
PO Box 106
Caldicot
NP26 9AN
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
2nd Floor .
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

I will be interested to read any extensions to the data that I already have on file, which should come within the requested data, together with the committee documents on the subject.
And, after the ombudsman’s decision that, as a parent, I was to be repaid for lost journeys, ( I was) - since the bus transport contract specified terms, that MCC complied with the judgement ...and repaid all other parents.

In the light of this second review , please keep the complaint case open until MCC has completed it.

Which presumably is due by December 16, 2017.

Best Wishes

JTO

===

On 17 Nov 2017, at 15:33, casework@ico.org.uk wrote:

17th November 2017

Case Reference Number FS50704463

Dear Ms TO

Your reference:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Information request to Monmouth County Council

Thank you for your correspondence dated 06/10/17 in which you complain about the time taken for Monmouth County Council to carry out an internal review that you requested on 05/10/17. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

The right to complain to the Information Commissioner is given under section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, a complaint may be deemed ineligible under section 50, if for example:

* There is an undue delay before bringing a complaint to our attention, or;
* You have not exhausted any complaints procedure which is provided by the public authority.

Therefore, before accepting complaints, the Commissioner requires complainants to allow public authorities the opportunity to respond to their appeal for a review of the handling of or decision regarding their FOI request.

Although there is no statutory time set out in the FOIA within which public authorities must complete a review, the Commissioner has issued guidance on this matter. The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review, and in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days.

I have written to Monmouth County Council to provide them with a copy of your request for internal review and recommend that they issue you with an internal review decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of our letter. I enclose a copy for your information.

From my letter to Monmouth County Council you will see that significant or repeated unreasonable delays in dealing with internal reviews by public authorities are monitored and where appropriate further action may be taken.

This case has now been closed, however if you do not receive a response within 20 working days please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter.

If you remain dissatisfied after having exhausted Monmouth County Council’s internal review process and would like us to look into the matter, please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter and providing us with a copy of the internal review decision.

Please find attached a document describing how we deal with Freedom of Information complaints.

If we can be of any further assistance please contact me on the number below, quoting your case reference number. You may also find some useful information on our website at www.ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely

Case Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) – how the ICO deals with FOIA complaints

A brief explanation of how the FOIA works

Release of information under FOIA is, effectively, a disclosure to the general public, not just to the person making a request. The fact that a person might need the information for their own particular purposes is not a relevant consideration; public authorities can only consider whether information being requested under FOIA should be released into the public domain.

The FOIA provides a public right of access to information held on record by public authorities, and it is important to note what this means. Essentially, anyone can request copies of information which a public authority already holds in a recorded form, but the FOIA does not require it to provide opinions or explanations, generate answers to questions, or create or obtain information it does not hold. A valid request is one which:-

* Is in writing
* Clearly describes the information requested
* Gives the applicant’s name (not a pseudonym) and an address for correspondence (an email address can usually be acceptable )

On receipt of a valid request, a public authority must respond in writing, within 20 working days of receiving the request, and should:-

* Either confirm or deny it holds the information
* If the information is held a public authority should either provide it or issue a valid refusal notice
* If information is exempt from disclosure the refusal notice should specify which exemptions in Part II of the FOIA apply, and explain why they apply
* There may be other reasons for refusal, for example if the request is deemed repeated or vexatious, or if it would cost too much to comply with
* The refusal notice should also give details of any appeal/internal review procedure the authority has for FOIA responses

The role of the ICO

Section 50 of the FOIA gives people the right to complain to the ICO if they believe a public authority has failed to comply with its obligations under the FOIA. The ICO will make an initial assessment of all complaints to establish whether they can be progressed. Where complaints can be progressed, we will send you an acknowledgment and case reference number. Your case will then be referred to an individual case officer to conduct any further investigation required.

If we cannot resolve your complaint informally the Commissioner may issue a Decision Notice. However, where it is deemed that a complaint is not eligible for consideration, the ICO will explain why, advise the appropriate course of action, and close the case.

How to help ensure your case is progressed

To ensure your case is eligible for consideration you need to supply us with sufficient evidence. Before any complaint can be progressed you must provide us with copies of the following documents:

* Your initial request to the public authority
* The public authority’s response or refusal (if the initial response is just an acknowledgement we shall require a copy of any full response received)
* Your request to the public authority for an internal review
* The public authority’s internal review result

If the complaint is about non-response to a request we only need a copy of the request and, if available, any evidence that it was received by the public authority.

We require complete and unedited copies of these documents including, where relevant, email headers showing sender, recipient and date details. It is the responsibility of the complainant to supply us with the documents referred to above. You should ensure, therefore, that you keep copies of relevant correspondence.

Why we might not progress your complaint

We may deem your complaint ineligible under Section 50 of the FOIA if:

* We have not been provided with sufficient information or documentation in support of a complaint, or the information you have provided is unclear
* You have not yet asked the public authority for an internal review of its response
* There has been an undue delay in bringing the complaint to us; we will not normally accept complaints if more than three months have elapsed from the date the authority’s internal review result was sent to you
* We deem the complaint to be frivolous or vexatious

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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Contract specifies September onwards ..

SCHOOL TRANSPORT – PARENT CONTRACT (V1.0)

This agreement is made with effect from the academic year commencing September and will apply to all passengers who have been awarded with the provision of Home to School Transport.

BETWEEN:

Monmouthshire County Council, Passenger Transport Unit (“the Passenger Transport Unit’’)

Evans, Annette, Monmouthshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Jt Oakley

Paul Matthews Chief Executive has asked me to send you this email.

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and subsequent correspondence.

I have looked at the sequence of events and have ascertained that:

1 We received a FOI request from you on 2 September 2017.
2 A reply was sent to you on 21 September 2017
3 You responded at 17.14pm on 21 September 2017 stating that there was "no email below" as referred to in the email sent to you earlier on that day.
4 Later on 21 September 2017 at 22.46pm you emailed and requested an internal review because you had not received a reply.
5 A further response was e-mailed to you on 27 September 2017, which stated that a reply was sent to you on 21 September, on day 14 of your request having been received.
6 You replied on the same day to that email asking if the review is complete.
7 A check was made on the "Whatdotheyknow" website and it appeared that our FOI response was not listed on the website.
8 We sent the response again on 27 September 2017 and subsequently sent it once more in a Word document on 5 October 2017.

I'm sorry for the confusion and can appreciate your frustration if the information wasn't displaying as attached. Officers had provided the information to the email address you gave us but we don't know the reason why it wasn't showing on the "Whatdotheyknow" website. Attached is the reply to your request. If you are dissatisfied with the content of the response then please revert to me.

Alternatively, if you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

Telephone: 02920 678400
Email: [email address]
Fax: 02920 678399

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Paul Matthews
Chief Executive

show quoted sections

Dear Evans, Annette,

I already have data, which should if been included plus there is evidence from parents on social media that this is still an issue.

Please note: 
Section 77 FOIA 

77.—(1) Where—
(a) a request for information has been made to a public
authority, and
(b) under section 1 of this Act or section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998, the applicant would have been entitled (subject to payment of any fee) to communication of any information in accordance with that section,
any person to whom this subsection applies is guilty of an offence if he alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals any record held by the public authority, with the intention of preventing the disclosure by that authority of all, or any part, of the information to the communication of which the applicant would have been entitled.
(2) Subsection (1) applies to the public authority and to any person who is employed by, is an officer of, or is subject to the direction of, the public authority. 

==

You have already advised me to complain to the ICO after your first capitalised, misspelt response.
And a complaint has therefore been sent to the iCO.

I can thefore provide proof to the ICO that data exists,and add it to my complaint.

However I would suggest that you respond on this:

1- Please let me know if you wish to continue to state that you have none of the requested data on file, having had your attention drawn to S77.

2- And restate that no parent has ever complained to MCC about the over 16’s bus service in the last 5 years

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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