Morse Loan Charge review December 2019- Request for meeting notes. for

Waiting for an internal review by HM Treasury of their handling of this request.

Dear HM Treasury,

With FOI Ref: FOI2023/20483 , I requested minutes or documented summaries of the meetings between Sir Amyas Morse (or representatives of the Independent Loan Charge ) and Sir Iain Duncan Smith and David Davis.

As the review has now become official government policy, I received the notes requested.

As this FOI revealed that the minutes of meetings conducted as a part of this review do exist within the department and are not subject to any restrictions, or confidentiality, I am now requesting copies of the meeting notes held with

1. Mel Stride MP
2. Ray McCann (Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP)

Please provide these meeting notes as requested.
Thank you
Yours sincerely,

Lynn Webb

FOI Requests, HM Treasury

Our ref: FOI2024/01172

Dear Lynn Webb,

Thank you for your request for information which we are considering under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This is to confirm receipt of your request and to let you know that it is
receiving attention. If you have any enquiries regarding your request do
not hesitate to contact us.

Please note: HM Treasury has a dedicated email address for the public to
make Freedom of Information requests: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit | Correspondence and Information Rights | HM
Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ [1]www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

References

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1. http://www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

FOI Requests - HMT, HM Treasury

1 Attachment

Dear Lynn Webb,

 

Please find attached an update on your recent FOI request.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit | Correspondence and Information Rights | HM
Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ [1]www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

 

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References

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Dear FOI Requests - HMT,

Ref: FOI FOI2024 01172 I
I am in receipt of HMT’s response to my FOI request. 
That is a LUDICROUS answer AND JUST A DELAYING TACTIC.
The information I have requested is no longer subject to ‘Formulation of a Government policy’ .

The policy went in to legislation in November 2017, and should therefore be available as a public record.
The Loan Charge is on the statute books - there is no more discussion over it.
HMT are just using this narrative and ‘section 36’ to obfuscate what is basically a very straightforward FOI request , to delay giving me what I have asked for - which HMT accept they hold on record.

How could it possibly take ‘up to 4 weeks’ to forward information HMT hold on record as part of the Morse review? They do not have to ‘search’ for it!

If HMT do not give me the information I have requested within the statutory FOI time limit - which is a perfectly reasonable request - I will take this matter up with my MP as this response is unacceptable.

Yours sincerely,
Lynn Webb

Yours sincerely,

Lynn Webb

Dear
Ref: FOI FOI2024/01172

I am in receipt of HMT’s response to my FOI request. 
That is a LUDICROUS answer AND JUST A DELAYING TACTIC.
The information I have requested is no longer subject to ‘Formulation of a Government policy’ .

The policy went in to legislation in November 2017, and should therefore be available as a public record.
The Loan Charge is on the statute books - there is no more discussion over it.
HMT are just using this narrative and ‘section 36’ to obfuscate what is basically a very straightforward FOI request , to delay giving me what I have asked for - which HMT accept they hold on record.

How could it possibly take ‘up to 4 weeks’ to forward information HMT hold on record as part of the Morse review? They do not have to ‘search’ for it!

If HMT do not give me the information I have requested within the statutory FOI time limit - which is a perfectly reasonable request - I will take this matter up with my MP as this response is unacceptable.

Yours sincerely,
Lynn Webb

Dear FOI Requests - HMT,
Despite my previous letter, I have yet to receive a reply to to my FOI. This is now long overdue, and there is no reason why you should have delayed providing the information I requested.
The notes of this meeting are public record since the policy referred to is now statute.
Please reply ASAP

Yours sincerely,

Lynn Webb

Dear FOI Requests - HMT,
Your ref: FOI2024/01172

This FOI request was dated January 23rd 2024 and I have STILL not received a reply - even tho the information requested is in the public domain, so you have absolutely no reason to withhold it,

Please reply without further delay, or I will request an immediate review and issue a formal complaint
Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Lynn Webb

FOI Requests, HM Treasury

1 Attachment

Dear Lynn Webb

Please find attached a response to your recent FOI request.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit | Correspondence and Information Rights | HM
Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ [1]www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

References

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1. http://www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

Dear FOI Requests,

Thank you for the partial answer to my FOI2024 01172

With regard to the meeting notes with Lord Morse and Mel Stride MP and your exemption
"We are withholding the meeting between Lord Morse and Mel Stride MP under section 41(1)(b), which relates to information provided in confidence'
I would like to query WHY there is something different concerning the meeting with Mel Stride, to all the other meetings held with Lord Morse that have already had their meeting notes released under FOI.

The public interest test is taken into account when using this exemption. There could not be MORE public interest in the Loan Charge and all matters relating to it. The media interest is enormous, there have been debates in Parliament - most recently one in January of this year. Every MP at the debate spoke with passion and disgust over the way the Loan Charge has been handled. Mel Stride MP was instrumental in pushing this policy onto the statute books and his discussion with the lead reviewer Lord Morse, will be of paramount interest to the public. 67,000 members of them to be precise, double that if you include their families.

Please demonstrate WHY the public should not know what the FST - who was at the helm when the policy was put onto the statute books - was discussing with Lord Morse. This is just a discussion between Mel Stride and Lord Morse, the meeting notes. He MUST have his discussion made available to the public with no exemptions applied. What possible detriment can this cause the MP who approved this policy? Other than the fact he has something he does not want revealed!

If this simple request is refused I will be taking this matter to my MP.

I DO NOT want this taken to Internal Review at this stage. However I am quite prepared to go as far as is required to obtain information that is of great public interest.

Yours sincerely,

Lynn Webb

FOI Requests, HM Treasury

Our ref: FOI2024/07610

Dear Lynn Webb,

Thank you for your request for information which we are considering under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This is to confirm receipt of your request and to let you know that it is
receiving attention. If you have any enquiries regarding your request do
not hesitate to contact us.

Please note: HM Treasury has a dedicated email address for the public to
make Freedom of Information requests: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit | Correspondence and Information Rights | HM
Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ [1]www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

References

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1. http://www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

FOI Requests, HM Treasury

1 Attachment

Dear Lynn Webb

Please find attached a response to your recent FOI request.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit | Correspondence and Information Rights | HM
Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ [1]www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

References

Visible links
1. http://www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

Dear HM Treasury,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of HM Treasury's handling of my FOI request 'Morse Loan Charge review December 2019- Request for meeting notes. for'. Mel stride

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

As you may be aware, ICO guidance states that the authority should provide full details of the public interest test and how its conclusions were reached.
I am requesting an internal review of my request. If the exemption is upheld, please provide these details.

HMT are using section 41(1)(b) to withhold Mel Strides meeting notes. . The ICO insist that an Internal Review is performed by HMT before they will take it further. I request that the IR reconsider their use of section 41 as they have stated that this is an absolute exemption when in fact the ICO guidance does not consider it absolute, as explained in this document https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

For disclosure of information to count as breach of confidence, the following criteria must be met

1) information must not be trivial

2) must not have been imparted in circumstances implying confidence

3) must not be to the detriment of the confider

But crucially there is a public interest defence against any legal action for breach of confidence. So whether a breach’s 'actionable' (in other words, someone can take legal action and is likely to succeed) also depends on whether or not disclosure is in the public interest.

Therefore HMT have to assess the balance of public interest from the disclosure in order to use section 41.
They have not submitted ANY evidence to this effect.

Minutes of meetings of independent public enquiries should be available fur public consumption,, so that the public can be assured that the review was truly independent. If this is not tte case, then this would give credence to speculation that the review was not truly independent .

Also why would the minutes of this particular meeting be deemed ‘confidential’ when other meetings, of equal importance, and stature of the person giving the evidence, is not. The same ‘rules’ should apply to ALL of the evidence provided to Sue (now Lord) Morse.

As you are not prepared to be reasonable , I have no option but to now request an internal review. I was trying to save us all time but clearly that is of no interest to you. Please let me remind you under ICO guidelines an internal review should take no longer than a MAXIMUM of 40 working days to respond but of course I hope you will respond sooner.

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,

Lynn Webb

FOI Requests, HM Treasury

Dear Lynn Webb,

Thank you for your email regarding your request for an internal review.

I can confirm that your review request was received on 13th May and is
receiving attention under our reference IR2024/08502.

There is no statutory deadline for responding to internal review requests.

However, in line with the Information Commissioner's guidelines and the
[1]2018 FOI Code of Practice, we aim to complete  internal reviews within
20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit | Correspondence and Information Rights | HM
Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ  
[2]www.gov.uk/hm-treasury

References

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1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. http://www.gov.uk/hm-treasury