No response from Internal Review

Muhammed Iqbal made this Freedom of Information request to Tower Hamlets Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Tower Hamlets Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Tower Hamlets Borough Council,

I asked for an Internal Review in April 2010 and gave an postal address on the 26 April 2010 for the FOI request entitled: Questions regarding your New £20 million Housing Strategy found on the website "Whatdotheyknow.com" at the following address; http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/qu....

As to this date I have still received no response for my request to an internal review, and as one must have taken place as i provided an address as requested, then i now ask for the results of this Internal review to be attached as an immediate response to this FOI request. I understand the 20 working day time limit on FOI requests, but this should not take longer than ten minutes for you to find the internal review documentation that was obviously carried out.

Yours faithfully,

Muhammed Iqbal

Freedom of Information, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Dear Mr Iqbal.

The response to your request for an internal review read as follows:

I am writing to let you know that Jill Bell, Head of Legal Services (Environment Team) has completed the investigation into your complaint dated 26 April 2010

Your complaint was in two parts and I will address these in turn. Firstly I would like to apologise to you for the delay in responding to your request. I acknowledge the council did not respond within the 20 working day time-frame, as required by the Act and was 6 days late in responding. The explanation for this was due to key staff not being available at the time.

Secondly the reasons for refusing to disclose the addresses of the 69 properties the Council bought back under the scheme remain that this would identify the owners and they are entitled under the Data Protection Act 1998 to protection.

Moreoever, with the high possibility that these properties are unoccupied as we bring them back into reuse, we do not wish to place, into the public domain, a list of potentially empty properties. The Council has recently refused on the grounds of preventing crime and disorder (subsiquently upheld by the Information Commissioner) a request for addresses of empty properties. We do not intend to potentially blight the lives of those living in the vicinity of these properties by advertising these addresses to anyone seeking vacant property.

The Council is prepared to identify the number of properties broken down by electoral wards. Please let me know if you require that information.

If you feel that we have not properly dealt with your complaint, you have the option to contact the independent Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Thanks,
Tim Rodgers
Information Governance Manager
Legal Services
Chief Executives Department
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Phone: 0207 364 4354
[mobile number]
Fax: 0207 364 4804
E-mail: [email address]
Website: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk
6th Floor, Town Hall, 5 Mulberry Place,
London E14 2BG

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Could you send me the full documents of the response that was sent out to the address I provided, attached as a response to this email.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammed Iqbal

Freedom of Information, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Dear Mr Iqbal,

We have provided you with a response, and I see no need to search and
prepare copies of documents when you have already been provided with
their contents. I would also not be prepared to place your address into
the public domain.

Thanks,
Tim Rodgers
Information Governance Manager
Legal Services
Chief Executives Department
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Phone: 0207 364 4354
[mobile number]
Fax: 0207 364 4804
E-mail: [email address]
Website: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk
6th Floor, Town Hall, 5 Mulberry Place,
London E14 2BG

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom of Information,

This response breaks all the rules of an FOI request, and also as I've already placed my address in the public domain by providing my address through this website, then I obviously have no problem with that already, and have relinquished that right.

I have received no results from the internal review i requested at the address I provided, so am left with again no option but to refer to the matter under the FOI act. Please provide a substantive response as requested under the terms of the Freedom Of Information Act, as a flat refusal has no grounds within that Act, and again you are now in direct contravention of the terms of that Act.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammed Iqbal

Tim Rodgers, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Dear Mr Iqbal,

Your address was not placed into the public domain as the
WhatDoTheyKnow system has a filter to prevent publication of
addresses. However this does not, I understand, extend to
attachments, so your address would be available had we attached the
PDF to this correspondence trail.

Therefore I have sent a copy of the response dated 24 May 2010 to
you - the wording is, of course, as previously posted onto this
particular request.

Should you feel the Council has not complied with the Freedom of
Information Act you are at liberty to raise the matter with the
Information Commissioner whose contact details have been supplied
to you previously.

I trust our position is clear.

Tim Rodgers

Dear Tim Rodgers,

This is not an internal review. This is a Freedom Of Information request that dealing with an internal review. I did not ask you to send the information to the address provided in the Internal Review, I asked for you to send it to this email address.

I feel you are abusing the terms of the act laid out in the Freedom Of Information Act, please copy the docuement as requested, if needs be redact the offending address and submit the document as a response to this email.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammed Iqbal

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