Number of times the CO has delayed fully responding to an SAR request for 3 months or more

Dudley Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Cabinet Office This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Cabinet Office,

How many times has the CO delayed fully fulfilling an Subject Access for more than 3 months after it's been submitted? I know this has happened on at least one occasion: see Background note below:

My substantive SAR request for a number of documents was made on 27 January 2022. Your first response was to use your old standby to delay responding to an SAR: the need for the requestor to provide proof of identity when you already possess ample evidence of his identity. In my case you were in possession of a letter of complaint about the Treasury Solicitor which had been illicitly diverted by my MP, Theresa May, from its intended recipient (the PHSO Ombudsman,) and passed on to ... the Treasury Solicitor! Perhaps you requested ethical advice before making this corrupt decision from Helen McNamara, your then ‘Ethics and Proprietary’ Chief who, shortly afterwards, was convicted for attending lockdown parties. You also had emails I had sent with my email address, and your own email correspondence refers to Dudley Jones as Mrs May’s “constituent”.

Significantly, when I recently challenged Abigail Richmond (Information Rights Manager for the PCS) she agreed very promptly that proof of identity was usually not required when SARs were requested in digital form and they had enough evidence of my identity. In contrast, the CO dug its heels in and forced me to send copies of driving licence etc by post during a pandemic.

Since then, you have prevaricated, evaded, assured me you have provided me with requested documents, and then apologised and admitted you hadn’t.

On the 29 April 2022, an un-named official from the Cabinet Office emailed me to say:

I can confirm that the department does hold personal information falling within the scope of your request. The information is set out in the attached schedule and attached documents.

Unfortunately, they were either confused and incompetent mistaken, or lying: only one document was included.

On the 19 July Steve Jones emailed me and said: ‘I have asked the Subject Access Request Team to consider your complaint, and they have assured me that you have been provided with all the personal data to which you are entitled’.

They also were either confused and incompetent or lying. Here’s the proof: I emailed you the same day (19 July) to say their assertion bore no relation to the truth and on the following day Nasreen Ayoob emailed me: ‘I have received your email of 17 July 2022 and would like to apologies for not sending you the document that I mentioned in your Subject Access Request.
Please find attached the document as referenced in your Subject Access Request'.

You must have been aware that the SAR request I made to the Cabinet Office on the 26 January 2022 had not been fulfilled 6 months later. It was also unfortunate that, despite her assurance, Nasreen excluded a number of relevant documents that I know are in the CO’s possession. I already have received some of these from another, more reliable ‘source’’. I have absolutely no doubts about THEIR honesty and integrity.

If it’s happened to me, how many other times has the CO failed to completely fulfil an SAR more than 3 months later? I would hope 7 months is very rare.

Yours faithfully,

Dudley Jones

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

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References

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Cabinet Office FOI Team,

Our ref: FOI2022/12732

Dear Dudley Jones,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 9th
August. Your request is being handled under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 ('the Act').

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event
within 20 working days. We will therefore aim to reply at the latest by
7th September.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Dudley Jones,

Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request (reference FOI2022/12732).

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office