Ofcom Investigations into PLT related cases and outcomes - cost limited

Mark Salter made this Freedom of Information request to Office of Communications

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

The request was refused by Office of Communications.

Dear Sir

Due to the significant radio spectrum pollution already causing problems both in the UK and overseas could Ofcom please respond expeditiously and in full to the following questions concerning their Power Line Technology (PLT) cases.

Please supply full and complete details and documentation of the following (redacted as required by Data Protection Act. Where redaction is appropriate please state the reason in each and every case).

1. A list of all (*) interference and spectrum abuse complaints pertaining to PLT, with the date of each complaint.

2. Precise details of the radio spectrum affected, as reported by each complainant.

3. Precise details of the make(s) and model(s) of PLT equipment as determined from each complaint. In cases where more than one source of interference was identified, please include this information for each source.

4. For each complaint which was determined to have multiple PLT sources, please state the total number of sources identified during the investigation. Please also state whether all identified sources were resolved or whether the case was arbitrarily closed by Ofcom having fulfilled Ofcom’s minimum criteria for degradation to the complainant’s receiver.

5. Precise details of the radio spectrum range used by the PLT equipment known to Ofcom. Where this is not known, please state the reason this detail was not determined.

6. Details of all PLT complaints where Ofcom has closed the case but was unable to resolve the interference problem. Please include the number of cases which fall into this category, a synopsis of the reason each case was irresolvable and the date the case was closed.

Please note, where requests reference documentation, responses should include all information held by Ofcom in any media or document type including but not limited to e-mail exchanges and telephone notes.

*
In order for you to respond to this request within the 'effort'/cost limits set by the FOI act, please limit the number of cases included in the response as neccesary. May I suggest extracting the case data in case-by-case reverse chronological order working back from the 31st January 2011 - so that the effort/cost limit of an FOI is honoured.

I appreciate the number of cases or date range covered is therefore not known in advance, but I accept and acknowledge this risk.

To help understand the effort involved in this data extraction, can you please also include totals of the hours needed to :-

1. Retrieve the requested case data from the case files.
2. Redaction of gathered information
3. Composing and collating the response.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

Thank you for your request for information which Ofcom received on 18 February 2011.

Generally any information provided will consist of copies of original documents in paper or electronic format.

Where we hold the information you have requested we will endeavour to answer your request in full and within 20 working days. If we are unable to provide the information requested, we will explain why under the Act the information has not been provided.

If you have any queries then please contact [Ofcom request email]. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

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Information Requests, Office of Communications

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Salter

Please find correspondence attached.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

:: Eleanor Berg
Information Requests

[1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
[2]www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

can you please provide an estimate of the extra time needed?

I must say that I am surprised there is anything in the data requested that might fall in the exception clauses under section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act.
As the data requested has been gathered in response to a member of the public reporting interference, I would think there is explicit public interest in the data.

I do however respect your decision to test this clause and would like to thank you for your continued time and attention.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

You will receive a response no later than 15 April 2011.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

I am a little surprised that as much as twenty additional days might be required to test for public interest against S31.
I will certainly keep my fingers crossed that the full 20 days is not needed.

So for now and in closing...

Please can you indicate which part(s) of S31 you are testing this response against?

Please can you confirm that the data requested does not engage any of the conditions under S30 of the Freedom of Information Act?

May I finally ask if you can provide the date the test(s) for public interest first deemed appropriate and the process of applying the test(s) started?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Eleanor Berg,

can you please let me know:-

- which part(s) of S31 you are testing this
disclosure against?

- you confirm that the data requested does not engage any of the conditions under S30 of the Freedom of Information Act?

- if this disclosure is also being considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004?

Sorry to trouble for this again, yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Eleanor Berg,

can you please let me know:-

- which part(s) of S31 you are testing this
disclosure against?

- you confirm that the data requested does not engage any of the
conditions under S30 of the Freedom of Information Act?

- if this disclosure is also being considered under the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004?

Sorry to trouble for this yet again, yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

Any news or sight of a response at all? When you consider the amount of time taken on composing and considering this reply so far that we only have one place left to go.

I will wait until close of business Monday 18th April; although this is not really acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

So the dates come and go and silence...

I would like to now request an internal review of the handling of the response to this continuing request.

Given the length of time and delay this response has incurred, I have to say I am shocked.

This request was originally made on the 16th December 2010 :-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

This request went to internal review and the response was upheld. The suggestion that the data being requested should be readily and rapidly accessible by the enforcement team in their day to day duties did not receive any comment nor acknowledgement :-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

but I accepted the response and agreed to reduce/refine the time period in this request. Please note that at no time was the S31 (any part) mentioned in this first response.

This replacement request was raised on the 18th February 2011. The full 20 days was taken before returning a decision that some of the requested data fell under S31 (which part is yet to be indicated). Despite the fact this the decision and test of the public interest should be conducted within the 20 days allowed (please remember that the previous request response period could have allowed time to consider S31?) additional time was indicated as necessary.

Despite repeat polite queries as to which part of S31 applied, I was told that the response would be made by the 15th April 2001 :-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

"You will receive a response no later than 15 April 2011."

In checking with the ICO, his office was surprised that this response was taking so long and that you had neglected to indicate which part of S31 was being considered. Ignoring points of clarification seems unnecessary to the point of rudeness - but perhaps there are extenuating circumstances.

So the 15th has come and gone and still no response, and still no indication as to which which part of S31 was being considered; something the ICO said should be included in the notice of an extension being required.

I assume that the work towards actually responding halts as an internal review is triggered. I will look forward with interest to the reasons offered for the handling of this request for data that I believe should be managed appropriately for reference during day to day functions and reference and in turn for FOI request as per the guidance given by here:-

http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/docs/...

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Salter

Please see correspondence attached.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

:: Eleanor Berg
Information Requests

[1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
[2]www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

this really is quite hopeless as I hope you and the internal review team will shortly realise. If you had actually read all of my last reply to you, you would have seen that I asked for an internal review and gave clear reasons as to why I feel this is justified.

The total amount of time taken to reach this point (approaching 100 working days) combined with your last response within which you appear to forget the history of the requests and completely fail to act upon the provision in the request to make the response fit the guideline FOI costs highlights the failings in your handling of this simple request aptly.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Eleanor Berg,

So at this time you have confirmed that the only condition currently preventing access is the matter of cost/time. There is no public interest test needed and the data is available.

After doing a tiny amount of 'googling', I would like to immediately and urgently challenge your interpretation of the EIR and the term 'MANIFESTLY UNREASONABLE'.

I will draw your attention to "Little v ICO and Welsh Assembly Government (EA/2010/0072)", which is discussed on this web page (and many others):-

http://www.panopticonblog.com/2011/01/03...

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/43bg9xv )

which in summary of the case mentioned states:-

"
...the “cost of compliance” provision under section 12 FOIA may not be used as a yardstick for determining manifest unreasonableness under regulation 12(4) EIR. The provisions are entirely separate, and one offers no guidance on the other.
"

So in light of the above, please consider this guidance within your internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

may I please request an acknowledgement of my request for an internal review and confirmation that it is in hand?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

Thank you for your email. I can confirm we have received your request for an internal review and it is being processed.

Your reference number is: 1-177234732.

Yours sincerely

Information Requests

:: Julia Snape
Information Rights Advisor
Content, International and Regulatory Development
Direct Line: 020 7981 3875
[email address]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Julia Snape,

thank you for confirming this for me.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

as we approach 20 days of internal review (requested 18 April 2011 and accounting for UK bank holidays), can you please confirm at all that you are on track to complete this internal review in the "reasonable time" as it is considered by the ICO?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

So the amount of time the ICO would consider as 'reasonable' for an internal review to be completed has now passed. A week has also passed since my last request for a status and you have provided nothing...

...may I have any status update you can offer please?

Mark Salter

Julia Snape, Office of Communications

Dear Mark

Thank you for your voicemail message. You did not leave your number so I
am unable to call you. However, I have checked with my colleagues on the
Information Requests team and they have assured me that you will receive a
response to your various requests by the end of next week. I would advise
that your particular requests fall under Environmental Information Request
legislation and this legislation allows an organisation 40 working days
for a response to be provided. Currently Ofcom is working within those
limits.

I do understand how frustrating it is to have to wait for a response to
your questions. However, this is a complex query and we need to be
certain we are providing you with as much information as possible within
the statutory framework. I would also point out that we are actively
publishing all relevant information on our website so do please check that
regularly for any updates.

With kind regards

Julia

:: Julia Snape

Information Rights Advisor

Content, International and Regulatory Development

Direct Line: 020 7981 3875

[1][email address]

:: Ofcom

Riverside House

2a Southwark Bridge Road

London SE1 9HA

020 7981 3000

[2]www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Julia Snape,

thank you for the response. As I understand it, it is expected that notification that extra time is needed is expected to be given within 'reasonable time periods' as expected by the ICO.

Ofcom are I'm afraid consistently failing to respond within the ICO's guidelines whilst also failing to give notification of any required delays.

I am very happy to wait when it really is necessary and do understand that there will be times when a reasonable delay is unavoidable.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Julia Snape,

I'm sorry to report that the assurances given to you by your colleagues appear not to have been realised.

Perhaps you could find out why this now long overdue request for limited PLT case data still remains unanswered?

I will discuss this problem with the ICO on Monday and will submit a complaint to the ICO if I hear nothing positive back by close of business on Tuesday 14 June 2011.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Julia Snape, Office of Communications

Dear Mark
I'm sorry you are disappointed with the time taken regarding your requests/internal reviews. My colleague who is dealing with your requests is away from the office and not back till Thursday. However, I managed to speak with her briefly today and she has confirmed that a finalised and detailed response will be with you by this Friday. In the circumstances, can I please ask for your continued patience for a few more days?
With kind regards
Julia

:: Julia Snape
Information Rights Advisor
Content, International and Regulatory Development
Direct Line: 020 7981 3875
[email address]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Julia Snape,

you may certainly ask and of course I have no choice but to continue waiting patiently.

It is very disappointing that once more Ofcom have failed to meet the ICO guidelines on FOIA (and later EIR) regulations.

Thank you for taking the time to supply an update and I'm sorry you had to call on your colleague during her absence from your office.

I do hope the delays in responding to this request and review provide a result that includes all of the requested case data.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Salter

Please accept my apologies for the delay to responding to this request.
Please find our response and enclosures attached.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

:: Eleanor Berg
Information Requests

[1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
[2]www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

This response appears to be a mix of answers to two different requests.

It seems you have mixed two related but distinct requests together, please confirm? Perhaps if you could clarify why the redacted email is present please?

Also this response includes the text:-

"
Response

In response to your request for an internal review, we have accordingly made appropriate and proportionate internal enquiries in response to this request. However our conclusion is in line with our original decision and considers that the information you requested is
exempt from disclosure.
As explained previously while we hold the ‘raw’ PLT complaint information, the information in the format you have requested is being withheld as it would fall under the exception in regulation 12(4)(b) of the EIR. This exception states that Ofcom is not required to provide the information where the request for information is manifestly unreasonable."

Please can you indicate what part of my request:-

Description:"Ofcom Investigations into PLT related cases and outcomes - cost limited"

available in full here:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/3rnqbqq )

You have not indicated why it is considered to be 'manifestly unreasonable' and nothing in the ICO guidance applies, please can you tell me why this request is 'manifestly unreasonble'?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

Thank you for your emails, and I apologise if Mr Howell's one response
caused you confusion. In an attempt to make my response clearer I will
respond to each of your emails separately. The responses will be the same
as that of Mr Howell's original letter.

In response to this email below, you requested an internal review, the
response is set out on page two of Mr Howell's letter:

In response to your request for an internal review, we have accordingly
made appropriate and proportionate internal enquiries in response to this
request. However our conclusion is in line with our original decision and
considers that the information you requested is exempt from disclosure. As
explained previously while we hold the `raw' PLT complaint information,
the information in the format you have requested is being withheld as it
would fall under the exception in regulation 12(4)(b) of the EIR. This
exception states that Ofcom is not required to provide the information
where the request for information is manifestly unreasonable.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

:: Eleanor Berg
Information Requests

[1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
[2]www.ofcom.org.uk

If you are unhappy with the response or level of service you have received
in relation to your request from Ofcom, you may ask for an internal
review. If you ask us for an internal review of our decision, it will be
treated as a formal complaint and will be subject to an independent review
within Ofcom. We will acknowledge the complaint and inform you of the
date by which you might expect to be told the outcome.

The following outcomes are possible:

o the original decision is upheld; or

o the original decision is reversed or modified.

Timing

If you wish to exercise your right to an internal review you should
contact us within two months of the date of this letter. There is no
statutory deadline for undertaking internal reviews and it will depend
upon the complexity of the case. However, we aim to conclude all such
reviews within 20 working days, and up to 40 working days in exceptional
cases. We will keep you informed of the progress of any such review. If
you wish to request an internal review, you should contact:

Graham Howell

The Secretary to the Corporation

Ofcom

Riverside House

2a Southwark Bridge Road

London SE1 9HA

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

I would like to try and get this straight please.

Ofcom are claiming my request is 'manifestly unreasonable'? Though you have not indicated why it is considered to be so; despite being asked multiple times.

The ICO guidance on this classification is :-

http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/6y3oa3f )

Page 12/13 :-

"
The word “manifestly” means that a request should be obviously or clearly unreasonable. There should be no doubt as to whether the request was unreasonable. Volume and complexity alone may not be sufficient to make a request manifestly unreasonable. The fact that a request would be considered vexatious or repeated under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “FOIA”) does not, in itself, make a request made under the EIR manifestly unreasonable.

There are no cost limits for responses to requests for environmental information; it may therefore be possible for some exceptionally costly requests to be considered manifestly unreasonable.
"

But in my opinion, nothing in this guidance applies.

You seem to be suggesting that cost of responding is the problem, but please remember that you have *complete* control over the 'cost' of responding since my original request states:-

"
In order for you to respond to this request within the
'effort'/cost limits set by the FOI act, please limit the number of cases included in the response as neccesary [Opps]. May I suggest extracting the case data in case-by-case reverse chronological order working back from the 31st January 2011 - so that the effort/cost limit of an FOI is honoured.

I appreciate the number of cases or date range covered is therefore not known in advance, but I accept and acknowledge this risk.
"

Please supply the information as requested as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

As in our original correspondence, this request is classified as
manifestly unreasonable because of the amount of resources it would take
up and it is unreasonable for Ofcom staff to spend 68 hours fulfilling
this one request.

As I understand it, you are now asking us to limit the number of cases
that are included in our search, implying that we should work up to our
`limit' and then provide you with this information. However as the ICO's
guidance points out, we are not obliged to carry out a search up until a
certain limit.

This ICO guidance can be found at the following link, and for ease the
paragraph is copied out below.

[1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/foikb/PolicyLines/...

In the case of Randall v Information Commissioner and Medicines and
Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency the public authority had stated that
it could not comply with one element of the complainant's request as it
claimed that to do so would exceed the appropriate limit. The Information
Tribunal decided that where a public authority cannot confirm whether it
holds the requested information and estimates that to do so would exceed
the appropriate limit, it will not be obliged to carry out any searches
for the information and stated, at paragraph 13, that "the effect of
section 12 is not to impose a limit, leaving the authority obliged to
carry out work up to that limit; it is to remove the information from the
scope of the section 1 duty to disclose altogether".

We follow this guidance for all FOI and EIR requests. We have also
considered the following ICO guidance when responding to this request:
[2]http://www.ico.gov.uk/foikb/FOIPolicyMan...

Therefore, we will not be conducting a search for this information and we
therefore consider this case closed. Should you wish to Appeal this
decision I suggest you contact the ICO directly

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

Please note that I have not adjust or revised my request since it was made, the suggestion and thus control of your costs or responding have been there all along.

This request is not 'manifestly unreasonable' since it to reply to the request made would not take the 68 hours since the cost of providing the information is fully under your control.

You may recall that a previous request for all case information was rejected on the basis of cost, A narrowing of scope was suggested which I attempted to support with this one. At the time I raised this request, the amount of time that you needed for each case extraction had not been divulged, so I opted to give you full control of the time applied, acknowledging the risk of not knowing if I would get only one or possibly even nothing.

The decision in the case you quote above is :-
"...where a public authority cannot confirm whether it
holds the requested information and estimates that to do so would exceed the appropriate limit, it will not be obliged to carry out any searches for the information and stated..."

This does not reflect, nor is it even similar to this case. You do not need to spend more than the 'appropriate limit' to determine if you hold the information requested, because you have already confirmed that you have the information.

I request once more that you please disclose the case information requested.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

Thank you for your email.

I would like to point you to the following extract from the Randall case
which states:

12. Section 12 removes the obligation to comply with the duty to disclose
information in section 1 if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit. The
authority's estimate that the time required would exceed 24 hours work is
sensible, realistic and supported by cogent evidence. Mrs Randall is not
therefore entitled to have the information disclosed to her under the
Freedom of Information Act.

13. The effect of section 12 is not to impose a limit, leaving the
authority obliged to carry out work up to that limit; it is to remove the
information from the scope of the section 1 duty to disclose altogether.'

Therefore, your request as a whole will exceed our appropriate limit. We
are not obliged to carry out work up to the 18 hour limit which is
explained in point 13.

If you are unhappy with this email you should contact the ICO.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

:: Eleanor Berg
Information Requests

[1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
020 7981 3000
[2]www.ofcom.org.uk

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Dear Eleanor Berg,

I would like to point out that I have not insisted that you respond with the full case data. Since your previous refusal indicated that a full response was not possible and that a reduction of scope would be considered so that you might be able to reply within 'appropriate limits'; this request attempted to reduce scope and allow you to consider a response that was possible within 'appropriate limits'.

At the time I had no way of guessing how much effort each case would need to disclose, this approach to reducing the scope to meet costs is obviously not acceptable.

As you have now shared an estimation on approximately how many cases you can prepare for disclosure within the 'appropriate limits' since this request was made; would it help Ofcom respond with information if I make a fresh request asking for the information be disclosed from a *specific* number of PLT investigation case notes?

It seems unnecessary and even wasteful to incur effort and time from the ICO over a (now) simple guesstimate at how many cases might be requested and disclosed within the 'appropriate limit'.

If a new specific request will help you, I am very happy to comply so that we can all move forward.

Please note that as this reply and question has been made outside of normal business hours, I will raise a new refined request for the information on a *specific number* of cases and can withdraw the new request if you let me know that you consider a new request is not needed.

Thank you for your continued patience and attention in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office with no access to email. I will be back on Tuesday 28 June 2011.
If your message is urgent or you are writing with regards to a Freedom of Information Request or Data Protection Request please email [Ofcom request email]<mailto:[Ofcom request email]> where one of my colleagues will be able to respond.

Kind regards,
Eleanor Berg

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This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email
______________________________________________________________________

Dear Eleanor Berg,

I assume someone can respond in Eleanor's absence, please confirm.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

Please can you acknowledge my request for an internal review?

The points for review are explicitly that:-

- the response given contained unredacted addresses of users identified duing your investigations.

- the response held a one case that did not involve PLT.

- The response was not provided to the correct return address.

The stalled response following a staff absence is already lodged with the ICO, so that will take it's course.

I am also still waiting for the corrected data release to the correct return address recently indicated to "Jonathan Pillinger-Cork" and related to your request reference of '1-169118125". Can you please provide an expected release date for the corrected release also to the correct return address.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

I can confirm we have received your response and we are dealing with the issues you have raised. We hope to have our full response with you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg
Information Requests

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Dear Information Requests,

As indicated here:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/di...

Mr Pillinger-Cork has replied to the incorrect return address that

"
You also requested an ‘internal review’, whilst we are not required to undertake an IR we will look at the issues involved and make any changes to our processes that are necessary.
"

Can you please confirm that you are going to conduct a further internal review for *this* request please to consider:-

a) that this request was left hanging since the 21 June 2010
b) That the disclosure made on the 1st February 2011 was :-
- To the wrong return address,
- Included un-redacted addresses for PLT users
- A rather obvious non-PLT case Dear Information Requests,

As indicated here:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/di...

Mr Pillinger-Cork has replied to the incorrect return address that

"
You also requested an ‘internal review’, whilst we are not required to undertake an IR we will look at the issues involved and make any changes to our processes that are necessary.
"

Can you please confirm that you are going to conduct a further internal review for *this* request please to consider:-

a) that this request was left hanging since the 21 June 2010
b) That the disclosure made on the 1st February 2011 was :-
- To the wrong return address,
- Included un-redacted addresses for PLT users
- A rather obvious non-PLT case
c) That no contact was made to whatdotheyknow.com by your department to withdraw the released un-redacted information
d) That for the un-redacted addresses published that you have complied with and followed the relevant legislation and guidance on the 'loss' of data.

As mentioned previously, if you could please (re)quote your reference numbers in the body of any response, I will be happy to do the same in the hope of helping you track and use the correct return address at all times.

The full flow of *this* request for information is available here:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

should you wish to our exchanges to date in complete context.

I will also mention again that this request has been lodged with the ICO, I will continue to update the officer involved separately.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter
c) That no contact was made to whatdotheyknow.com by your department to withdraw the released un-redacted information
d) That for the un-redacted addresses published that you have complied with and followed the relevant legislation and guidance on the 'loss' of data.

As mentioned previously, if you could please (re)quote your reference numbers in the body of any response, I will be happy to do the same in the hope of helping you track and use the correct return address at all times.

The full flow of *this* request for information is available here:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

should you wish to our exchanges to date in complete context.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

apologies for the slight 'stutter' on my previous reply - a copy and paste error I'm afraid, please ingore the duplicated text at the bottom of the reply.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

Mr Salter

So we can clarify the situation and there is no room for mistakes (on our part):

You are requesting two 'internal reviews':

1. Of the request that has 'been left hanging' since June 2010. This request was for all cases in which PLT was found to be the source of interference, which we found to be 'manifestly unreasonable' and you then sent another request for the 30 most recent and we have, subject to your approval, released the cases. Is this correct?

2. Of the issues surrounding the release of information earlier in February which information was sent to the wrong 'whatdotheyknow' address, which belonged to one of your previous PLT requests, and contained some personal information.

Is this correct?

Kind Regards

Jonathan

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A message was misdirected by OFCOM and sent to the address associated with this request thread.

That message, and two responses to it, have now been deleted. Redirection to the correct request thread was not appropriate as the misdirected message contained accidentally released personal information. An apparently properly redacted response has been sent to the correct correspondence address and appears at;

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/di...

Following our being notified of the accidental release of personal information this request was hidden temporarily while we considered what to do.

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Richard - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

Dear Mr Pillinger-Cork,

I'm not certain of the need to have two internal reviews; it was this request (1-169118125) that was left unanswered for an extended period and for which the incompletely redacted document was released.

Might I suggest that a single review is needed, but also restate that this request is the subject of a complaint to the ICO.

My suggested need for your internal review are the problems that have potentially occurred since my complaint was raised to the ICO, specifically:-

a) The response to this incorrect return address

b) The un-redacted detail that it contained, which based upon a quick scan :-
- 30+ instances of 'license numbers' (including repeats
- 2 partial addresses of PLT users causing
interference
- 3 house numbers
= 1 house name
- 1 post code
- 2 instance of a BT vision email address

(very thorough on the replacement release)

c) that whatdotheyknow.com say they were not contacted by anyone at Ofcom about the file.

d) That I would like the review to make sure that the correct DPA procedures for this data breach have been taken.

As always, the complete interaction is available here:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/of...

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/3rnqbqq )

Please note whatdotheyknow have removed the offending zip file and provided an annotation to explain the removal.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Jonathan Pillinger-Cork, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention and I am pleased to see that you have marked the request as 'successful' on the whatdotheyknow.com website.

We will look at all the issues that you have raised to ensure that the correct processes were followed and then see if any improvements could be made.

There is no statutory process for an internal review into these issues.

Kind Regards

Jonathan

show quoted sections

Dear Jonathan Pillinger-Cork,

Thank you for this response.

I would just to confirm that I have marked this:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/di...

request as successful.

May I please finally just check that you are not refusing nor are you accepting my request for an internal review on this request because there is no statutory process that generates the need for your department to do so?

Thank you for your time and attention.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Jonathan Pillinger-Cork,

Can I please ask for your response to my question raised on the 9th of March 2012, specifically :-

"
May I please finally just check that you are not refusing nor are you accepting my request for an internal review on this request because there is no statutory process that generates the need for your department to do so?
"

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Jonathan Pillinger-Cork, Office of Communications

Dear Mark Salter

Thank you for your email.

My previous email covers you question.

Kind Regards

Jonathan

show quoted sections

Dear Jonathan Pillinger-Cork,

I'm sorry to say that your response does not answer my request.

I am again disappointed that it required me to chase you and 10 working days to gain any acknowledgement of my request for clarification.

I will leave this request 'hanging' again until my ICO complaint on this matter is dealt with.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter left an annotation ()

I checked with the ICO and unfortunately I had forgotten that I had agreed to drop the complaint about this request because I was due a decision notice backing disclosure on another complaint.

In hind-sight a bad mistake given the number of mistakes made against this request throughout it's lifetime.

I will now closed this request as 'complete'.

--
Mark