Ofcom planning for hand over of interference complaints handling to the BBC

The request was partially successful.

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

On Wednesday 30 June 2010, the handling of reporting and primary investigation passed from Ofcom to the BBC. This new arrangement is described by here:-

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforce...

To understand this change, the planned and predicted :-
- benefits
- cost savings
- efficiencies
- processes

I formally request sight of all documents the Ofcom produced, received and now holds relating to this process revision and change of responsibilities, specifically :-

a) All documents sent from Ofcom to third parties.
b) All documents received by Ofcom from third parties.
c) All documents produced for Ofcom.
d) All minutes produced from related meetings.
e) Documents defining the criteria for and procedure of
case escalation from the BBC to Ofcom.
f) Details of any regulatory duties that have been
delegated by Ofcom to the BBC, for each duty, please
also provide a link to or include the documentation
defining associated legislation.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

Dear Mr Salter

Thank you for your request for information which Ofcom received on 29 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 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

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Salter

Please find correspondence attached.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

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Mark Salter

Dear Ofcom FOI team,

Thank you for the response given.

I am surprised that the response includes only two documents.
Could you please confirm that:-

i) for parts 'a' and 'b' of the request that no emails, letters or any documents were exchanged with anyone (not even the BBC) in arranging this transfer and establishing the process and agreements?

ii) for part 'd' of my request that there were no meetings attended by representatives of Ofcom in this matter; and thus there are no minutes?

May I please check that the 'Heads of Agreement' was composed against and with consideration of and with reference to the relevant Statutory Instrument and associated relevant legislation?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

In the absence of any response to my previous reply,
I would like to request an internal review of this response.

Please also ask your review team to consider my clarification request:-

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

Whilst I appreciate asking about the 'Heads of Agreement' provided should be made in a new FOI, I think that seeking confirmation no meetings and no communications took place between Ofcom and the BBC was acceptable. I thought it would have been a quick and easy question to answer.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

Just for reference and to let you know that I have the contract termination letter direct from the BBC and available on the whatdotheyknow.com website :-

http://preview.tinyurl.com/3d27pk4

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Information Requests,

I'm afraid to say that you have exceeded the the reasonable amount of time that the ICO expects an internal review to take, can you please confirm it's status?

This review period has run for 34 days so far, without any indication that more time is required.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

Another two working weeks pass and still no response?

Please confirm that as per Julia Snape's feedback on FOIR 1-177234732, that a response of any kind is expected by the 10th June 2011?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter left an annotation ()

So, before incurring the interest and attention of the ICO, I thought it best to ring Ofcom and check that they were really ignoring this request...

...they have confirmed today that a number of my requests are being rolled-up up into a single reply from 'on high', which of course will probably not include the requested data.

Complaining to the ICO seems to be the only way to go.

8(

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

Can I request any status update for this request (REF:1-170088275) please?

I requested an internal review on April 11 2011 and still have heard nothing.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

May I please get a status on this request please? I have been given no reference to quote, so please consider the title/subject of the request in tracing it in your email system.

The title or subject is :-

'Ofcom planning for hand over of interference complaints handling to the BBC'

and an internal review was requested by me on April 11 2011.

As indicated previously the full exchange is available through whatdotheyknow.com on this link:-

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

Should the detail not be readily available from your email system/archive.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Information Requests, Office of Communications

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Salter

Our response to your request - 'Ofcom planning for handover of interference complaints handling to the BBC' was sent to you on 29 March 2011. I have enclosed a copy of this response.

Given that all of the information was provided to you, please could be specific as to what aspects of this request you would like to be reviewed?

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Ayres

:: Jonathan Ayres
Compliance Manager
[email address]

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

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Mark Salter

Dear Jonathan,

I am happy to clarify why I requested an internal review on the April 11 2011.

I had previously asked for clarification on a couple of points in the late response; on March 29 2011 :-

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

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/3u3jofw )

This may look a little messy, but for your convenience I asked:-

"
Could you please confirm that:-

i) for parts 'a' and 'b' of the request that no emails, letters or any documents were exchanged with anyone (not even the BBC) in arranging this transfer and establishing the process and agreements?

ii) for part 'd' of my request that there were no meetings attended by representatives of Ofcom in this matter; and thus there are no minutes?

May I please check that the 'Heads of Agreement' was composed against and with consideration of and with reference to the relevant Statutory Instrument and associated relevant legislation?
"

These points of clarification remain unanswered and unacknowledged, so on April 11 2011 I asked:-

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

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/3zxaw3s )

I hope this detail helps.

If the internal review team could also please consider why this response to my request for an internal review has taken almost 50 working days, despite my repeat requests for an update I would be grateful.

If it helps you and any internal review see the full flow, all the exchanges are available here:-

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

( http://preview.tinyurl.com/6yfm22u )

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

may I please be provided with a status of this request for an internal review?

I have been given no reference for my internal review request made on the 11 April 2011. If it helps the original request was assigned a reference of "1-170088275".

When replying, could you also provide any new reference you have for my request for an internal review please?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

We are approaching another working week since my last chaser, over a working week since I provided the clarification requested and almost 60 days since I requested the internal review.

So, may I please have confirmation that you are dealing with this request for an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Graham Howell, Office of Communications

Dear Mr. Salter,
We are pulling together the information you have requested on the 30 most recent cases and will have that for you next week.
On your request for an internal review I am not clear what information you believe we have withheld from you as I believe that all the information that we are able to supply has been supplied to you.
Yours sincerely,
Graham Howell.

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Mark Salter

Dear Graham Howell,

when replying to requests, can you please use the return address - the unique email assigned to each request made through whatdotheyknow.com please?

Replying to one request and mentioning another - without supplying your own reference numbers - is confusing for everyone and also means you are not adhering to the ICO guidelines on responding to the 'return address' which is a unique email for each request I have made.

Replying to one request and questioning another leads to a muddled flow. I believe that your email system is incorrectly and unhelpfully obscuring or grouping requests which in turn is not helping your organisation respond within the guideline time-frames. As the person responsible for compliance, perhaps you could look into and rectify this problem.

Thank you for letting me know on this email address about the case data, I will look forward to the response.

I will reply to you about the question about the internal review using the correct address, with the hope and intent of making helping the flow, for everyone.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Dear Graham Howell,

On 1 July 2011 you wrote:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/63...

"
On your request for an internal review I am not clear what information you believe we have withheld from you as I believe that all the information that we are able to supply has been supplied to you.
"

I would like to say that in my request on 28 February 2011, I requested:-

"
a) All documents sent from Ofcom to third parties.
b) All documents received by Ofcom from third parties.
c) All documents produced for Ofcom.
d) All minutes produced from related meetings.
"

The response did not include any emails or minutes, which surprised me; hence on 20 June 2011 immediately after reading the response I ask for confirmation that no emails were exchanged between Ofcom and the BBC in this matter and that no meetings took place which is no why minutes were disclosed.

You failed to respond or acknowledge this point of clarification, so on the 11 April 2011 I requested an internal review as the response was unsatisfactory.

After just over 2 months and repeat requests for a status, Mr Ayres, replied asking what I would like to be reviewed.

I replied clearly stating my reasons and making the additional request that the internal review considers the lack of timely responses.

Nine working days pass and now you ask why I am requesting an internal review. If Mr Ayres failed to pass on my repeat explanation email to you, it is available here:-

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

The reasons for my request for an internal review remain unchanged. By the time you read this response, the 60th working day will have begun since the request for an internal review was made.

As I have mentioned on other emails, Ofcom's email system appears to be hampering your ability to handle and respond to the 'return address' of each request in a timely and reasonable time-frame as guided by the ICO. Can I also ask you to take a look at this apparent problem and seek to identify and rectify it please?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Dear Office of Communications,

Seventy days have passed since my request for an internal review.

Please can I have the response?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Salter

Graham Howell, Office of Communications

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Salter,
Please see my letter to you attached.
Yours sincerely,
Graham Howell

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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 Graham Howell,

I'm dissapointnted that it took over 70 working days to say:-

"
Response
In response to your emails we have made appropriate and proportionate internal enquires in response to your request for a review and I am writing to let you know that Ofcom hold no further information relating to this request.
"

I requested an internal review on April 11th 2011, has this been conducted? It is not at all clear from this response that this occurred. Please confirm that an internal review has been completed at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Salter

Graham Howell, Office of Communications

Dear Mr. Salter,
I can confirm an internal review has been concluded.
Yours sincerely,
Graham Howell

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Jonathan Pillinger-Cork, Office of Communications

5 Attachments

Internal review reference: 1-70088275

 

Our reference for the ICO case: 1-191469011

 

ICO reference: FS50406124

________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Mr Salter

 

In your original request received on 28/2, you requested:

 

    “ a) All documents sent from Ofcom to third parties.

      b) All documents received by Ofcom from third parties.

      c) All documents produced for Ofcom.

      d) All minutes produced from related meetings.”

 

We provided to you all the documents relating to your request and
confirmed that we did not hold any other ‘documents’ or ‘minutes’ on
29/3.  The two documents we sent to you are attached for your ease of
reference.

 

On 29 March 2011 (the same day as we sent our response) you requested an
internal review of this decision.  We completed the internal review and
responded to you on 22 July that we held no further information relating
to your 28/2 request.   In addition to asking for an internal review you
expanded your request to include ‘emails’ – essentially an additional
request.

 

We have discussed the matter with the Information Commissioner’s Office.  

 

Following a thorough review of the matter we are pleased to be able to
send you emails sent and received by Ofcom that relate to this transfer. 
You will note from the emails that some redactions have been made to the
information we have released.  These have been redacted under Sections 44,
41, 40 and 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the relevant
sections are marked on the redacted material, these also apply to some
emails in their entirety.  Attached is the public interest test that we
applied for Section 36 and a letter from the ‘qualified person’ Graham
Howell. 

 

I hope this information is useful to you and you should not hesitate to
contact me if you have any questions or would like to seek clarification. 
We have many interference experts at Ofcom and they’d be happy to talk you
if you have a particular matter you would like to discuss.  You may also
like to look at the extensive information on interference and PLT that we
have put on our website:
[1]http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforce...

 

A copy of this response will be forwarded to the Information
Commissioner’s Office.

 

Kind Regards

 

Jonathan Pillinger-Cork

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