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Open Data : Collaboration Agreement

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Dear Aberdeen City Council,

On 19 December 2017 you released a redacted copy of the Collaboration Agreement between Glasgow City Council ( Lead Partner) and Aberdeen City Council (Delivery Agent) for the ERDF Scottish Cities Alliance, 8th City Programme. This agreement confirms ACC's commitment to deliver projects including the Open Data project.

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

1. When Richard Lundie-Sadd (RLS), Interim Director, on or about August 2017 suggested that Aberdeen City Council cancel its Open Data project as a budget-saving exercise, what regard did he give to the Collaboration Agreement, or the letter of award also referred to above?

2. When the council's Information Manager in or about August 2017 agreed with RLS that the Open Data project should be cancelled as as a budget-saving exercise, what regard did she give to the said Collaboration Agreement or letter of award?

3. Since that date, what email correspondence has there been between ACC, the Managing Authority (Scottish Government), the Lead Partner (Glasgow City Council) or Scottish Cities Alliance regarding the ACC's continued involvement or otherwise in the data strand of the 8th City Programme. Please provide copies of all correspondence.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Watt

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Watt,

 

Thank you for your request for information, made under Section 1(1) of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA), and received on 20 December
2017.

 

We would like to ask you to clarify your request so that we can identify
and locate the information which you have requested. Under Section 1(3) of
the FOISA, we do not have to supply you with the requested information
until you have provided us with more detail in this respect.

 

1. When Richard Lundie-Sadd (RLS), Interim Director, on or about August
2017 suggested that  Aberdeen City Council cancel its Open Data project as
a budget-saving exercise, what regard did he give to the Collaboration
Agreement, or the letter of award also referred to above?

This appears to be a request for comment and not a request for recorded
information. We would be extremely grateful if you could clarify what
recorded information you are requesting?

 

2. When the council's Information Manager in or about August 2017 agreed
with RLS that the Open Data project should be cancelled as as a
budget-saving exercise, what regard did she give to the said Collaboration
Agreement or letter of award?

This appears to be a request for comment and not a request for recorded
information. We would be extremely grateful if you could clarify what
recorded information you are requesting?

 

You may wish to contact direct to discuss. The best point of contact for
the Open Data Project is Simon Haston as Head of IT and Transformation.
Simon can be contacted at [1][email address]

 

It may also be helpful for you to read through the attached guidance. This
guidance, written by the Scottish Information Commissioner, provides
valuable advice on the best way to formulate requests for information.

 

3. Since that date, what email correspondence has there been between ACC,
the Managing Authority (Scottish Government), the Lead Partner (Glasgow
City Council)  or Scottish Cities Alliance regarding the ACC's continued
involvement or otherwise in the data strand of the 8th City Programme.
Please provide copies of all correspondence.

We have concerns that the scope of your request is too broad and it is
likely to exceed the statutory cost limit (£600) to response to your
information request, breaching Section 12 – Excessive Cost of Compliance –
of the FOISA.

 

As your request stands, we would have to ask every colleague within ACC to
search their electronic files for any records that fall within the scope
of your request. This information would then have to be processed to make
sure it was suitable for release and did not breach any data protection or
information legislation. As I’m sure you can imagine, this would be a
considerable task to undertake and may inhibit the ability of staff to
carry out their day-to day work.

 

To ensure your request is not refused on the grounds outlined above we
would ask you to consider whether you could narrow the scope of your
request by identifying relevant officers/services that you feel will hold
the information you are interested in? It may also be helpful to specify a
date.

 

If it helps, we would be happy to reduce the scope of your request to
those officers we feel are most appropriate. Please let us know if you
would be happy for us to do that?

 

Clarifying these points will help us to be sure we are providing, where
possible, the information you are interested in.  Please note we will keep
your request on file for 20 working days whilst we await your
clarification.  It can often be helpful to discuss your request with a
member of our team who may be able to help you frame your request or
explain more about how ACC holds its information; if this is something you
feel may be helpful please do call us, and we will be happy to assist you.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Information Compliance Officer

 

 

Information Compliance Team

Customer Service

Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
3rd Floor North

Business Hub 17
Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

[2][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Tel 03000 200 292

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

[3]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
3. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Dear Foi Enquiries,

Regarding your reply, you are right. Please disregard items 1 and 2. I am told that no consideration was given to the agreement, so evidence of their having done so is probably non existent.

It is odd that Simon's name should pop up at this stage - four month's into this process, on the 6th or 7th FOI request and after numerous emails, blog posts and Linked In posts. I am not convinced that contacting him would provide anything of value in this regard.

The reply you make re. point three is, if I may say, at best silly and at worst deliberately obstructive., It is, I suspect an attempt by someone to frustrate the FOI process: "As your request stands, we would have to ask every colleague within ACC to search their electronic files for any records that fall within the scope of your request."

Why would *anyone* in ACC have contact with those bodies about the specific query which I posed? It was
"what email correspondence has there been between ACC, the Managing Authority (Scottish Government), the Lead Partner (Glasgow City Council) or Scottish Cities Alliance regarding the ACC's continued involvement or otherwise in the data strand of the 8th City Programme. "

Unless no-one knows what anyone is doing in ACC, and I am sure that that is not the case, I would assume that those who might engage in such a correspondence would be limited to 2 or 3 individuals at most. Maybe Simon knows who they are? Maybe Richard ? Maybe the Information Manager? I can't think of any others.

This is highly reminiscent of ACC's initial response to this earlier request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o... on 11th Sept.

In that you suggested that the email accounts for 38 individuals would have to be searched. What you eventually uncovered were 2 emails neither of which were provided.

Now it is everyone!

In this case, are ACC now saying that someone making a request about correspondence between a local authority and partner organisations about a single project in a narrow time frame, has to identify exactly who might have emailed someone. I can't see the ICO liking that, can you?

I would be obliged if the correspondence could be released forthwith please.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Watt

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

Dear Mr Watt,

 

Thank you for your recent email. I note your comments.

 

The Information Compliance Team are committed to helping you receive the
information you have requested. Unfortunately, at times this requires a
level of co-operative dialogue between the applicant and the team. As you
have made numerous requests over the past few months, many of which you
have requested review or appeal on, I was keen to make sure that we were
100% clear with your request before putting it through to the service to
respond to.

 

I apologise that you are upset by this. That was never my intention, nor
was I intentionally trying to be silly or obstructive.

 

Following the delays caused by your last request where we refused to
respond under excessive cost and then, following reduction of scope, only
found 2 emails, I was keen to avoid such issues this time and decided to
contact you as soon as I possibly could to clarify your request.

 

The Information Compliance team are a central processing team within ACC
so we are, unfortunately, not always aware of everything that ACC is
involved in. This is why we feel, at times, it is necessary to seek
clarification.

 

Once again, if my actions have upset you in some way, I do sincerely
apologise. Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss your request
– my number is 01224 522166.

 

Finally, I am hoping that you will be able to confirm the following for me
so that we can process your request. Can we amend your request to:

 

Since August 2017, what email correspondence has there been between Simon
Haston (ACC), Richard Lundie-Sadd (ACC), the Information Manager (ACC),
the Managing Authority (Scottish Government), the Lead Partner (Glasgow 
City Council)  or Scottish Cities Alliance regarding the ACC's continued 
involvement or otherwise in the data strand of the 8th City Programme.

 

Please provide copies of all correspondence.

 

Thank you in advance for your response.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Information Compliance Officer

 

Information Compliance Team

Customer Service

Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
3rd Floor North

Business Hub 17
Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

[1][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Tel 03000 200 292

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Dear Foi Enquiries,

Just to clarify, I've not found the Information Compliance team to ever be anything but helpful. I appreciate very much your assistance - and regret the workload that is put on you.

I would be happy with the very slightly amended wording below:

"Since August 2017, what email correspondence has there been between Simon
Haston (ACC), Richard Lundie-Sadd (ACC), the Information Manager (ACC) - or their representatives,
the Managing Authority (Scottish Government), the Lead Partner (Glasgow
City Council) or Scottish Cities Alliance regarding the ACC's continued
involvement or otherwise in the data strand of the 8th City Programme or the funding thereof.
Please provide copies of all correspondence."

While I suspect that you will not get this email until after the festive break, I do hope that you and your colleagues have a peaceful Christmas break and have a good New Year when it comes.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Watt

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Watt,

 

Information enquiry reference FOI-17-1928.

 

Thank you for your recent request for information, which we received on 27
December 2017.   

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 26 January 2018.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Information Compliance Officer

 

 

Information Compliance Team

Customer Service

Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
3rd Floor North

Business Hub 17
Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

[1][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Tel 03000 200 292

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Watt,

 

Thank you for your information request of 27 December 2017.  Aberdeen City
Council (ACC) has completed the necessary search for the information
requested.

 

Since August 2017, what email correspondence has there been between Simon
Haston (ACC), Richard Lundie-Sadd (ACC), the Information Manager (ACC) -
or their representatives, the Managing Authority (Scottish Government),
the Lead Partner (Glasgow City Council)  or Scottish Cities Alliance
regarding the ACC's continued involvement or otherwise in the data strand
of the 8th City Programme or the funding thereof.

 

Please provide copies of all correspondence.

Please see attached. After discussion with the relevant officers mentioned
above, I can confirm that there is no information held which falls within
the scope of your request with the exception of an email which constitutes
legal advice.

 

Discussions early on, where officers were considering all options
available to ACC, were done on a face-to-face or telephone basis and,
unfortunately, no records are held of those discussions.

 

We are unable to provide you with a copy of the email which constitutes
legal advice as we consider that it is exempt from disclosure. The email
comprises of legal advice provided by a solicitor as requested by officer
with regards to the options available to ACC.

 

In order to comply with its obligations under the terms of Section 16 of
the FOISA, ACC hereby gives notice that we are refusing your request under
the terms of Section 36(1) – Information in respect of which a claim of
confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings
– of the FOISA.

 

The information contained within the email is legal advice provided to ACC
by its legal adviser (a solicitor), and was provided in confidence. As
such, a claim to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in
legal proceedings.

 

The exemption claimed by ACC is a non-absolute exemption and where a
non-absolute exemption applies, ACC is required by Section 16(2) of FOISA
to inform you as to why in all the circumstances of the case, the public
interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosing this information to you.

 

It is considered by ACC that release of this information may allow the
background to any position ACC takes on this project.

 

However, ACC believes that in this case the public interest lies in
withholding information where disclosure could prejudice the position of
ACC (and its legal adviser) in future negotiations.

 

Aberdeen City Council remains committed to the value of open data and are
assessing the best options for delivering this.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Information Compliance Officer

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

ACC handled your request for information in accordance with the provisions
of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Please refer to the
attached PDF for more information about your rights under FOISA.

 

 

Information Compliance Team
Customer Service
Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
3rd Floor North

Business Hub 17
Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

[1][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Tel 03000 200 292

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

 

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

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