Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Section 157 of the draft Data Protection Bill is entitled "Orders to progress complaints" and contains a machinery designed to hurry along your good selves.

Please could you forward to me an e-copy of all recorded information you hold about this, which is likely to include:
- If you were consulted about its inclusion in the bill, the fruits of that consultation;
- Your reaction to it having been proposed; and
- Some other things.

Yours faithfully,
G Webber

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
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raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
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For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
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If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

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Information Commissioner’s Office

9 November 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0706135

 

Dear Mr Webber

Information request
 
I write in response to your email of 16 October 2017 in which you
submitted a request for information to the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO). Your request has been dealt with in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
 
Your request
 
“Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,
Section 157 of the draft Data Protection Bill is entitled "Orders to
progress complaints" and contains a machinery designed to hurry along your
good selves.
Please could you forward to me an e-copy of all recorded information you
hold about this, which is likely to include:
- If you were consulted about its inclusion in the bill, the fruits of
that consultation;
- Your reaction to it having been proposed; and
- Some other things.”

Our response
 
I can confirm we hold some information that falls in the scope of your
request.
 
As you may be aware, the Data Protection Bill (DP Bill), amongst other
things, applies General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards and
makes provisions for how they apply in the UK. It may be helpful to
explain that section 157 of the DP Bill implements a specific part of the
GDPR, namely Article 78(2), into UK legislation.
 
As it relates to a requirement of the GDPR, a provision of this nature
would have been, by necessity, included in the DP Bill in order to meet
GDPR standards. As such there was no specific consultation on, or reaction
to, the inclusion of s.157 in the Bill.
 
The information we hold primarily relates to discussions on how to best
implement this provision into the DP Bill and in practice and therefore,
in light of the final part of your request for ‘some other things’ have
considered this information for disclosure.
  
However, we have withheld the information in scope of your request in line
with the provisions of section 36 of the FOIA, specifically section
36(2)(b)(i) and section 36(2)(c), which state:
 
“(2) Information to which this section applies is exempt information if,
in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person, disclosure of the
information under this Act  -
…     
        (b) would, or would be likely to, inhibit—
                (i) the free and frank provision of advice, or…
        (c) would otherwise prejudice, or would be likely otherwise to
prejudice, the effective conduct of public affairs.”

Clearly the DP Bill will have wide ranging implications for the UK. The
Bill is still at ‘draft’ stage and is potentially subject to further
amendments as it progresses through the House of Lords and House of
Commons; it therefore remains a ‘live’ issue. It is essential that we are
able to have an open and frank dialogue with DCMS and the wider government
for the duration of this process and have a safe space in which to provide
views and advice on an issue of significant importance and impact to the
ICO. Disclosure of any information prematurely would be likely to inhibit
this process and erode the trust that DCMS and the wider government have
in being able to communicate with us freely and frankly, both in this
matter and on other matters related to the Bill. Given the importance of
the Bill and of ICO participation in this process, it would be likely to
prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs were we to disclose
information in response to this request.

We have sought the opinion of our qualified person, specifically Elizabeth
Denham, the Information Commissioner. They have agreed that the exemption
at section 36 of the FOIA is engaged and concluded that the disclosure of
this information would be likely to inhibit the free and frank provision
of advice, and would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of
public affairs.

Section 36 is a qualified exemption, so we must consider the balance of
the public interest.
 
The factors in favour of maintaining the exemption are:
 

* There is a public interest in preserving a confidential ‘safe space’
for free and frank discussions about an issue which remains ‘live’ at
the time of the request. It is essential that we are able to have an
open and frank dialogue with DCMS and the wider government for the
duration of this process and have a safe space in which to formulate
future policy.
* There is a strong public interest in the ICO maintaining effective
working relationships with government departments such as DCMS and
that discussions with the ICO on sensitive or important matters can be
undertaken in confidence. Disclosure of the requested information
would be likely to inhibit the free and frank exchange of views both
on this matter and on unrelated matters in the future if there is a
perceived risk that we do not treat information provided to us with an
appropriate level of confidentiality.
* There is a public interest in ensuring that the Information
Commissioner is properly and fully consulted and engaged on matters
which are within her remit, and is able to provide appropriate
guidance and advice, both now and in the future.
* There public interest in ensuring the implementation of the new DP
Bill and that we are mindful that we do not jeopardise that process in
any way by prematurely disclosing information about a ‘live’ issue. 

The factors in favour of disclosing the information are:
 

* Disclosure would increase transparency and insight into issues that
we, and government, are considering and discussing in relation to the
DP Bill.
* Disclosure would provide reassurance that the ICO, as regulator of
data protection issues, has been fully informed and consulted on
issues that will affect our work in the future.
* Disclosure would also offer the opportunity for the public or other
interested parties to comment on the discussions to date and/or to
offer input.

Having considered the public interest arguments we have concluded that the
public interest in withholding this information outweighs the interest in
disclosure.
 
We do publish some information in relation to the DP Bill and GDPR which
may be of interest to you. This can be found on our website via the
following links:
 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/dat...
 
[2]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/dat...
 
This concludes our response to your request. I appreciate that this
response may be disappointing, however I hope that the explanation above
is helpful.

Review Procedure

If you are not satisfied that your request for information has been dealt
with correctly, please write to the Information Access Team at the address
below, reply directly to this email (with the reference number contained
within the square brackets left intact), or email us at
[3][ICO request email], quoting the reference number
IRQ0706135.

Your request for a review should be submitted to us within 40 working days
of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request received after this
time will only be considered at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Ultimately if you are not satisfied that your request for information has
been dealt with correctly you have a further right of appeal to this
office in our capacity as the statutory complaint handler under the
relevant legislation.  To make such an application, please write to our
Customer Contact Team at the address below, or visit the ‘Report a
Concern’ section of our website.
 
A copy of our review procedure is available here
[4]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
 
Yours sincerely

Ian Goddard
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545823  F. 01625 524510  [5]ico.org.uk  [6]twitter.com/iconews
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The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

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If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
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5. http://ico.org.uk/
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