Saturday 25th April 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please disclose:
1) The list of the "parent departments" of the "seven civil servants" on secondment to the Information Commissioner's Office, as mentioned in the Government's Response to the House of Commons Parliamentary Select Committee:
Justice Committee - Fourth Special Report
The work of the Information Commissioner: appointment of a new Commissioner: Government Response to the Committee's Third Report of Session 2008-09
"In the current financial year, additional funding has been complemented by a secondment scheme. Seven civil servants paid by their parent departments are currently working for the Information Commissioner's Office on the backlog of freedom of information cases "
2) What exactly are the specific duties of these seven civil servants within the Information Commissioner's Office ?
3) How can the Information Commissioner's Office now be seen to remain independent of Whitehall ?
Please provide the information, ideally by publishing it on your public world wide website, or alternatively by email.
Ideally this should *not* be in the form of a "copy and paste" locked Adobe .pdf file, or similar, attachment.
In the unlikely event that this information is not already
available in a standard electronic format, then please explain the reasons why, when you provide the information in another format.
If you are proposing to make a charge for providing the information requested, please provide full details in advance, together with an explanation of any proposed charge.
If you decide to withhold any of the information requested, you should clearly explain why you have done so in your response, by reference to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 legislation.
If your decision to withhold is based upon an evaluation of the Public Interest, for a Qualified Exemption, then you should clearly explain which public interest(s) you have considered, and why you have decided that the public interest in maintaining the Exemption(s) outweighs the public interest in releasing the information.
If you decide to conduct a Balance of Public Interest evaluation, you need to estimate any additional time which might be required, and to inform me of this in your Substantive Reply, within the mandatory statutory limit of 20 working days for you to respond to this Freedom of Information Act request.
Under Section 16 the Freedom of Information Act, you have a duty to provide help and advice, as to how this current request may need to be modified, if necessary.
I look forward to receiving the information requested as soon as possible, and in any event, within the statutory 20 working days from receipt of this email i.e. no later than Tuesday 26th May 2009.
Watching Them, Watching Us
27th April 2009
Case Reference Number IRQ0245397
Dear Sir or Madam
Thank you for your email of 25 April 2009 in which you have made a request
for information to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will respond by 26 May 2009 which, taking into
account the two May bank holidays, is 20 working days from the day after
we received your request.
Assistant Internal Compliance Manager
12th May 2009
Case Reference Number IRQ0245397
I write further to our acknowledgment letter and regarding your request
Your request asked:
1) The list of the "parent departments" of the "seven civil
servants" on secondment to the Information Commissioner's Office,
as mentioned in the Government's Response to the House of Commons
Parliamentary Select Committee:
We currently have six secondees working in the Information Commissioners
Office. They are seconded to us from the Ministry of Justice, Department
of Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.
2) What exactly are the specific duties of these seven civil
servants within the Information Commissioner's Office ?
The secondees are performing the duties of a Senior FOI Complaints Officer
working within our Freedom of Information Operations Department. This
department is responsible for investigating complaints received under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations
Attached is copy of the generic job description for the Senior Complaints
3) How can the Information Commissioner's Office now be seen to
remain independent of Whitehall ?
The secondees have been asked to sign an agreement which states that:
Information to which the secondee has access during the course of the
secondment to the ICO must be treated as being private and confidential.
The information must not be disclosed to parties outside the ICO either
during or after the secondment period.
Furthermore Freedom of Information Operations Department has a procedures
manual which records the complaint process and is a resource for all
caseworkers whilst investigating complaints received. Within the
‘Investigation Stage’ of the manual and when referring to allocation
of complaints within teams its states:
‘When allocating casework to secondees the Team Leader should ensure
that no case is allocated to a secondee which involves their home
I hope this information is helpful, however If you are dissatisfied with
the response you have received and wish to request a review of our
decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled you
should write to the Internal Compliance Team at the address below or
e-mail [email address]
Your request for internal 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
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review 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 legislation. To make such an application, please write
to the Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information
Act or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
A copy of our review procedure is attached.
Internal Compliance Manager
2. mailto:[email address]
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