Portfolio Holder Decisions 2

Andy Platt made this Freedom of Information request to Nottingham City Council

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 successful.

Dear Nottingham City Council,

Please will you provide the following information under the Freedom of Information Act -

A copy of ALL portfolio holder decisions made after 1/4/07 and prior to decision number 727 which had not previously been published due to being exempt information under sch 12A of the Local Govt Act 1972.

Please note the following decision by the Information Commissioner which clearly states that sch 12A does not constitute a prohibition on publication which would trigger an exemption under s.44 of the FoIA.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/d...

Yours faithfully,

Andy Platt

Information Governance, Nottingham City Council

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your request for information. As the information you
requested is neither personal nor environmental it will be processed in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A response will be sent to you as soon as possible and in any case within
the statutory deadline which is 20 working days starting the working day
after this authority received your request.

If you should have any questions please contact this office on the number
below quoting your personal case reference which is IGO/10-7481.

Regards,

Andrew Goodfellow

Senior Information Governance Officer

Nottingham City Council | Loxley House | Station Street | Nottingham | NG2
3NG

Tel: 0115 8763855

show quoted sections

Information Governance, Nottingham City Council

Dear Mr. Platt,

Having regard to decision notice `Vale of Glamorgan Council vs ICO
(FS50090303)', guidance from the Information Commissioner and in
accordance with section 10(3) of the Freedom Of Information Act 2000
please accept this email as notification that we are extending the
deadline for responding to this request in order to carry out the multiple
public interest tests required by the application of Schedule 12A of the
Local Government Act 1972 in making our assessment as to the possible
application of section 44 of the Freedom of Information Act.

At this time our intention is to issue a formal response to you no later
than 28^th October 2010.

Please note that in accordance section 10(3) we reserve the right to
extend this deadline further up to a total of 60 working days from the
original deadline to respond.

We trust the above is clear.

Regards,

Andrew Goodfellow

Senior Information Governance Officer

Nottingham City Council | Loxley House | Station Street | Nottingham | NG2
3NG

Tel: 0115 8763855

Paying too much for the gym? Sign up to Flexible Fitness for just *28.95 a
month and get *50 cash back with no joining fee * saving you a total of
*80! [1]www.mynottingham.gov.uk/flexiblefitness

show quoted sections

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may
contain personal views which are not the views of
Nottingham City Council unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from
your system, do not use, copy or disclose the information
in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender
immediately. Please note that Nottingham City Council
monitors e-mails sent or received for the purposes of
ensuring compliance with its policies and procedures.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.
The contents of e-mails sent or received may have to be
disclosed if a relevant request is made under current
legislation, such as, but not limited to, the Data Protection
Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000

References

Visible links
1. blocked::http://www.mynottingham.gov.uk/flexiblef...
http://www.mynottingham.gov.uk/flexiblef...
http://www.mynottingham.gov.uk/flexiblef...

Dear Information Governance,

I do not accept your decision to extend the deadline to consider public interest tests around sch 12A.

This is because it is clear from the Vale of Glamorgan decision that sch 12A cannot act as a statutory bar to disclosure and, as such s.44 exemptions cannot apply.

Thherefore, should I not receive a full response within the statutory time limit, which I understand ends on Friday, I will be requesting a review of the refusal.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Platt

Information Governance, Nottingham City Council

Dear Mr. Platt,

As you are aware, schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 provides
for an exemption to release if it is in the public interest to do so.

This exemption provides the bar. The Vale of Glamorgan decision that you
refer to ensures that the public interest is examined at the time of the
request. Clearly, if the public interest in withholding the information
does not remain at that time then there is no bar and as a consequence
section 44 would not apply.

We are required to assess the public interest and the Freedom of
Information Act provides for an extension of time to conduct this process
as previously described to you.

I trust the above is clear.

Regards,

Andrew Goodfellow

Senior Information Governance Officer

Nottingham City Council | Loxley House | Station Street | Nottingham | NG2
3NG

Tel: 0115 8763855

show quoted sections

Dear Nottingham City Council,

IGO/10-7481

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Nottingham City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Portfolio Holder Decisions 2'.

Due to the fact that I have still not received a response within the time stated and the fact that I consider your reasons for the delay to be fundamentally misconceived I would be grateful if you could review your failure to provide the information requested

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/po...

Yours faithfully,

Andy Platt

Information Governance, Nottingham City Council

Dear Mr Platt

Re: Your request for an internal review of your request
Our ref: IGO/10-7481

Thank you for your email which was received by this office on the 29th October 2010.

I can confirm that all the relevant paperwork has been passed to Mrs Stephanie Pearson who is the officer responsible for reviewing all appeals under FOIA.

A response will be sent to you as soon as possible and in any case within the statutory deadline which is 20 working days starting the working day after this authority received your appeal.

If you should have any questions please contact me on the below number quoting your personal case reference which is IGO/10-7720.

Yours sincerely,

Glenn E. Estes
Information Governance Case Administrator

Information Governance
1st Floor
Loxley House
Station Street
Nottingham
NG2 3NG

Telephone: 0115 876 3855

show quoted sections

Dear Information Governance,

You are now out of time to respond to my request for a review as well as not providing an initial response. This is despite unilaterally giving yourselves extra time.

You are guilty of a disgraceful and utterly cynical contempt for the law. This matter will now be referred to the information commissioner and I will be pressing for the maximum enforcement provisions to be used including criminal prosecution.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Platt

Andy Platt left an annotation ()

Nottingham City Council has been sent the following letter by the Information Commissioner's Office. Note the date and time limits -

"18th January 2011
 
Case Reference Number FS50363330
 
Dear Sir/Madam
 
Your reference: IGO/10-7481
 
Complaint from Mr Andy Platt
 
The Information Commissioner has received a complaint from Mr Platt stating that there has been an unreasonable delay in carrying out a public interest test regarding their request of 02/09/10. We enclose a copy of the original request for your information.
 
Guidance
 
The Commissioner has issued guidance regarding the time limits on considering the public interest following requests for information (Good Practice Guidance 4). The Commissioner considers that public authorities should aim to respond fully to all requests within 20 working days. In cases where the public interest considerations are exceptionally complex it may be reasonable to take longer but, in our view, in no case should the total time exceed 40 working days.
 
A full copy of this guidance is available on our website (www.ico.gov.uk) under the Freedom of Information guidance section, or using the following link:
 
Good Practice Guidance 4: Time limits on considering the public interest
 
Enforcement
 
The Commissioner is keen to ensure that the time taken in such cases is no more than is necessary and that, unless there are exceptional circumstances, these time limits are adhered to.
 
It is a requirement of section 17 of the Act for decisions on the balance of the public interest to be made within a reasonable time. Significant or repeated unreasonable delays in this context will be monitored by the Enforcement team and, in some instances, this may lead to structured intervention.
 
More detail about the Commissioner’s enforcement strategy is available on our website under the Freedom of Information enforcement section, or using the following links:
 
FOI enforcement strategy
 
Actions
 
If it is the case that you have not responded to Mr Platt please do so within 20 working days of receipt of this letter. You should either provide the information or issue a refusal notice in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the Act.
 
If you have, in fact, already responded to Mr Platt, and believe that your response should already have been received we would recommend you contact them to confirm receipt if you have not already done so. 
 
If you need to contact us about this complaint please quote the reference number at the top of this letter.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Jim Dunn
Case Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office"

Needless to say I have heard nothing.

Dear Information Governance,

On 18 Jan you were ordered to respond within 20 working days by the Information Commissioner and this has long elapsed.

I believe that you are deliberately flouting the law, please respond immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Platt

Andy Platt left an annotation ()

The Information Commissioner has issued a decision upholding my complaint and ordering NCC to provide the information within 35 days. Text as follows -

"Reference: FS50363330

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Section 50)

Decision Notice

Date: 26 April 2011

Public Authority: Nottingham City Council
Address: Loxley House
Station Street
Nottingham
NG2 3NG

Complainant: Mr Andy Platt
Address:

Summary

The complainant requested information from Nottingham City Council for all
its portfolio decisions made after 1 April 2007 and prior to decision number
727 which had not previously been published. Nottingham City Council has
not provided a clear response to this request, despite the intervention of the
Commissioner. The Commissioner therefore reminds Nottingham City Council
of its obligations under the FOIA and requires that it either respond to the
request in accordance with the Act or issue a valid refusal notice under
section 17(1).

The Commissioner’s Role

1. The Commissioner’s duty is to decide whether a request for information
made to a public authority has been dealt with in accordance with the
requirements of Part 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
“Act”). This Notice sets out his decision.

The Request

2. On 2 September 2010 the complainant made the following request for
information:

“A copy of ALL portfolio holder decisions made after 1/4/07 and
prior to decision number 727 which had not previously been
published due to being exempt information under sch 12A of the
Local Govt Act 1972.

Please note the following decision by the Information Commissioner
which clearly states that sch 12A does not constitute a prohibition
on publication which would trigger an exemption under s.44 of the
FoIA.”

3. Nottingham City Council responded on 28 September 2010 explaining
that, as it was considering the “possible application” of section 44 of the
FOIA, it intended to extend the deadline for its response in order to
carry out the public interest tests required by the application of
Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

4. On 29 September 2010 the complainant wrote to Nottingham City
Council stating that he did not accept the extension of the deadline to
consider public interest tests around Schedule 12A of the Local
Government Act.

5. On the same day Nottingham City Council responded asserting that it
was required to assess the public interest and that it was allowed this
extension of time under the FOIA.

6. The complainant requested an internal review on 28 October 2010
concerning the handling of his request for information. The reasons he
gave for his request for an internal review were that he had received no
response and that he believed the reasons for the delay to be
“fundamentally misconceived”.

7. On 1 November 2010 Nottingham City Council acknowledged the
request for an internal review.

8. The complainant reminded Nottingham City Council on 26 November
2010 that it had neither responded to his request nor conducted an
internal review.

The Investigation

Scope of the case

9. On 2 December 2010 the complainant contacted the Commissioner to
complain about the way his request for information had been handled.
The complainant specifically asked the Commissioner to consider using
enforcement powers due to the lack of response and internal review.

Chronology

10. On 31 January 2011 the Commissioner wrote to Nottingham City
Council stating that the complainant had alleged that it had taken an
unreasonable length of time to respond.

11. Despite telephone calls on 21 March 2011 from the Commissioner and
replies from Nottingham City Council apologising and promising a
response by 25 March 2011, Nottingham City Council has failed to
respond to the complainant or the Commissioner.

Analysis

Procedural Requirements

12. Nottingham City Council has not handled the information request in
accordance with the Act, in that it has not issued a clear response to the
complainant confirming whether or not it is relying on section 44.

The Decision

13. The Commissioner’s decision is that the public authority did not deal
with the request for information in accordance with the Act in that it did
not provide a clear response in order to permit the Commissioner to
identify which exemption it was relying on.

Steps Required

14. The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following
steps to ensure compliance with the Act:

 Disclose the requested information to the complainant or
 Issue a valid refusal notice under section 17(1)

15. The public authority must take the steps required by this notice within
35 calendar days of the date of this notice.

Failure to comply

16. Failure to comply with the steps described above may result in the
Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court
(or the Court of Session in Scotland) pursuant to section 54 of the Act
and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.

Other matters

17. Although they do not form part of this Decision Notice the Commissioner
wishes to highlight the following matters of concern:

18. The Commissioner notes that Nottingham City Council informed the
complainant that it was required to assess the public interest and
therefore it was allowed this extension of time under the FOIA. The
Commissioner wishes to clarify that the extension of time permitted
under the Act to consider the public interest is only applicable in relation
to a qualified exemption a public authority has confirmed it is relying on
in accordance with section 17(2). The full text of this section is provided
in the legal annex attached.

19. As Nottingham City Council has not specifically confirmed to the
complainant that it is relying on a qualified exemption it is not entitled
to rely on an extension of time in this case to assess the public interest.

20. The Commissioner is monitoring Nottingham City Council’s compliance
with section 10 of the Act. "

Ben Harris left an annotation ()

A link to the official decision notice:
<http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...>

Information Governance, Nottingham City Council

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Platt

Further to Decision Notice FS50363330 please now find attached the
Authorities reply to your original request (IGO Ref 10-7481), subsequent
internal review (IGO Ref 10-7720) and complaint to the Information
Commissioners Office (IGO Ref 11-8127). Also attached are all relevant
Portfolio Holder Decisions.

Yours sincerely

Stephanie Pearson

Information Governance Manager

Nottingham City Council

Loxley House, Station Street,

Nottingham, NG2 3NG

Tel: 0044 115 87 63855

E-mail: [1][email address]

Web: [2]www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Nottingham Children**s Week, 28 May ** 5 June - join us for FREE and great
value events and activities for children and families to enjoy during May
half-term across the city [3]www.mynottingham.gov.uk/childrensweek

[4]Find us on [5]Find us on Facebook
[6]Follow us on [7]Follow us on twitter

show quoted sections

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may
contain personal views which are not the views of
Nottingham City Council unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from
your system, do not use, copy or disclose the information
in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender
immediately. Please note that Nottingham City Council
monitors e-mails sent or received for the purposes of
ensuring compliance with its policies and procedures.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.
The contents of e-mails sent or received may have to be
disclosed if a relevant request is made under current
legislation, such as, but not limited to, the Data Protection
Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/
3. blocked::http://www.mynottingham.gov.uk/childrens...
http://www.mynottingham.gov.uk/childrens...
4. http://www.facebook.com/mynottingham
5. http://www.facebook.com/mynottingham
6. http://www.twitter.com/mynottingham
7. http://www.twitter.com/mynottingham

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org