Public interest arguments

Jt Oakley made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner’s Office

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 Information Commissioner’s Office,

Reviewing a request for information, is the ICO obliged to consider a public interest argument if that is the argument put forward by a complainant who has been refused files by a government organisation?

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

5 November 2013

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0517966

 

Dear J T Oakley

Thank you for your correspondence which we received 25 October 2013, in
which you ask “Reviewing a request for information, is the ICO obliged to
consider a public interest argument if that is the argument put forward by
a complainant who has been refused files by a government organisation?”
 
When reviewing a request for information the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO) will consider all factors and the exemptions used by the
Government organisation to refuse to provide the information. If you
believe that an organisation has not complied with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA) by not considering public interest when
refusing to provide information then you may wish to make a complaint to
the ICO. This can be done by following the [1]link. We would need to see a
copy of the original request made to the organisation and the outcome of
the internal review (except in circumstances where the organisation has
failed to respond to your original request). The ICO would then carry out
an assessment as to whether we believe the organisation had complied with
the FOIA.
 
I hope this information is helpful. If you require any further
clarification on this matter please call me on my number below quoting
your case reference number.
 
For future enquiries you may wish to contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113
where you may receive a quicker response, or alternatively you may find
useful information on our website at [2]www.ico.org.uk.
 

Yours sincerely

Matthew Kay
Case Officer- First Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Direct Dial- 01625545282
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Information Commissioner’s Office's handling of my FOI request 'Public interest arguments'.

Review

Thank you.

My request covers both FoI and DPA requests for information , yet your answer only states FoI information.

Could you therefore comply with the terms of the request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Information Commissioner’s Office's handling of my FOI request 'Public interest arguments'.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

These are the terms of the request:

Reviewing a request for information, is the ICO obliged to consider
a public interest argument if that is the argument put forward by a
complainant who has been refused files by a government
organisation?

The answer could be as short as 'Yes,' or 'No'.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Part Clarification this request:

The public interest test: Freedom of Information Act- ICO

'If there is a plausible suspicion of wrongdoing on the part of the public authority, this may create a public interest in disclosure. And even where this is not the case, there is a public interest in releasing information to provide a full picture.'.

Does this apply to cases of negligence by the NHS?

Does the apply to the DPA , as well as the FoI?

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. If you have sent us a complaint we
may need specific information from you before we are able to consider it. 
You can find out the type of information we would need from the
[1]complaints section of our website. 

 If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
allocated to the person handling your case.

If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
original correspondence and will be considered when your case is
allocated. Please note that further correspondence may not be viewed until
your case is allocated to a case officer.

 If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on
0303 123  1113 or [2]01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate
number.

 We will not respond to correspondence where the ICO is copied in. If
you have a matter you would like to discuss with us please call our
Helpline on the number above.

         Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner's Office

 ICO Customer Contact Department

 

Making a request for information held by the ICO?

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit our [3]Information about us section of our website.

Equality and Diversity

The Information Commissioner’s Office is committed to providing equality
for all and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. We
have produced a questionnaire to help us to produce a profile of our
customers. The questionnaire can be found on our [4]Equality and Diversity
webpage.

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our quarterly newsletter can be found at
[5]Information Commissioner's Office enewsletter.

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [6]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
2. file:///tmp/blocked::tel:01625 545745
3. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us.aspx
4. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/how_we_work/equality_and_diversity.aspx
5. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resources/enewsletter.aspx
6. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

7 November 2013

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0517966

 

Dear J T Oakley

Thank you for your correspondence which we received 5 November 2013, in
which you ask:
 
'If there is a plausible suspicion of wrongdoing on the part of the public
authority, this may create a public interest in disclosure. And even where
this is not the case, there is a public interest in releasing information
to provide a full picture.'.
 
‘Does this apply to cases of negligence by the NHS?
 
As explained in my previous email, if you believe that an organisation
(including the NHS) has not complied with the FOIA by not considering
public interest when refusing to provide information where a valid FOIA
request has been made, then you may wish to make a complaint to the ICO.
This can be done by following this [1]link. We would need to see a copy of
the original request made to the organisation and the outcome of the
internal review (except in circumstances where the organisation has failed
to respond to your original request). The ICO would then decide whether we
believe the organisation had complied with the FOIA.
 
‘Does the apply to the DPA , as well as the FOI?’
 
The DPA does not mention ‘public interest’ regarding the release of
personal data and is ‘purpose blind’. If an organisation receives a
subject access request the individual concerned should be provided with
all the information to which they are entitled regardless of any wider
issues.
 
I hope this information is helpful. If you require any further
clarification on this matter please call me on my number below quoting
your case reference number.
 
For future enquiries you may wish to contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113
where you may receive a quicker response, or alternatively you may find
useful information on our website at [2]www.ico.org.uk.
 
 

Yours sincerely

Matthew Kay
Case Officer- First Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Direct Dial- 01625545282
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Information Commissioner’s Office's handling of my FOI request 'Public interest arguments'.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Could you therefore confirm that an illegal act by a contractor, working for a government department, ... And entering information on a persons file in an illegal manner..... Is covered by the DPA, so that
a person with a subject access request asking for their data on file may not receive this information.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. If you have sent us a complaint we
may need specific information from you before we are able to consider it. 
You can find out the type of information we would need from the
[1]complaints section of our website. 

 If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
allocated to the person handling your case.

If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
original correspondence and will be considered when your case is
allocated. Please note that further correspondence may not be viewed until
your case is allocated to a case officer.

 If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on
0303 123  1113 or [2]01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate
number.

 We will not respond to correspondence where the ICO is copied in. If
you have a matter you would like to discuss with us please call our
Helpline on the number above.

         Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner's Office

 ICO Customer Contact Department

 

Making a request for information held by the ICO?

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit our [3]Information about us section of our website.

Equality and Diversity

The Information Commissioner’s Office is committed to providing equality
for all and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. We
have produced a questionnaire to help us to produce a profile of our
customers. The questionnaire can be found on our [4]Equality and Diversity
webpage.

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our quarterly newsletter can be found at
[5]Information Commissioner's Office enewsletter.

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [6]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
2. file:///tmp/blocked::tel:01625 545745
3. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us.aspx
4. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/how_we_work/equality_and_diversity.aspx
5. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resources/enewsletter.aspx
6. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Dear casework,

The Commissioner observes that section 15(1)(e) has been restricted by section 15(1)(1B), which explains that disclosure can only be made to “any persons to whom he thinks it should be disclosed in the interests of the health and safety of patients...”

Has the Commissiober ever made a decision to release protected informations in the interests of the health and safety of NHS patients, and if so please could you tell me the decision number and if it is available to read.

Both from this information on the FoI Act above and after any DPA subject access request.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

14 November 2013

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Request for Information
 
Thank you for your correspondence received 12 November 2013. 
 
Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will respond promptly, and no later than the 11
December 2013 which is 20 working days from the day after we received your
request.
 
Should you wish to reply to this email, please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that the information
is added directly to your case. However, please be aware that this is an
automated process; the information will not be read by a member of our
staff until your case is allocated to a request handler.
 
If you require any further advice or assistance please contact me on the
number below or on our Helpline on 0303 123 1113.

Yours sincerely
 
Michael Downs
Information Governance Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 01625 545332
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

18 November 2013

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0517966

 

Dear J T Oakley

Thank you for your correspondence which we received 11 November 2013, in
which you ask:
 
'“I am writing to request an internal review of Information Commissioner?s
Office's handling of my FOI request 'Public interest arguments.
 
Reviewing a request for information, is the ICO obliged to consider a
public interest argument if that is the argument put forward by a
complainant who has been refused files by a government organisation? The
answer could be as short as 'Yes,' or 'No'.”
 
With regards to your question as to whether or not the ICO is obliged to
consider a public interest argument this would depend on whether or not
the exemption applied by the public authority when the request was
refused, was a qualified or absolute exemption. If the exemption is
qualified then a public interest test may need to be carried out. I have
attached further information via this [1]link

You also state “My request covers both  FoI and DPA requests for
information , yet your answer only states FoI  information.”
 
In my previous correspondence I addressed this question with the response
provided below:

‘Does this apply to the DPA , as well as the FOI?’
 
The DPA does not mention ‘public interest’ regarding the release of
personal data and is ‘purpose blind’. If an organisation receives a
subject access request the individual concerned should be provided with
all the information to which they are entitled regardless of any wider
issues.
 
In your correspondence, you ask for an internal review of the ICO’s
response; your original correspondence was not treated as an FOI request
and was instead dealt with through our normal course of business process
as an enquiry. This is because your questions did not relate to
information held in a recorded format.
 
I hope this information is helpful. If you require any further
clarification on this matter please call me on my number below quoting
your case reference number.
 
For future enquiries you may wish to contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113
where you may receive a quicker response, or alternatively you may find
useful information on our website at [2]www.ico.org.uk.
 

Yours sincerely

Matthew Kay
Case Officer- First Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Direct Dial- 01625545282

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

qualified then a public interest test may need to be carried out. I have
attached further information via this [1]link,,

NO LINK.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. If you have sent us a complaint we
may need specific information from you before we are able to consider it. 
You can find out the type of information we would need from the
[1]complaints section of our website. 

 If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
allocated to the person handling your case.

If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
original correspondence and will be considered when your case is
allocated. Please note that further correspondence may not be viewed until
your case is allocated to a case officer.

 If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on
0303 123  1113 or [2]01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate
number.

 We will not respond to correspondence where the ICO is copied in. If
you have a matter you would like to discuss with us please call our
Helpline on the number above.

         Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner's Office

 ICO Customer Contact Department

 

Making a request for information held by the ICO?

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit our [3]Information about us section of our website.

Equality and Diversity

The Information Commissioner’s Office is committed to providing equality
for all and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. We
have produced a questionnaire to help us to produce a profile of our
customers. The questionnaire can be found on our [4]Equality and Diversity
webpage.

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our quarterly newsletter can be found at
[5]Information Commissioner's Office enewsletter.

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [6]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
2. file:///tmp/blocked::tel:01625 545745
3. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us.aspx
4. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/how_we_work/equality_and_diversity.aspx
5. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resources/enewsletter.aspx
6. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

21 November 2013

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0517966

 

Dear J T Oakley

Thank you for your correspondence which we received 18 November 2013, in
which you quote my correspondence:
 
'“If the exemption is qualified then a public interest test may need to be
carried out. I have attached further information via this [1]link”

I have provided the URL here:

[2]www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/the_public_interest_test.ashx

I apologise if you have been unable to access the link which was contained
within the work “link”. It appears that the the ‘What Do They Know’
software seems to pull the link out from the text, create a footnote
reference, and list the links at the bottom of the document with the
footnote reference. But you should be able to access the link at the
bottom of the email. However in case you are still unable to access the
link I have included the URL of the actual web page you need: you can
paste this into your browser in order to access the appropriate
information.
 
I hope this information is helpful. If you require any further
clarification on this matter please call me on my number below quoting
your case reference number.
 
For future enquiries you may wish to contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113
where you may receive a quicker response, or alternatively you may find
useful information on our website at [3]www.ico.org.uk.
 

Yours sincerely

Matthew Kay
Case Officer- First Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Direct Dial- 01625545282
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you yes,

Technology confounds me too..sympathies.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. If you have sent us a complaint we
may need specific information from you before we are able to consider it. 
You can find out the type of information we would need from the
[1]complaints section of our website. 

 If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
allocated to the person handling your case.

If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
original correspondence and will be considered when your case is
allocated. Please note that further correspondence may not be viewed until
your case is allocated to a case officer.

 If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on
0303 123  1113 or [2]01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate
number.

 We will not respond to correspondence where the ICO is copied in. If
you have a matter you would like to discuss with us please call our
Helpline on the number above.

         Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner's Office

 ICO Customer Contact Department

 

Making a request for information held by the ICO?

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit our [3]Information about us section of our website.

Equality and Diversity

The Information Commissioner’s Office is committed to providing equality
for all and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. We
have produced a questionnaire to help us to produce a profile of our
customers. The questionnaire can be found on our [4]Equality and Diversity
webpage.

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our quarterly newsletter can be found at
[5]Information Commissioner's Office enewsletter.

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [6]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
2. file:///tmp/blocked::tel:01625 545745
3. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us.aspx
4. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/how_we_work/equality_and_diversity.aspx
5. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resources/enewsletter.aspx
6. file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

22nd November 2013

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Further to our acknowledgement of 14 November 2013 we are writing to
request clarification of your request as detailed below.

On 12 November 2013 you asked:

"The Commissioner observes that section 15(1)(e) has been restricted by
section 15(1)(1B), which explains that disclosure can only be made to ?any
persons to whom he thinks it should be disclosed in the interests of the
health and safety of patients...?

Has the Commissiober ever made a decision to release protected
informations in the interests of the health and safety of NHS patients,
and if so please could you tell me the decision number and if it is
available to read.

Both from this information on the FoI Act above and after any DPA subject
access request."

It is not clear which legislation and section you are referring to in your
request above.It is also not clear what you mean by "protected
information" and "Both from this information on the FoI Act above and
after any DPA subject access request."

Once you provide us with a clarification we will begin processing your
request. 

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer
 

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT - PERSONAL

 

22 November 2013

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0520182

 

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your email of 11 November 2013, regarding a question you
have about ‘subject access’. I apologise for the delay in my response.
 
This is being responded to on a new enquiry case reference number as shown
above.
 
You ask:
 
 

* Could you therefore confirm that an illegal act by a contractor,
working for a government department, ... And entering information on a
persons file in an illegal manner..... Is covered by the DPA, so that
a person with a subject access request asking for their data on file
may not receive this information?

My understanding of your enquiry is:

 

* A subject access request has been submitted to a data controller
* The individual was unhappy with the response, as personal data
provided to the data controller by a data processor was not included

As you may be aware, the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) allows an
individual to access their own personal data. The right of subject access
means that an individual can make a request under section 7 of the DPA to
any organisation processing their personal data asking to be supplied with
copies of that data.
 
The following link to our ‘Subject access code of practice’ has been
developed to provide guidance for organisations when dealing with subject
access requests:
 
[1]http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...
 
If you are dissatisfied with the way that an organisation has handled your
subject access request, or believe that not all of the information you are
entitled to has been sent. You may wish to consider bringing a complaint
to this office providing evidence to support your complaint.

To assist you in making a complaint you can use the complaints assistant
on our website through the following link:

[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints
 
I hope this information is helpful to you. If we can be of any further
assistance please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 1113, quoting your case
reference number. You will also find useful information on our website at
[3]www.ico.org.uk.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Laura Bendall
Case Officer
Advice Services Team
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I am asking that, in the interests of Public health and safety the ICO has ever disclosed protected FoI and DPA information to NHS complainants (complaining about the inability to access information held on NHS records) , or if the privacy interests of private companies employed by the NHS are paramount over complainants wishing to access information in order to safeguard patients.

Since the NHS is to employ more private companies to treat patients ( eg BUPA ) has there been a decision notice in which the ICO has weighed up the privacy of external companies against the safety of patients - and decided that the health and safety of patients is more important than protecting the privacy of a company employed by the NHS? Ie that company not being a government organisation.

Or any case making this sort if decision?

FS50304794

Section 26

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. If you have sent us a complaint we
may need specific information from you before we are able to consider it. 
You can find out the type of information we would need from the
[1]complaints section of our website. 

 If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
allocated to the person handling your case.

If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
original correspondence and will be considered when your case is
allocated. Please note that further correspondence may not be viewed until
your case is allocated to a case officer.

 If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on
0303 123  1113 or [2]01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate
number.

 We will not respond to correspondence where the ICO is copied in. If
you have a matter you would like to discuss with us please call our
Helpline on the number above.

         Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner's Office

 ICO Customer Contact Department

 

Making a request for information held by the ICO?

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit our [3]Information about us section of our website.

Equality and Diversity

The Information Commissioner’s Office is committed to providing equality
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have produced a questionnaire to help us to produce a profile of our
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Our newsletter

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Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT - PERSONAL

 

22 January 2014

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0520182

 

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your further correspondence of 22 November 2013. I apologise
for the delay in responding to you.
 
You ask:
 
 

* I am asking that, in the interests of Public health and safety the ICO
has ever disclosed protected FoI and DPA information to NHS
complainants (complaining about the inability to access information
held on NHS records) , or if the privacy interests of private
companies employed by the NHS are paramount over complainants wishing
to access information in order to safeguard patients

 
I have addressed part of this question previously on case reference
ENQ0517965; and would like to reiterate that the role of the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to uphold information rights in the public
interest. We give guidance to citizens and organisations, rule on eligible
complaints, and take appropriate action when the law is broken.
 
You also ask:
 
 

* Since the NHS is to employ more private companies to treat patients (
eg BUPA ) has there been a decision notice in which the ICO has
weighed up the privacy of external companies against the safety of
patients - and decided that the health and safety of patients is more
important than protecting the privacy of a company employed by the
NHS? Ie that company not being a government organisation

 
We publish the decision notices on our website and they can be searched
using various criteria. You can access this via the following link:
 
[1]http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...
 
I hope this information is helpful to you. If we can be of any further
assistance please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 1113, quoting your case
reference number. You will also find useful information on our website at
[2]www.ico.org.uk.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Laura Bendall
Case Officer
Advice Services Team
 

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you.

But I've already searched the DN facility ....and can't find a single case.

I was asking for your help to demonstrate the the ICO does occasionally put the interests of the public over that of private companies secrecy in NHS negligence cases.

And if so.. How, and why, did it come to the decision.

Therefore, it seems that the ICO has never made a decision ...on public interest grounds....favouring a requestor over a private company Involving NHS negligence

So thank you for establishing that.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
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Dear casework,

I will try to clarify this again.

I am still seeking to understand the role that the ICO has in the provision of information - protected by the Information Acts - that private companies have placed on government records in the course of their business.

I am asking that if an external company, employed by the NHS, or any other government organisation, is shown to be potentially breaking the law on the records the ICO is asked to provide to a requestor, is this potential illegality assessed when a requestor asks for all records involving this company under either FoI or DP?

Or does the ICO just follow the Information Acts without considering, - or assessing- any illegality, on record, by private companies?

Does the 'public interest' automatically override illegal acts by private companies on public record?

Or are private companies protected by the information acts, even though they might be acting illegally?

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

new casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 
This message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence.
Please do not reply to this email.

 

If you have submitted a new complaint

 

We aim to provide an initial response and case reference number within 30
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We aim to respond to requests for advice within 14 days.

 

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This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
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Dear new casework,

Please only reply via this website on all FoI requests.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT - PERSONAL

 

31 January 2014

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0520182

 

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your further response on 22 January 2014, regarding decision
notices.
 
You state; ‘I was asking for your help to demonstrate that the ICO does
occasionally put the interests of the public over that of private
companies secrecy in NHS negligence cases.’
 
I would like to refer you to case reference number ENQ0517967, where the
role and scopes of this office were clearly explained and states; ‘as a
regulator we favour neither party and issue a decision based on the
evidence provided.’
 
It goes on further to state; ‘it is not part of the Commissioner’s role to
resolve disputes between individuals and organisations. The Commissioner
is there to ensure compliance with the legislation he regulates.’
 
I hope this information is helpful to you. If I can be of any further
assistance please contact me directly. You will also find useful
information on our website at [1]www.ico.org.uk.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Laura Bendall
Case Officer
Advice Services Team

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you for your reference but it doesn't seem to answer the request.

That request was asking if there was parity between a requestor and the government organisation which the requestor was making an enquiry about.

Please re-read my request.

It regards whether or not, if an ICO investigator should read of an FOI or DP Act illegality - within the files presented during a case, what is the guidance given to the investigator in dealing with this request?

Is any breaking if the law ignored by the requestor because it is not relevant to the direct request?

Or does the ICO deal with matters subsidiary to the request?

For instance - by writing to the law breaker pointing out the illegality?

I have already asked for the internal Guidance given to caseworkers on making DP decisions - other than the Data Protection Act - so now the two requests are asking for the same material.

+ Please could you therefore provide the internal Guidance given to caseworkers on DP requests.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. If you have sent us a complaint we
may need specific information from you before we are able to consider it. 
You can find out the type of information we would need from the
[1]complaints section of our website. 

 If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
allocated to the person handling your case.

If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
original correspondence and will be considered when your case is
allocated. Please note that further correspondence may not be viewed until
your case is allocated to a case officer.

 If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on
0303 123  1113 or [2]01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate
number.

 We will not respond to correspondence where the ICO is copied in. If
you have a matter you would like to discuss with us please call our
Helpline on the number above.

         Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner's Office

 ICO Customer Contact Department

 

Making a request for information held by the ICO?

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit our [3]Information about us section of our website.

Equality and Diversity

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for all and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. We
have produced a questionnaire to help us to produce a profile of our
customers. The questionnaire can be found on our [4]Equality and Diversity
webpage.

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our quarterly newsletter can be found at
[5]Information Commissioner's Office enewsletter.

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [6]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

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Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

 

28 February 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0530164

 

Dear Jt Oakley

Request for Information
 
Thank you for your correspondence dated 31 January 2014 in which there was
a request for information. I apologise for not having acknowledging
receipt of this correspondence previously.
 
I will deal with your correspondence of 31 January 2014 in two parts.
 
 
Response to your request for our internal guidance
 
The following part of your correspondence contains a request for copies of
our internal guidance.
 
“I have already asked for the internal Guidance given to caseworkers on
making DP decisions - other than the Data Protection Act - so now the two
requests are asking for the same material.
 
+ Please could you therefore provide the internal Guidance given to
caseworkers on DP requests.”
 
It is not clear to me which other request you are referring to, however
that does not appear to be relevant as you have set out your request in
this correspondence.
 
We have considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA).
 
We consider this request to be for a copy of the procedures we have for
dealing with cases about complaints brought to us under the Data
Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This information is available via the ICO’s
website, and as this is already accessible to you it is therefore are
exempt under section 21 of the FOIA. Under section 21 of the FOIA we are
not required to provide information in response to a request if it is
already reasonably accessible to you from another source. However we will
of course direct you to where this information is available.

The link to our policies and procedures section of our website is given
below.
 
[1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/policies_and_...
 
On this page we consider the following document provides the information
you have requested.
 
[2]Data protection casework procedures
 
The following related information regarding our approach to regulatory
action under both the DPA and the FOIA may also be useful.
 
[3]Data protection regulatory action policy 
[4]Freedom of information regulatory action policy
 
If however this is not the information you are seeking then please
provided us with clarification on this so that we can consider matter this
further.
 
Complaints procedure
 
I hope that this information satisfies your FOIA request. However if you
are dissatisfied with this response and you wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Governance Department at the address
below or e-mail [5][email address].
 
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
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
Commissioner.
 
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 First Contact Team, at the address above 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 available [6]here.
 
 
Response to the remaining questions in your correspondence
 
I will now move on to the remaining content of your correspondence of 31
January 2014.
 
It appears to me that from this and other previous correspondence within
this ‘what do they know’ address that you are trying to understand how we
would deal with particular situations.
 
Where recorded information is not already held in relation to a specific
question then this will then be best dealt with as an enquiry rather than
as a FOIA request. Indeed, the FOIA does not require the generation of any
information which is not already recorded. In this case, I consider that
your questions are seeking an explanation of how we would act in a
particular situation and thus are best dealt with as an enquiry, and
indeed this what we have tried to do. However as you appear dissatisfied I
will provide a further response. While this is not something our
Information Governance team would normally do as I am responding to your
FOIA request I have chosen to address the rest of your correspondence at
the same time.
 
Please note that enquiries relating to how we would deal with a specific
set of circumstances cannot always be answered in a simplistic way. This
is because providing a complete response often requires addressing every
different possible scenario that may come up in those circumstances. Even
a small change in the circumstances can lead to a large change in the
outcome of a case.
 
I will provide advice embedded within your text as follows.
 
“Thank you for your reference but it doesn't seem to answer the request.
 
That request was asking if there was parity between a requestor and the
government organisation which the requestor was making an enquiry about.
 
Please re-read my request.”
 
Although you do not refer to enquiries about anything in particular I can
advise that in order to meet our role in overseeing the legislation we are
responsible we act independently and we do not act on behalf of others as
this could prejudice our position. In regard to responding to enquiries in
particular we are happy to provide advice about the legislation we oversee
to all parties and the guidance we provide on our website or in writing or
via our Helpline is available to all.
 
“It regards whether or not, if an ICO investigator should read of an FOI
or DP Act  illegality - within the files presented during a case, what is
the guidance given to the investigator in dealing with this request?”
 
While your question is not entirely clear to me I assume that you are
referring to us identifying whether a criminal offence has been committed
under the DPA or the FOIA.
 
Please note that there are only a couple of criminal offences within the
DPA and the FOIA and the vast majority of all complaints falling under
these Acts do not relate to a criminal offence. Outside of these few
offences breaches of the principles of the DPA and the rights to access
information under the FOIA are not criminal offences. The vast majority of
all complaints we received will be addressed under section 42 of the DPA
or section 50 of the FOIA as appropriate.
 
While we have directed you to our ‘Data protection casework procedures’
please note that no workable procedures can possibly cover every
possibility. Many decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis upon the
individual circumstances specific to that case.  Therefore when dealing
with complaints under the DPA or the FOIA our cases officers have a number
of resources available to them in addition to the casework procedures and
the Data protection Act itself, such as their training, experience, and
the support or senior and/or more experienced colleagues. In regard to the
criminal offences under the DPA and the FOIA they can seek advice from
colleagues in our Criminal Enforcement team who have specific experience
in such matters.
 
“Is any breaking if the law ignored by the requestor because it is not
relevant to the direct request?”
 
Unfortunately I do not understand what you are asking here, however if you
can provide sufficient clarification then we will be able provide you with
a response.
 
“Or does the ICO deal with matters subsidiary to the request?
 
For instance - by writing to the law breaker pointing out the illegality?”
 
Again I find it difficult to understand what you are specifically asking
for here. However I assume it is again referring to us identifying whether
a criminal offence has been committed under the DPA or the FOIA.
 
I can advise that when dealing with a complaint under either the DPA or
the FOIA we will consider all the information available to us in regard to
assessing an organisation’s compliance with this legislation. Where we
identify a concern under the legislation we oversee we will take the
appropriate action in line with our procedures. This would still be the
case even if the specific issue was not part of the complaint brought to
us by the complainant. In terms of taking enforcement action please refer
to the relevant links above for our regulatory action policies under the
DPA and under the FOIA.

Yours sincerely
 
Trevor Craig
Lead Information Governance Officer
01625 545540
Information Commissioner’s Office

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you very much for your considered response.

I have found it helpful.But as a novice, looking for an explanation, I will try and clarify my request.

1. I'm not sure where the 'criminality' that you specify is applicable to my request. I would have thought that breaking an information Act would be breaching a civil law.

Is there any information on file which would define which type of law is appropriate to the circumstance to breaking information laws?

Criminal - as you suggest, or civil?

And in what circumstances would there be a criminal breach of the information acts?

2. What would happen if the ICO found a government body deliberately misleading a requestor and withholding due information?

Would the ICO just warn the public body, or has it the power to take the the organisation to court if the breach of the Act is serious enough?

3. If the organisation is a consistent offender, I understand that the ICO publicly monitors the organisation, but at what point would it take further action if a government organisation consistently breaks the Information Acts? Is there a rule that the ICO applies in order to identify the exact point that is 'unacceptable'?

4. Has the ICO ever taken legal action against a government body?
If so, what was the name of the case/s?

5. Other laws...as a hypothetical case:

If, for instance, a commercial body, working for a government organisation advises a health authority to withhold information, but the law states that the health board should provide that information ( under the Access to Health Records Act 1990 - medical files) and the ICO identifies this breach of the law during investigation of a complaint from a member if the public , does the ICO take this breach of another Act into account when making its Decision?

6. Or does the ICO just any ignore a breach of the Access to Health Records Act 1990, on the grounds that it's remit only goes as far as the information acts?

:::

I am requesting this information as it seems to becoming a more and more prevalent tactic that medical files are just withheld from potential NHS complainants - simply to stop them making complaints.

As the tactic seems to be 'unpoliced', it is a relatively easy strategy to maintain to the detriment of the public interest.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

[1]Making a request for information held by the ICO

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Dear casework,

I have discovered the prosecutions page on your website, so no need to direct me to that.
http://ico.org.uk/enforcement/prosecutions

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Dear casework,

Review please:

Pleae could you answer the request above.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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not reply to this email.

 

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If you have requested advice

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If your correspondence relates to an existing case

This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
officer.

 

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Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

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Information Commissioner’s Office

2nd April 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

 
Thank you for your correspondence received on 25 March 2014. In which you
said:” Review please: Pleae could you answer the request above.”
 
 
Firstly, in response to your query, I have reviewed all the correspondence
we exchanged with you via the link
[1][FOI #182041 email].
 
As you will see from the timeline provided below and the correspondence
you exchanged with my colleague Ms Bendall, it seems that after receiving
our request for clarification, you engaged with Ms Bendall through the
enquiry cases on which she provided you with answers to your queries.
Your response of 22 November 2013 was done through replying to Ms
Bendall's email as such it was automatically scanned to Ms Bendall's
enquiry case.
 
 
Finally, we are committed to assisting you the best we can. In order to
do so we would be grateful if you could indicate clearly in the subject
area of your reply emails which correspondence you are responding to
quoting the reference number of the case. Your enquiries should be sent
from a private email address to [2][email address
 
 
I hope the clarification above is of assistance

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead information Governance Officer
 
correspondence via whatdotheyknow link request-182041-424a546b
 
 
 
Your correspondence of 14 November
 
 
“The Commissioner observes that section 15(1)(e) has been restricted by
section 15(1)(1B), which explains that disclosure can only be made to any
persons to whom he thinks it should be disclosed in the interests of the
health and safety of patients...?
 
Has the Commissiober ever made a decision to release protected
informations in the interests of the health and safety of NHS patients,
and if so please could you tell me the decision number and if it is
available to read.
 
Both from this information on the FoI Act above and after any DPA subject
access request. “
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ICO’s request for clarification 22 November 13
 
 
Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Further to our acknowledgement of 14 November 2013 we are writing to
request clarification of your request as detailed below.

On 12 November 2013 you asked:

"The Commissioner observes that section 15(1)(e) has been restricted by
section 15(1)(1B), which explains that disclosure can only be made to ?any
persons to whom he thinks it should be disclosed in the interests of the
health and safety of patients...?

Has the Commissiober ever made a decision to release protected
informations in the interests of the health and safety of NHS patients,
and if so please could you tell me the decision number and if it is
available to read.

Both from this information on the FoI Act above and after any DPA subject
access request."

It is not clear which legislation and section you are referring to in your
request above. It is also not clear what you mean by "protected
information" and "Both from this information on the FoI Act above and
after any DPA subject access request."

Once you provide us with a clarification we will begin processing your
request. 

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer
 

 

 

ICO’s response to a related query

22 November 2013

PROTECT - PERSONAL

22 November 2013
Case Reference Number ENQ0520182

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your email of 11 November 2013, regarding a question you
have about ‘subject access’. I apologise for the delay in my response.
 
This is being responded to on a new enquiry case reference number as shown
above.
 
You ask:
 
 
* Could you therefore confirm that an illegal act by a contractor,
working for a government department, ... And entering information on a
persons file in an illegal manner..... Is covered by the DPA, so that
a person with a subject access request asking for their data on file
may not receive this information?

My understanding of your enquiry is:

 
* A subject access request has been submitted to a data controller
* The individual was unhappy with the response, as personal data
provided to the data controller by a data processor was not included

As you may be aware, the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) allows an
individual to access their own personal data. The right of subject access
means that an individual can make a request under section 7 of the DPA to
any organisation processing their personal data asking to be supplied with
copies of that data.
 
The following link to our ‘Subject access code of practice’ has been
developed to provide guidance for organisations when dealing with subject
access requests:
 
[1][3]http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...
 
If you are dissatisfied with the way that an organisation has handled your
subject access request, or believe that not all of the information you are
entitled to has been sent. You may wish to consider bringing a complaint
to this office providing evidence to support your complaint.

To assist you in making a complaint you can use the complaints assistant
on our website through the following link:

[2][4]http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints
 
I hope this information is helpful to you. If we can be of any further
assistance please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 1113, quoting your case
reference number. You will also find useful information on our website at
[3]www.ico.org.uk.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Laura Bendall
Case Officer
Advice Services Team
 

22 November your response to Ms Bendall
Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I am asking that, in the interests of Public health and safety the
ICO has ever disclosed protected FoI and DPA information to NHS
complainants (complaining about the inability to access information
held on NHS records) , or if the privacy interests of private
companies employed by the NHS are paramount over complainants
wishing to access information in order to safeguard patients.

Since the NHS is to employ more private companies to treat patients
( eg BUPA ) has there been a decision notice in which the ICO has
weighed up the privacy of external companies against the safety of
patients - and decided that the health and safety of patients is
more important than protecting the privacy of a company employed by
the NHS? Ie that company not being a government organisation.

Or any case making this sort if decision?

FS50304794

Section 26

[5]http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley
 
 
ICO’s response to your questions raised on 22 November 13

22 January 2014
PROTECT - PERSONAL

 

22 January 2014

 

Case Reference Number ENQ0520182

 

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your further correspondence of 22 November 2013. I apologise
for the delay in responding to you.
 
You ask:
 
 * I am asking that, in the interests of Public health and safety the ICO
has ever disclosed protected FoI and DPA information to NHS
complainants (complaining about the inability to access information
held on NHS records) , or if the privacy interests of private
companies employed by the NHS are paramount over complainants wishing to
access information in order to safeguard patients

 
I have addressed part of this question previously on case reference
ENQ0517965; and would like to reiterate that the role of the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to uphold information rights in the public
interest. We give guidance to citizens and organisations, rule on eligible
complaints, and take appropriate action when the law is broken.
 
You also ask:
 
 

* Since the NHS is to employ more private companies to treat patients (
eg BUPA ) has there been a decision notice in which the ICO has
weighed up the privacy of external companies against the safety of
patients - and decided that the health and safety of patients is more
important than protecting the privacy of a company employed by the
NHS? Ie that company not being a government organisation

 
We publish the decision notices on our website and they can be searched
using various criteria. You can access this via the following link:
 
[1][6]http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...
 
I hope this information is helpful to you. If we can be of any further
assistance please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 1113, quoting your case
reference number. You will also find useful information on our website at
[2]www.ico.org.uk.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Laura Bendall
Case Officer
Advice Services Team
 
 
 
 

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

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5. http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...
6. http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Please could you answer the request,

I am still no wiser if the ICO has ever released information to a requestor when the ICO has decided that information withheld from the requestor is relevant to an NHS case - say of proven negligence within the NHS- in spite if having to maintain the secrecy if private contractors to the NHS under FoI and DP.

:::

Advising me to look at your site brings up no responses on the subject, so please could you direct me to a case link/s because just advising me to look at a site is equivalent to saying:

' We don't know ....rifle through our filing cabinet and see if you can find anything'. Which is not specific enough to answer the enquiry.

However...

The simple answer is:

Yes..the ICO has put public health over the secrecy of NHS private contractors, and decided to release files in the public interest.
This is a link to a website on this very point.

::::

Or ...No.

Due to the present laws, the ICO has no legal power to decide that public health is more important than the secrecy avoided to private companies under FoI and SAR's.

And thus the ICO has never made a decision in favour of the public health by releasing NHS files that which a private contractor has determined may not be released.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do
not reply to this email.

 

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This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
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Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

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Information Commissioner’s Office

23rd April 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Thank you for your reply.
 
You initial request on 22 November 2014 was for:
 
“The Commissioner observes that section 15(1)(e) has been restricted by
section 15(1)(1B), which explains that disclosure can only be made to any
persons to whom he thinks it should be disclosed in the interests of the
health and safety of patients...?
 
Has the Commissiober ever made a decision to release protected
informations in the interests of the health and safety of NHS patients,
and if so please could you tell me the decision number and if it is
available to read.
 
Both from this information on the FoI Act above and after any DPA subject
access request”
 
 
My understanding from your response of 2 April 2014 is that you would like
us to consider the following received on 2 April 2014 as your
clarification:
 
“I am still no wiser if the ICO has ever released information to a
requestor when the ICO has decided that information withheld from the
requestor is relevant to an NHS case - say of proven negligence within the
NHS- in spite if having to maintain the secrecy if private contractors to
the NHS under FoI and DP.
 
Advising me to look at your site brings up no responses on the subject, so
please could you direct me to a case link/s because just advising me to
look at a site is equivalent to saying:
 
' We don't know ....rifle through our filing cabinet and see if you can
find anything'. Which is not specific enough to answer the enquiry.
 
However...
 
The simple answer is:
 
Yes..the ICO has put public health over the secrecy of NHS private
contractors, and decided to release files in the public interest.
This is a link to a website on this very point.
 
::::
 
Or ...No.
 
Due to the present laws, the ICO has no legal power to decide that public
health is more important than the secrecy avoided to private companies
under FoI and SAR's.
 
And thus the ICO has never made a decision in favour of the public health
by releasing NHS files that which a private contractor has determined may
not be released.”
 
 
Unfortunately, we are still not clear what information you are seeking.
Our understanding is that you are requesting decision notices (DNs) about
public authorities in the health sector. As such Ms Bendall provided you
with a link to our DNs database on the ICO website.
 
 
It might be helpful to explain that our Decision Notice search facility on
the website and our internal electronic case management system allow us to
search for the cases we have dealt with in a number of different ways,
such as by the unique reference number the case was given, the name and
address of the person who contacted us and the name of any organisation or
individual that has been complained about.  We can also search for cases
on the basis of the broad nature of the complaint, so for FOI we would be
able for example to search under “general right of access” but we can only
search on a limited number of fixed criteria which are structured around
the main exemptions under FOI e.g. section 40, section 36 etc.
 
The DNs are available in full on the ICO website and are searchable by
sector. We can also provide statistical information on complaints we
handled under FOI and DP about the Health sector where the outcome was
complaint upheld, partially upheld or not upheld in relation to FOI, and
compliance likely and unlikely in relation to Data Protection Act 1998.
 
Please provide us with clarification of what you are exactly requesting at
your earliest convenience. Once we receive your clarification, we will
begin processing your request. 
 
 

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you.

But my request was specifically linked to the sections quoted..

... and a search amongst your Decision Notices brings up nothing, as stated - before.

So I was asking if the ICO had ever read these sections and applied them to a specific case, involving the NHS.

Ie Files were disclosed - in the interest of the health and safety of patients.

Presumably, if you have not been able to direct me to a single case, then the ICO has never done so - but continued to put the rights of private companies' secrecy over that of public health and safety.. Ie the public interest.

So thank you for establishing that position.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do
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days.

 

If you have requested advice

We aim to respond to requests for advice within 14 days.

 

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This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
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Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

[1]Making a request for information held by the ICO

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Dear casework,

I'm sorry but I really don't know hiw to make this any simpler.

Could you please direct me to any case within your Decision Notices where the ICO has upheld the right of a requestor to read NHS files, written by a private contractor to the NHS... But normally protected by secrecy under the DPA - in order to protect the health and safety of patients.

Ie The ICO has made a fine judgement in a Decision Notice to protect NHS patients health and safety ...., above that of the privacy of external contractors to NHS.

Just one case would do.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

new casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

We confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do not reply
to this email.

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern

 

We aim to send you an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

Please note that if you are concerned about the way an organisation is
handling your personal information, we will not usually look into it
unless you have raised the matter with them first. Please see our webpage
[1]raising a concern with an organisation for more information or call the
number below.

 

If you have requested advice

 

We aim to respond to your request within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

 

We will add it to your case and consider it on allocation to a case
officer.

 

Copied correspondence

 

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If you have a matter you would like to discuss please call our helpline on
0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national
rate number.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

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Cheshire, SK9 5AF
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Information Commissioner’s Office

30th April 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Thank you for your clarification.

In your clarification email you say:

"I'm sorry but I really don't know hiw to make this any simpler.
Could you please direct me to any case within your Decision Notices where
the ICO has upheld the right of a requestor to read NHS files, written by
a private contractor to the NHS... But normally protected by secrecy under
the DPA - in order to protect the health and safety of patients.
Ie The ICO has made a fine judgement in a Decision Notice to protect NHS
patients health and safety ...., above that of the privacy of external
contractors to NHS.
Just one case would do."

Response to request

In response to your request, under section 21 of the Freedom of
Information Act we are not required to provide information in response to
a request if it is already reasonably accessible to you from another
source. 

In your clarification you state :"Could you please direct me to any case
within your Decision Notices... ". The information you requested is
available from our Decision Notice database  via the following link on our
website:
[1]http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci... and as such we are
not under obligation to provide it.

I am sorry we could not be of more assistance

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 Information Governance
Department at the address below or e-mail
[2][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
Commissioner.
 
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 First Contact 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 available [3]here

 Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer

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References

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Logically, could you please clarify:

Are stating that:

1. There IS such a case in existence on your site ...and that I have some hie failed to find it?

2. Or you are directing me to look for something that DOESNT exist?

Because this is a specific request.

Not one in which a requestor has no knowledge of your Internet site.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

new casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

We confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do not reply
to this email.

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern

 

We aim to send you an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

Please note that if you are concerned about the way an organisation is
handling your personal information, we will not usually look into it
unless you have raised the matter with them first. Please see our webpage
[1]raising a concern with an organisation for more information or call the
number below.

 

If you have requested advice

 

We aim to respond to your request within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

 

We will add it to your case and consider it on allocation to a case
officer.

 

Copied correspondence

 

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If you have a matter you would like to discuss please call our helpline on
0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national
rate number.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

show quoted sections

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Information Commissioner’s Office

13th May 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Thank you for your reply.

In this reply you asked us to clarify whether:

"1. There IS such a case in existence on your site ...and that I have some
hie failed to find it?

2. Or you are directing me to look for something that DOESNT exist?"

In response to your question, as per section 21 of the Freedom of
Information Act, we are not required to provide information in response to
a request if it is already reasonably accessible to a requester from
another source. This means that as the decision notices' database is
accessible on the ICO's website, you can search it and find out whether a
DN fitting the description you have given has ever been issued. If you
have searched the database and found no DN fitting your description, this
means that no DN fitting the description you provided has been issued.

Unfortunately, as per section 21, we have not searched the database, as
such we can't confirm whether you have missed anything. 

I hope the above is of assistance

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Sorry but I am dependent in your system - which I have previously stated does not operate as I require.

Logically, you could answer my request by stating that I could read exactly what I want to know by directing me to Bradford - as there might be some information there.

The answer to my request therefore needs to be more specific.

So since you know how to operate your own ICO system, which will be clear and transparent to you, then it will be very easy for you to direct me accurately. And take no time at all.

Please therefore direct me accurately - as per request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

new casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

We confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do not reply
to this email.

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern

 

We aim to send you an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

Please note that if you are concerned about the way an organisation is
handling your personal information, we will not usually look into it
unless you have raised the matter with them first. Please see our webpage
[1]raising a concern with an organisation for more information or call the
number below.

 

If you have requested advice

 

We aim to respond to your request within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

 

We will add it to your case and consider it on allocation to a case
officer.

 

Copied correspondence

 

Please note that we do not respond to copied correspondence.

 

If you have a matter you would like to discuss please call our helpline on
0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national
rate number.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
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Dear new casework,

I thought that you might like to know that my request on illegal acts has been answered by another request.

The answer was in the ICO's own Operations Directorate Service Guide v1.pdf

Checking for potential criminal breaches
Although matters which appear to constitute potential criminal breaches will be classified as requests for advice or concerns and assigned to the relevant sector group, a corresponding ‘provide advice’ work item will also be sent to the ‘DP - RAD Investigations (Any)’ queue to alert them to the potential criminal breach.
Staff in the Enforcement Department (Criminal Investigation Team) will aim to check each request for advice within three working days to identify the matters they can take forward as potential criminal breaches.
If a case officer is allocated a potential criminal breach before Enforcement has determined whether or not they can take the matter forward, they should not begin work on the case and alert their manager to the delay. The manager will then decide whether to contact Enforcement about the matter.

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/204335/re... Operations Directorate Service Guide v1.pdf

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Information Commissioner’s Office

23rd June 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

I write in response to your email of 14 May 2014, please accept our
apologies for the time it has taken us to respond to your query. We will
explain our position and the reasons for it.
 
We tried to seek clarification of your request from you.  
In light of the following clarification we progressed your request ” Could
you please direct me to any case within your Decision Notices where the
ICO has upheld the right of a requestor to read NHS files, written by a
private contractor to the NHS... But normally protected by secrecy under
the DPA - in order to protect the health and safety of patients. 
 
Ie The ICO has made a fine judgement in a Decision Notice to protect NHS
patients health and safety ...., above that of the privacy of external
contractors to NHS. “
 
We received this email on case reference ENQ0520182 but understood it to
be the clarification we requested on IRQ0520176.
 
 
We took the clarification to mean any decision notice about any NHS
organisation where the ICO upheld a complaint by a member of the public on
the application of section 40 (personal information) FOIA. We interpreted
it like this because of your reference to the DPA (Data Protection Act).
 
We responded on 30 April 2014 informing you that the information you
requested is reasonably accessible to you by other means and as such, we
have no obligation to provide you with a copy in line with section 21 of
the FOIA.
 
All Decision Notices (DNs) upholding complaints from members of the public
in relation to the application of section 40 of the FOIA are retrievable
through searching our DN database. Just choose “Health” under sector”,
“FOI 40” under exemption and “complaint upheld” under “ICO decision”.
 
 
By way of an example, we have included the following Decision Notice which
fits the criteria described above. A number of Decision Notices fitting
the same criteria are available via the following link
 
[1]http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...
 
 
 
NHS London
Case Ref: FS50441777
Date: 28/01/2013
Summary: The complainant has requested a copy of the Serious Untoward
Incident (SUI) report produced in connection with the death of Peter
Connelly, also referred to as Baby P. NHS London agreed to the release of
some of the requested information but withheld other parts of the report
under sections 40(2) (third party personal data) and 41 (information
provided in confidence). The Commissioner’s decision is that NHS London
correctly refused the disclosure of some, but not all, of the withheld
information. He therefore requires NHS London to release the information
described in the confidential annex attached to this notice.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 40 - Complaint Upheld, FOI 41 -
Complaint Partly Upheld
View a PDF of decision notice FS50441777 
 

[2]View a PDF of decision notice FS50441777
 
 
I hope this helps to explain our responses to date. If our understanding
of your request is still not correct, please provide further clarification
 
 
Please reply to this email without amending the subject area.

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer
 
 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/deci...
2. Link opens in new window
http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you. That is very helpful.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This
message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do
not reply to this email.

 

If you have submitted a new complaint

We aim to provide an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

If you have requested advice

We aim to respond to requests for advice within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
officer.

 

Copied correspondence

Please note that we do not respond to copied correspondence. If you have a
matter you would like to discuss please call our helpline on 0303 123 1113
(local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

[1]Making a request for information held by the ICO

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit [2]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

[3]Our e-newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at

[4]http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter

 

[5]Twitter

Find us on Twitter at

[6]https://twitter.com/iconews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
3. http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter
4. http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter
5. https://twitter.com/iconews
6. https://twitter.com/iconews

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thank you. That is very helpful indeed.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This
message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do
not reply to this email.

 

If you have submitted a new complaint

We aim to provide an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

If you have requested advice

We aim to respond to requests for advice within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
officer.

 

Copied correspondence

Please note that we do not respond to copied correspondence. If you have a
matter you would like to discuss please call our helpline on 0303 123 1113
(local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

[1]Making a request for information held by the ICO

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit [2]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

[3]Our e-newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at

[4]http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter

 

[5]Twitter

Find us on Twitter at

[6]https://twitter.com/iconews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
3. http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter
4. http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter
5. https://twitter.com/iconews
6. https://twitter.com/iconews

Dear casework,

I used the search references given but the search didn't work for me.

I have sent you a screenshot via my private address, so that you can see for yourself - and possibiy advise where I am going wrong.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Information Commissioner’s Office

1 Attachment

4th July 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0520176

 

Dear [first name redacted] Oakley

Thank you for your reply.

Please find attached a screen shot showing the attributes you need to
search and the results you should expect. Please note that the number of
results could increase as new DNs are added to the website.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thanks Iman,

I shall try it.

And I hope the ICO gives you a bonus for being extra helpful.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This
message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence. Please do
not reply to this email.

 

If you have submitted a new complaint

We aim to provide an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

If you have requested advice

We aim to respond to requests for advice within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
officer.

 

Copied correspondence

Please note that we do not respond to copied correspondence. If you have a
matter you would like to discuss please call our helpline on 0303 123 1113
(local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

[1]Making a request for information held by the ICO

For more information about the ICO’s handling of requests for information
please visit [2]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

[3]Our e-newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at

[4]http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter

 

[5]Twitter

Find us on Twitter at

[6]https://twitter.com/iconews

 

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
3. http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter
4. http://ico.org.uk/news/e-newsletter
5. https://twitter.com/iconews
6. https://twitter.com/iconews

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