Dear Department for Education,
I would be grateful if you can provide the information requested in the FOI request made on 20 November 2017, allocated reference number 2017-0055195.

"please provide a copy of each version of the MOU listed on page 9 of 18 in the MOU v2.1 in paragraph 11.2 Version History

versions 0.1 through to 2.1.

(Ref the MOU 2.1 page 9/18 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...)

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jen Persson

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2018-0029119.

Thank you

Department for Education
Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Tel: 0370 000 2288

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear Ms Persson,

 

Ref: 2018_0029119

 

Thank you for your request for information, which we received on
05/07/2018

 

You requested:

 

“please provide a copy of each version of the MOU listed on page 9 of 18
in the MOU v2.1 in paragraph 11.2 Version History.”

 

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”).

The Department holds some of the information you have requested.  However,
I consider that the following exemption(s) apply to your request:

Section 35 –  Formulation of government policy.

The Act obliges the Department to respond to requests promptly, and in any
case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request.  However,
where one of the exemptions listed above is applicable, the Department
must consider whether the public interest lies in disclosing or
withholding the information.  In these circumstances the Act allows the
time for response to be longer than 20 working days.

In your case the Department estimates that it will take up to an
additional 20 days to take a decision on where the balance of the public
interest lies.  It is anticipated that you will receive a full response by
30^th September 2018.  If it appears that it will take longer than this to
reach a conclusion, we will keep you informed.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter.  Your complaint will be considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.  

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sebastian Tallents

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

10 Attachments

Dear MS Persson,

 

Ref: 2018_0029119

 

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on
05/07/2018

 

You requested:

 

please provide a copy of each version of the MOU listed on page 9 of 18 in
the MOU v2.1 in paragraph 11.2 Version History.

 

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”).

 

The Department holds some of the information you have requested. The
department does not, as a matter of course retain all draft versions of a
document. We have made a search of our systems and identified 10 draft
versions that we have been able to recover. These are attached.

 

The version control numbers referred to in your request correspond to
drafts created at official (often junior) level. These drafts represent
the various iterations produced by various officials as they work towards
a final draft. They will not necessarily have been formally signed off by
the senior officials accountable for data sharing activity. These drafts
therefore do not represent the definitive position of either the Home
Office or the Department of Education and respective ministers, but rather
various views as these positions are formulated prior to approval being
sought.

 

Additionally we have made a small number of redactions to remove the name
and contact details of individuals under section 40(2) (personal data) of
the Act.  Personal data is that which relates to a living individual who
can be identified from that data, or from that data and other information
which is likely to be in, or to come into, the possession of the
requestor.  Disclosure of this information would contravene a number of
the data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 2018, and would
be regarded as ‘unfair’.  By that, we mean the likely expectations of the
data subject that his or her information would not be disclosed to others
and the effect which disclosure would have on the data subject.  Section
40(2) is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest
test.

 

We have made a further redaction to three comments on the document which
contain legal advice. Section 42(1) of the Act provides that information
can be withheld from disclosure under the Act if that information is
subject to legal professional privilege (LPP) and the public interest
falls in favour of applying the exemption.

 

Considerations in favour of disclosing the information under section 42(1)

 

The Department recognises that that there is a general public interest in
transparency and openness in government. Such openness would lead to a
deeper public understanding and awareness in matters relating to the
formulation process of MoU agreements.

 

Disclosure of information relating to legal advice sought or obtained
would enhance the public’s understanding of the specific issues involved
in the process and increase trust in the quality of legal advice provided,
on which decisions are made.

 

Considerations in favour of withholding the information under section
42(1)

The Department requires comprehensive legal advice for the effective
conduct of its business. That advice needs to be given freely and frankly
and will often include possible arguments both for and against a
particular view. Such advice may set out the perceived weaknesses of the
department’s position. Disclosure of such information may prejudice the
department’s ability to effectively defend or pursue such cases by unfair
undermining its position in legal proceedings. The preservation of LPP
therefore helps to ensure the fairness of legal proceedings which is in
the public interest.

 

It is also in the public interest that the provision of legal advice is
recorded fully and accurately in writing. Were such advice to be routinely
disclosed, there is a risk that lawyers and clients will avoid making a
permanent record of the advice that is sought or given or make only a
partial record. In the longer term this could have a prejudicial effect on
future engagement as advice that could be relevant to subsequent issues
would not be recorded. This would be contrary to the public interest.

 

Conclusion

 

I have considered whether in all the circumstances of the case, the public
interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosing the information. For the reasons given above I have concluded
that the public interest identified lies in favour of withholding some of
the requested information in its entirety under Section 42(1) of the Act.

 

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

Most documents produced by a government department or agency will be
protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be
re-used under the Open Government Licence
([1]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For
information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information
please see The National Archives website
-[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
.

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information
about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual
Property Office’s website at [3]www.ipo.gov.uk.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter.  Your complaint will be considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.  

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications. 

 
Best regards,
 
Sebastian Tallents

References

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Jen Persson left an annotation ()

This is the response to an FOI request made on 20 November 2017 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

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