Dear Sir or Madam,

Under Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act, can you supply me with the following information:

1. How many FOI requests that have come to your attention that had a Reuse of Public Information licence on it.

2. How many of these have been adjudicated by the ICO for review?

3. Can you list the public authorities that have been using the Reuse of Public Information licence on FOI requests for the period 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 that has come to your attention.

4. With regard to question 3 above, which public authorities have you written to regarding their frequent use of the Reuse of Public Information Licence (i.e. more than 4 times).

5. What sanctions (if any) can the ICO use if a public authority regular uses the Reuse of Public Information Licence Act 2005.

If any of these questions doesn't make sense can you please come back to me so that I can inform you accordingly.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

With kind regards
Byron Charlton

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

11th November 2009

Case Reference Number IRQ0278310

Dear Mr Charlton

Request for Information

Thank you for your e-mail of 11 November 2009, in which you have asked us
to provide you with various items of information relating to the Re-Use of
Public Sector Information Act 2005.

Your request has been passed to the Internal Compliance Team, and is being
dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 under
the reference number shown above.  We will therefore respond to your
request by 9 December 2009, which is 20 working days from the day after we
received your request.

If you wish to add further information or evidence to your case please
reply to this email, being 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.

Yours sincerely

Antonia Swann

Assistant Internal Compliance Manager

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Tel: 01625 545894

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/radD1250_files/filelist.xml
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Information Commissioner’s Office

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List

25th November 2009

Case Reference Number IRQ0278310

Dear Mr Charlton

I write with reference to your request for information dated 11 November
2009 in which you ask for information relating to complaints concerning
the Re Use of Public Information Act 2005.  As you are aware we have
treated your request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 and we are now in a position to respond.

Request

Your request asked:

1. How many FOI requests that have come to your attention that had
a Reuse of Public Information licence on it.

2. How many of these have been adjudicated by the ICO for review?

3. Can you list the public authorities that have been using the
Reuse of Public Information licence on FOI requests for the period
2007/2008 and 2008/2009 that has come to your attention.

4. With regard to question 3 above, which public authorities have
you written to regarding their frequent use of the Reuse of Public
Information Licence (i.e. more than 4 times).

5. What sanctions (if any) can the ICO use if a public authority
regular uses the Reuse of Public Information Licence Act 2005.

Response

It may be helpful if the first instance to explain that the Regulations do
not change access provisions; rather they provide a framework for re-use
of information once access has been obtained.  Accordingly, the
Regulations do not apply unless the document has already been provided to
an applicant, or is otherwise accessible by means other than by making a
request for it under access to information legislation.  The provision of
information under access legislation does not confer any automatic right
to re-use the information.  

Under the PSI Regulations OPSI has responsibility for handling complaints
in connection with the re-use of public sector information. It also has a
central policy role in promoting best practice and in the provision of
guidance and advice to the public sector on compliance with the
Regulations.  More information can be found following the below link

[2]http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regula...

On the basis of the above information it maybe that the Office has
received misguided complaints about the re-use Regulations and holds
recorded information that would fall into the scope of your questions
defined at points1 and 3.  However, I am sorry, but I am not able to
provide you with the information you have requested. More detailed
explanations of why this is the case follow, but in brief, section 12 of
the FOIA makes clear that a public authority (such as the Information
Commissioner’s Office) is not obliged to comply with an FOIA request if
the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would
exceed the ‘appropriate limit'. The ‘appropriate limit’ for the
Information Commissioner’s Office, as determined in the ‘Freedom of
Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations
2004’ is £450. We have determined that £450 would equate to 18 hours
work.

Whilst the information you have requested does sit within our electronic
casework management system this is not set up to easily provide us with
the type of information you have requested. By and large this is not the
sort of information we would need for our own day to day business
purposes.

The details of all the enquiries and complaints concerning alleged
breaches of the legislation we regulate are put onto on our electronic
case management and enquiry handling system. The correspondence is
scanned onto the system and an electronic record is created for every
case, every requester and every ‘complained about’ organisation.

The system allows 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, but I can only search on a limited number of fixed criteria
which are structured around the main sections of the legislation we
regulate.

In 2008/2009 alone we received over 3000 enquires and complaints
concerning public authorities compliance with the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.  To search each of these would obviously take us above the cost
of compliance detailed above and this would be for one year alone.  You
could redefine your request on the basis of the advice and assistance we
have provided however I am not certain that that would provide you with
the information which you are seeking.

We do not hold any recorded information that would fall within your
request defined at points two, four and five as we do not handle
complaints concerning the Re-Use Regulations.  As explained above such
complaints are handled by the Office of Public Section Information. 
Their contact details are: [3]http://www.opsi.gov.uk

I hope this information is of help and 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 Internal Compliance Team at the address
below or e-mail [4][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 Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information
Act or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.

 

A copy of our review procedure is attached.

Yours sincerely

Charlotte Powell

Internal Compliance Manager

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/rad07788_files/filelist.xml
2. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regula...
3. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]

Dear Ms Powell,

Many thanks for your letter and your explanations. However I am surprised by your comments regarding the difficulties of obtaining information concerning PSI.

Recently I did an FOI request to a public authority regarding PSI. This matter went to the ICO and I have been informed that the Commission did monitor the use of PSI by public authorities, hence my reason for this request. However it seems that you are giving me a different perspective regarding this matter which contradicts the statement that I have received from another department within the ICO.

With regard to the costings of retrieving the information I am happy to pay for this as it is important to know what the Commission's policy is with regarding to public authorities use of PSI. Therefore under Section 16 of the FOIA I would like to have a breakdown of the costs to retrieving this information as requested so that I can see whether it is value for money.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

With kind regards
Your sincerely
Byron Charlton

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

3rd December 2009

Case Reference Number IRQ0278310

Dear Mr Charlton

I write with reference to your e-mail dated 27 November 2009 in relation
our response to your information request.

It may be helpful if the first instance I clarify our obligations
concerning fees and Section 12 and Section 9 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Under section 9 of the FOIA, a public authority, such as the Information
Commissioners Office, intending to charge a fee for providing information
in response to a request must issue a fees notice to the applicant. The
notice must specify the fee that is being charged by the authority in
complying with a request made under section 1 of the FOIA.

Section 12 of the FOIA provides an exemption from a public authority’s
obligation to comply with a request for information where the cost of
compliance is estimated to exceed the appropriate limit. The appropriate
limit is the key concept concerning fees.

The Fees Regulations state that this cost limit is £600 for central
government, legislative bodies and the armed forces (ie Part 1 of Schedule
1 of the FOIA) and £450 for all other public authorities.

A public authority must still confirm or deny whether it holds the
information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the
appropriate limit.

Where the estimated costs exceed the appropriate limit, the authority is
not obliged to communicate the information to the applicant, even where
they might be prepared to pay a fee for that information. There is,
though, still an obligation to confirm or deny whether the information is
held unless to do this would in itself exceed the appropriate limit.

We refused part of your request and cited Section 12 as to the reason why
we were unable to provide the information requested.   We also provided
you with advice and assistance, to meet our obligation under Section 16. 
We provided details of the structure of the records where the information
you were seeking may be held, in order to provide you with the detail
should you wish to redefine your request.  .  We have therefore
responded to your request for information and are under no requirement to
locate and provide you with the information as to do so would be above the
cost of compliance.  However, as suggested should you wish to redefine
your request it would be treated as a new request and processed and
responded to accordingly.

There are two pieces of guidance published by this office around the
charging of fees and sections 9 and 12 of FOIA.  These can be found on
our website.

[2]http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

[3]http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

In response to your comments concerning this offices involvement in
monitoring the use of the Re Use of Public Information Regs I can only
reiterate the advice and assistance provided in our original response.

I hope this clarifies the situation and that this information is of
interest and assistance.

Yours sincerely

Charlotte Powell

Internal Compliance Manager

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/radA3CAA_files/filelist.xml
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

Dear Ms Powell

Many thanks for your letter. I am sorry that I cannot accept your decision regarding the information I request. I believe that this is a simple request for information which as you said is held by the ICO and even though I agree to pay for the information. Also I disagree with your comments concerning Section 16 of the Act which I believe the has not acted upon.

I would therefore request that that an internal review should take place regarding this matter and look forward to know when this will take place.

Yours sincerely
Byron Charlton

Dear Sir or Madam,

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 'Re Use of Public Information Act 2005'.

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

Yours faithfully,

Byron Charlton

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

4th December 2009

Case Reference Number RCC0281334

Dear Mr Charlton

Thank you for your correspondence dated 4 December 2009.

This correspondence will now be treated as a request for review of your
recent request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will respond by 6 January 10 which is 20 working days from the day
after we received your recent correspondence (allowing for the public
holidays).  This is in accordance with our internal review procedures.

If you wish to add further information or evidence to your case please
reply to this email, being 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.

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy

Assistant Internal Compliance Manager

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/rad73AC5_files/filelist.xml

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

17th December 2009

Case Reference Number IRQ0278310

Dear Mr Charlton

Your appeal for an internal review regarding your request for information
dated 11 November has been passed to me to undertake.

I have considered the information requested and the response given and
have concluded that there is no information we can provide in response to
your five requests.

As stated in the response to your request, we are not required to provide
information if searching for it would exceed the “appropriate limit”,
otherwise known as the cost limit. The appropriate limit is the cost
involved in 18 hours time spent searching for and retrieving the
information requested.

I have explained below why the information you have requested would exceed
the cost limit.

Request 1.

To provide the figure you have requested, would require manual examination
of every piece of correspondence, every complaint and every enquiry that
has been kept since the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations
(ROPSI) came into force. This is the only way we could be sure that we
have found all references to requests for information where a licence
under the ROPSI has been mentioned. Even if we were to limit the request
to information held on the electronic case handling system, the numbers
are so great that extracting the information would greatly exceed the cost
limit.

Since ROPSI came into force there have been many thousands of complaints,
enquiries and other correspondence in relation to the Freedom of
Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. In 18 hours
only a very small percentage of this documentation could be checked.

Request 2.

To clarify as stated in our earlier responses, we do not regulate the
application of the ROPSI. This is the responsibility of the Office of
Public Sector Information (OPSI). Any adjudication on a ROPSI licence
would be determined by OPSI. The ICO does not adjudicate on ROPSI
licences.

Therefore, we do not hold any information relating to your second request.

Request 3

We may hold information from which we could produce a list of public
authorities who have mentioned a ROPSI licence in their reply to a request
for information. This information may be held in complaints and enquiries
files and in general correspondence. To confirm whether or not we hold
this information, and if we do hold it to provide it, would involve a
manual examination as mentioned in my response under request 1. This would
require an extensive search which would exceed the cost limit.

Request 4

It is unlikely that we would hold information to provide a response to
this request. Although it is possible that there could be correspondence
between the ICO and public authorities on the relationship between
requests for information and licences under ROPSI, it is highly unlikely
that any such correspondence would mention the frequency of the use of
licences. I could not ascertain that we hold any such information without
carrying out a similar search to that mentioned in previous paragraphs. To
carry out this search would exceed the cost limit.

Request 5

Any sanctions available to the ICO in carrying out its responsibilities
are contained in statute. Any information we hold on the sanctions
available to us is information readily available to you in Statutes and
Statutory Instruments published by OPSI.  To that extent any information
about the sanctions we can use is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom
of Information Act.

However, as we do not regulate the use of ROPSI licences, we do not have
the use of sanctions related to their use.

In the response to your request you where provided with a link to guidance
on the ROPSI; the document on the link below explains the relationship
between the right of access to information and re-use:

[2]http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regula...

If you are dissatisfied with this response you do have a right of appeal
against this decision, which is to this office in our capacity as
statutory complaint handler under the FOI Act 2000. In the event of your
exercising that right of appeal, your complaint will be considered by ICO
complaint-handlers who have had no prior involvement with the case.
Information on how to complain is available on the ICO website at:

[3]http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

Yours sincerely

Dawn Monaghan (FOI Good Practice Senior Manager)

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/rad2C08A_files/filelist.xml
2. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regula...
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I am extremely disappointed with your response. I was led to believe by one of your agents that the ICO does monitor the use of ROPSI. However you state the opposite. In other words you are not here to assist the requestor but make your own lives easier without lifiting a finger. Thank you so much for your assistance.

Byron Charlton

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