Records concerning cancellation of Iain Sinclair book launch

The request was partially successful.

gamesmonitor.org

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please provide:
Copies of any meeting minutes, notes or internal communications in relation to the decision to cancel the previously arranged Iain Sinclair book launch event at Stoke Newington Library.

A time-line of events and procedures leading to the decision and details of Council personnel involved.

Copies of any formal policies on which the decision was based.

Yours faithfully,

gamesmonitor.org

Peace Kkula, Hackney Borough Council

Dear gamesmonitor.org,
Thank you for your e-mail.
We have received your FOI and forwarded it to the Officer responsible. you
will receive a response in the next 20 working days.
Kind regards,
Peace Kkula
ICT- Information Management
Information Governance Administration Officer
6-15 Florfield Road
London E8 1DT
Tel: 0208 356 2826
Email: [1][email address]

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication with
any employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.
By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.

For further information about Hackney Council policies please contact
Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Amanda Elliot, Hackney Borough Council

Dear Sir Madam

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST LBH43167-08

Further to your letter of 29 October requesting information about Stoke
Newington Library and Ian Sinclair under the Freedom of Information Act, I
am writing to let you know we are unable to proceed with your request
until you provide us with a named person to receive the information.

The reason for this is that a request for information can only qualify as
a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 if the request states
the name of the applicant. Once we have received the name, we will be
able to proceed with you inquiry and treat it as a Freedom of Information
request under the terms of the act.

Yours Sincerely

Amanda Elliot

Amanda Elliot

Public Information Manager

Community Services

020 8356 3980

[email address]

www.hackney.gov.uk

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication with
any employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.
By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.

For further information about Hackney Council policies please contact
Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

gamesmonitor.org

Dear Amanda Elliot,

I submitted this request using the organisation name gamesmonitor.org, and received a confirmation addressed to that name from Information Governance Administration Officer Peace Kkula. I am therefore surprised that 2 weeks later you had not commenced processing the request on the basis that this is not acceptable as a name of an applicant.

It has been established that it is good practice to process any FOI request regardless of the identity of the applicant, whether a real name, pseudonym or anonymous:

"Section 1 of the FOIA refers to any person making a request for information being entitled to a response. An application does require a statement of the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence, but section 1 does not limit in any way the class of persons who can submit requests. A request therefore has to be considered on the basis that it could have been made by any person; the identity of that person is not a material consideration when deciding whether or not to release information."
(from Freedom of Information Good Practice Guidance No 6, information Commissioners Office)

However I would like the requested information to be released as soon as possible so will take up his issue elsewhere, so please use my name as given below for processing this request.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Batsworth
gamesmonitor.org

Amanda Elliot, Hackney Borough Council

Dear Mr Batsworth

Could you please supply a phone number as I wish to clarify an aspect of
you request. I can ring you today if you wish

All the best

Amanda Elliot
Public Information Manager
020 8356 3980
[email address]
www.hackney.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Amanda Elliot, Hackney Borough Council

Dear Mr Batsworth

FOI Request LBH 43167-08 re Iain Sinclair book launch

Thank you for your email and supplying your name as requested.

I am writing to let you know that you can expect a response from us by
December 12 2008 at the latest.

Yours Sincerely

Amanda Elliot
Public Information Manager
020 8356 3980
[email address]
www.hackney.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Zoe Rowland, Hackney Borough Council

Dear Mr Battsworth

The Council feels that the information requested falls within the
exemption under Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act and is
considering the public interest in releasing it. Due to the availability
of the qualified officer who must make the final decision regarding this
exemption, we are obliged to extend the deadline to consider the public
interest arguments.

A full and substantive response will be sent to you by the end of the
working day tomorrow. Please accept my apologies for the delay in
responding to your request for information.

Kind regards,

Zoe

Zoe Rowland
Corporate Information & Knowledge Manager
London Borough of Hackney
6-15 Florfield Road
E8 1DT
Tel: 0208 356 2683
[mobile number]
[email address]

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication with
any employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.
By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.

For further information about Hackney Council policies please contact
Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

Zoe Rowland, Hackney Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Battsworth

Please find attached the full response to your request for information.

Kind regards,

Zoe

Zoe Rowland
Corporate Information & Knowledge Manager
London Borough of Hackney
6-15 Florfield Road
E8 1DT
Tel: 0208 356 2683
[mobile number]
[email address]

<<1-843844-Information_to_be_released.pdf>> <<LBH43167-08 Battsworth.doc>>

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication with
any employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.
By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.

For further information about Hackney Council policies please contact
Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

Zoe Rowland, Hackney Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Battsworth

Please find attached the timeline which I missed off my email yesterday.

Kind regards,

Zoe

Zoe Rowland
Corporate Information & Knowledge Manager
London Borough of Hackney
6-15 Florfield Road
E8 1DT
Tel: 0208 356 2683
[mobile number]
[email address]

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication with
any employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.
By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.

For further information about Hackney Council policies please contact
Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

gamesmonitor.org

Dear Zoe Rowland,

Thanks for your reply and the information provided so far.

I would appreciate it if you could confirm that no information of the type requested predates the first email supplied and indicated on the timeline, dated 21/8/08 - as it appears that the issue had already been discussed, and possibly decided, at this point.

This first email which contains the phrase "pulling it as controversial is not something he won't comment on", is clearly a response to an earlier email from Edward Rogers to Anna Robinson pertinent to my request so please tell me whether ealier email(s) are those witheld under your claim of s.36 FOI exemption, or have not been supplied for some other reason.

Regarding the assertion of FOI s.36 exemption for some relevant documents, I do not believe this would be supported by the Information Commissioner.

The council has argued that full disclosure would give rise to '"Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs”, namely that in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person disclosure of this information would, or would be likely to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice and the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.'

From the information disclosed so far, it does not appear in this case that any democratic process was in operation which could be prejudiced. There is little sign of a decision-making process that one would equate with 'public affairs' being in operation at all, and clear recommendations, such as that of the 'risk analysis', were ignored. The fundamental issue, the cancellation of the Iain Sinclair library event, appears to have been decided outside the context of the emails released - much of the information relates to how to handle the consequences.

The statement that "certain disclosures, for instance some recommendations made by more junior staff to more senior staff, would be likely to lead to less candid and robust discussions in internal decision-making processes" is not a reasoned argument sufficient to support the exemption. The Chief Executive would need to provide more detailed and specific reasoning. It appears to be the kind of 'blanket' exemption which the Information Commissioner has made clear is not acceptable (see ICO case FS50122585 para. 22).

Further as I point out above, there is little evidence in this case of what could reasonably be described as a decision making process in operation; I believe this invalidates the argument.

I do not agree that the public interest would be served by witholding any information held on this matter. This particular case has given rise to widepread concern on both a local and national level, about both about the unacceptability the action itself and the lack of transparency in the process. It is in the wider interests of local democracy that the behaviour of individual administrations can be clearly examined by the public.

Please refer this for internal review if the council is not prepared to revise the decision at this stage.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Batsworth

Zoe Rowland, Hackney Borough Council

Dear Mr Batsworth,

I acknowledge your request for an internal review. This will be carried out by our Director of Legal and Democratic Services within 20 working days of your request.

In response to your first point, I can confirm that the email dated 21/08/2008 was the first email in the chain, the first phrase refers to an unrecorded conversation between Edward Rogers and Anna Robinson rather than another email.

Kind regards,

Zoe

Zoe Rowland
Corporate Information & Knowledge Manager
London Borough of Hackney
6-15 Florfield Road
E8 1DT
Tel: 0208 356 2683
[mobile number]
[email address]

________________________________

From: gamesmonitor.org [mailto:[FOI #3853 email]]
Sent: Tue 23/12/2008 11:46
To: Zoe Rowland
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Records concerning cancellation of Iain Sinclair book launch

Dear Zoe Rowland,

Thanks for your reply and the information provided so far.

I would appreciate it if you could confirm that no information of
the type requested predates the first email supplied and indicated
on the timeline, dated 21/8/08 - as it appears that the issue had
already been discussed, and possibly decided, at this point.

This first email which contains the phrase "pulling it as
controversial is not something he won't comment on", is clearly a
response to an earlier email from Edward Rogers to Anna Robinson
pertinent to my request so please tell me whether ealier email(s)
are those witheld under your claim of s.36 FOI exemption, or have
not been supplied for some other reason.

Regarding the assertion of FOI s.36 exemption for some relevant
documents, I do not believe this would be supported by the
Information Commissioner.

The council has argued that full disclosure would give rise to
'"Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs", namely that in
the reasonable opinion of a qualified person disclosure of this
information would, or would be likely to inhibit the free and frank
provision of advice and the free and frank exchange of views for
the purposes of deliberation.'

From the information disclosed so far, it does not appear in this
case that any democratic process was in operation which could be
prejudiced. There is little sign of a decision-making process that
one would equate with 'public affairs' being in operation at all,
and clear recommendations, such as that of the 'risk analysis',
were ignored. The fundamental issue, the cancellation of the Iain
Sinclair library event, appears to have been decided outside the
context of the emails released - much of the information relates to
how to handle the consequences.

The statement that "certain disclosures, for instance some
recommendations made by more junior staff to more senior staff,
would be likely to lead to less candid and robust discussions in
internal decision-making processes" is not a reasoned argument
sufficient to support the exemption. The Chief Executive would need
to provide more detailed and specific reasoning. It appears to be
the kind of 'blanket' exemption which the Information Commissioner
has made clear is not acceptable (see ICO case FS50122585 para.
22).

Further as I point out above, there is little evidence in this case
of what could reasonably be described as a decision making process
in operation; I believe this invalidates the argument.

I do not agree that the public interest would be served by
witholding any information held on this matter. This particular
case has given rise to widepread concern on both a local and
national level, about both about the unacceptability the action
itself and the lack of transparency in the process. It is in the
wider interests of local democracy that the behaviour of individual
administrations can be clearly examined by the public.

Please refer this for internal review if the council is not
prepared to revise the decision at this stage.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Batsworth

show quoted sections

Reaz Khedarun, Hackney Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Battsworth,

Please find attached a response to your request for an internal review. I
would also like to take the opportunity to apologise for the delay in
responding to your request.

Yours sincerely

Reaz Khedarun
Corporate Information Governance Officer
London Borough of Hackney

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication, the
only exception to this would be confidential survey data, with any
employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks. By
using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council monitoring
and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.

For further information about Hackney Council policies please contact
Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

Looking for an EU Authority?

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

AskTheEU.org