Records of decisions made re: potential external speakers in government and searches or research on external speakers

The request was refused by Cabinet Office.

Dear Cabinet Office,

Following the Cabinet Office email/memo circulated across Whitehall as reported in https://archive.ph/qBOM3#selection-587.6... and containing the phrase:
“We recognise that it is not always clear to determine whether an activity is deemed political or if an individual has spoken against key government policies."

Please provide records covering:

A) since the memo was circulated:
1- how many external speakers have been considered to speak at events within the scope of the memo.
2- how many external speakers have been invited to speak at events within the scope of the memo.
3- all records of searches undertaken and analysis done on potential external speakers for events within the scope of the memo.

B) since the memo was circulated:
4- how many external speakers have been considered to speak at other events considered outside the scope of the memo.
5- how many external speakers have been invited to speak at other events considered outside the scope of the memo.
6- all records of searches undertaken and analysis done on potential external speakers for other events considered outside the scope of the memo.

C) in the six months prior to the circulation of the memo:
7- how many external speakers have been considered to speak at events within the scope of the memo.
8- how many external speakers have been invited to speak at events within the scope of the memo.
9- all records of searches undertaken and analysis done on potential external speakers for events within the scope of the memo.

D) in the six months prior to the circulation of the memo:
10- how many external speakers have been considered to speak at other events considered outside the scope of the memo.
11- how many external speakers have been invited to speak at other events considered outside the scope of the memo.
12- all records of searches undertaken and analysis done on potential external speakers for other events considered outside the scope of the memo.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur Burden

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

Our ref: FOI2021/22716

Dear Arthur Burden,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 28th
November. Your request is being handled under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 ('the Act').

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event
within 20 working days. We will therefore aim to reply at the latest by
29th December.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Arthur Burden,

Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request (reference FOI2021/22716).

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Dear Cabinet Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Records of decisions made re: potential external speakers in government and searches or research on external speakers'.

As you may be aware, ICO guidance states that a section 35(1)(a) exemption can only be applied to the formulation or development of government policy. It goes on to say that only Ministers have the final say on government policy, and "any decisions or adjustments made by someone else must therefore be implementation or management decisions, rather than policy development".
As the information I requested does not refer to a ministerial decision, I am requesting an internal review.

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

Yours faithfully,

Arthur Burden

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

Dear Arthur Burden,

Thank you for your request for an internal review (reference
IR2021/24692), which was prompted by our response to your request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We shall endeavour to complete the internal review and respond to you
within 20 working days.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

Der Mr Burden
Thank you for your  email of 29 December 2021 requesting an internal
review of our response to your FOI request (FOI2021.22716).
Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing the internal review
response. We are still considering how to respond, and expect to be able
to give you our decision later on February.
Kind regards
FOI Team
Cabinet Office

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Arthur Burden,

Please find attached our response to your request for an Internal Review
(reference IR2021/24692).

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team