S4C

Dylan Evans made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The request was partially successful.

From: Dylan Evans

19 July 2010

Dear Department for Culture, Media and Sport,

All correspondence between S4C and the Department for Culture Media
and Sport, including but not limited to emails, that makes
reference to INUK Networks .

All emails that deal with Iona Jones's financial interest in INUK
Networks and her relationship to the directors.

Yours faithfully,

Dylan Evans

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From: HALPERN DANIEL
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

16 August 2010

Our Ref: 148094

Dear Mr Evans

Thank you for your freedom of information request request of 16 August for

1 All correspondence between S4C and the Department for Culture Media
and Sport, including but not limited to emails, that makes

reference to INUK Networks.

2 All emails that deal with Iona Jones's financial interest in INUK
Networks and her relationship to the directors.

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I can confirm that we hold information that falls within the scope of the
first part of your request. However, the Department considers some of the
information may be exempt from disclosure under Section 43 (commercial
interests), section 42 (legal professional privilege) and section 35(1)(a)
(development of policy), or (in the alternative to section 35), section 36
(2)(b)(i)(would, or would be likely to, inhibit the free and frank
provision of advice) of the Freedom of Information Act.

Under the Act, we need to consider, taking into account all the
circumstances of the case, whether the balance of the public interest lies
in our providing you with the information or in maintaining the exemption
and withholding the information.

I regret that the DCMS has not yet reached a decision on the balance of
interest. I apologise for the delay, and I will write to you again by 13
September.

We do not hold any information relevant to point two of your request.

If in the meantime you need any help or advice or have any questions about
this, please contact me quoting the reference number in any
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Halpern

Freedom of Information Team

DCMS

Tel: 0207 211 6919

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From: Dylan Evans

21 August 2010

Dear HALPERN DANIEL,

The response to my request has been delayed. By law, the authority
should normally have responded promptly and by 17 August 2010

Yours sincerely,

Dylan Evans

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From: HALPERN DANIEL
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

21 August 2010

I am out of the office until 31 August and will not be responding to
emails.

If you require a more urgent reply please forward any emails on FOI cases
to [email address], or for internal reviews and
commissioner cases [email address] .

Regards,

Daniel Halpern

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From: HALPERN DANIEL
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

13 September 2010


Attachment 2322 001.pdf
365K Download View as HTML


Our Ref: 148094

Dear Mr Evans

I am writing in response to your freedom of information request of 21 July
(ref 148094), and your subsequent email to me of 21 August. You asked for:

1 All correspondence between S4C and the Department for Culture Media
and Sport, including but not limited to emails, that makes reference to
INUK Networks.

2 All emails that deal with Iona Jones's financial interest in INUK
Networks and her relationship to the directors.

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

On 16 August I wrote to you to confirm that we hold information that falls
within the scope of the first part of your request, but extending the
deadline to consider the public interest test on whether the information
should be withheld or released.

The Freedom of Information Act provides access to information rather than
specifically documents, so I have limited my search for information to
documents that are about INUK (as opposed to those where INUK may be
simply mentioned in passing). I am pleased to attach some of that
information.

However, I am unable to release the remainder of it because it is exempt
from disclosure under section 35(1)(a) (formulation or development of
policy), and a minority of it is also exempt under section 42 (legal
professional privilege) of the Freedom of Information Act.

Under the Act, we considered, taking into account all the circumstances of
the case, whether the balance of the public interest lies in our providing
you with the information or in maintaining the exemption and withholding
the information.

In favour of releasing the information, we considered the following
arguments:

. The general public interest in openness.

. There is a public interest in public authorities being
accountable for the quality of their decision making. Transparency in the
decision making process and access to the information upon which decisions
have been made can enhance accountability.

. the public interest in knowing more about S4C's relationship
with INUK. (In particular, I am interpreting point two of your request as
suggesting that you may be concerned that there was some form of
inappropriate link between Iona Jones and INUK, so I have considered the
extent to which releasing the information would help reduce any such
concerns you might have).

. The public interest in knowing more about the quality of and
nature of legal advice to officials. Ensuring that decisions have been
made on the basis of good quality legal advice can be part of the process
of enhancing accountability.

However, we decided that on balance the public interest lay in withholding
the information because:

. The withheld information relates to discussions on the drafting
of an Order by our Secretary of State under section 206 of the
Communications Act which enabled S4C to carry out its investment in INUK.
The information includes documents outlining various stages of early
discussions on the exact wording of the Order, and is very technical in
nature. We think that the public interest lies more in knowing about the
final stage of the Order rather than in seeing all the interim (and often
minor) discussion leading up to it. We consider there is only very limited
public interest in releasing the information in question.

. The Freedom of Information Act allows access to information
rather than specifically documents. It is debatable as to whether question
1 of your request is seeking any specific information, but I have
interpreted question 1 to be linked to question 2. The strongest argument
in favour of releasing the information appears to me to be the extent to
which doing so would help confirm that there was no inappropriate
relationship or behaviour between Iona Jones and INUK. However, the
Department has already confirmed that the withheld information is not
about Iona Jones' relationship with the company.

(In relation to legal professional privilege)

+ It is in the public interest that the decisions taken by government
are taken in a fully informed legal context where relevant.
Disclosure of legal advice has a high potential to prejudice the
government's ability to defend its legal interests. This can be done
directly, by unfairly exposing its legal position to challenge, and
indirectly by diminishing the reliance it can place on the advice
having been fully considered and presented without fear or favour.
Neither of these is in the public interest. The former could result
in serious consequential loss, or at least in a waste of resources in
defending unnecessary challenges. The latter may result in poorer
decision-making because decisions themselves may not be taken on a
fully informed basis.
+ The Information Tribunal and the High Court have both recognised that
there is generally a very substantial public interest in maintaining
the confidentiality of legally privileged material, and that as such,
equally weighty factors in favour of release must be present for the
public interest to favour disclosure.

In response to your request for an internal review in your email of 21
August, I should make clear that the Freedom of Information Act allows for
the deadline for cases to be extended where more time is needed to
consider the public interest test in releasing or withholding information
under one of the various exemptions set out in the Act. However, it would
still be open for you to request an internal review on the decision to
withhold information - should you wish to do so, the internal review
procedures are set out below.

Please note that I have redacted contact details and names of junior
officials under section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of
Information Act.

If you have any further queries on this issue, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Halpern

Freedom of Information Team

DCMS

Tel: 0207 211 6919

Complaints Procedure

If you are unhappy with the way DCMS has handled your request you are
entitled to ask for an internal review of its handling within two calendar
months of the date of this letter. You should contact the FOI Central
Team, Public Engagement and Recognition Unit, Department for Culture,
Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DH if you wish to make
a complaint

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

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From: Dylan Evans

16 September 2010

Dear Department for Culture, Media and Sport,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for
Culture, Media and Sport's handling of my FOI request 'S4C'.

I do not accept your judgement with regards to all of your
agreements for withholding information, and I also believe them to
be spurious with no bases is law.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s4c

Yours faithfully,

Dylan Evans

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From: WELLS DEIRDRE
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

14 October 2010


Attachment INUK IR response.docx
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Attachment redacted Internal review docs to release s40.pdf
1.3M Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Evans

Please see attached response regarding your internal review request.

Kind regards

Deirdre Wells

Deputy Director, Public Engagement and Recognition Unit

DCMS

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