Section 44 Terrorism Act authorisations through NJU

Julian Todd made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have determined that the procedure by which the Secretary of State is notified of Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 authorisations involves applications from Assistant Chief Constables or above being submitted to the National Joint Unit (NJU) of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

This fact was revealed on page 9 of Cm 7429, "The Government reply to the report by Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.: report on the operation in 2007 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and of Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006", published 23 June 2008

Please can I be sent:

* Copies of the specimen forms and guidances notes maintained and issued by the NJU to help police forces around the country to comply with their duties under Section 46 of the Act.

* Blank copies of the notices which are sent to the Home Office from the NJU for Ministerial authorisation (which must occur within 48 hours).

* The format of the database (list of fields and descriptions) in which all Section 44 applications are entered into by the NJU as part of the processing.

* A full copy of the contents of this database.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2008110005594
I write in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24 November 2008. I
note you seek access to the following information:

"I have determined that the procedure by which the Secretary of State
is notified of Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 authorisations involves
applications from Assistant Chief Constables or above being submitted
to the National Joint Unit (NJU) of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
This fact was revealed on page 9 of Cm 7429, "The Government reply to
the report by Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.: report on the operation in
2007 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and of Part 1 of the Terrorism Act
2006", published 23 June 2008
Please can I be sent:
* Copies of the specimen forms and guidance notes maintained and issued
by the NJU to help police forces around the country to comply with their
duties under Section 46 of the Act.
* Blank copies of the notices which are sent to the Home Office from the
NJU for Ministerial authorisation (which must occur within 48 hours).
* The format of the database (list of fields and descriptions) in which
all Section 44 applications are entered into by the NJU as part of the
processing.
* A full copy of the contents of this database. "

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
the MPS.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact K.Simmons via the e-mail address at the top of this
letter,quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

K.Simmons
Policy and Support Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within three months.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2008110005594

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/11/2008. I note you seek
access to the following information:

** I have determined that the procedure by which the Secretary of
State is notified of Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 authorisations involves
applications from Assistant Chief Constables or above being submitted to
the National Joint Unit (NJU) of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
This fact was revealed on page 9 of Cm 7429, "The Government reply to the
report by Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.: report on the operation in 2007 of
the Terrorism Act 2000 and of Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006", published
23 June 2008

Please can I be sent:

* Copies of the specimen forms and guidances notes maintained and
issued by the NJU to help police forces around the country to comply with
their duties under Section 46 of the Act.

* Blank copies of the notices which are sent to the Home Office from
the NJU for Ministerial authorisation (which must occur within 48 hours).

* The format of the database (list of fields and descriptions) in
which all Section 44 applications are entered into by the NJU as part of
the processing.

* A full copy of the contents of this database.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS
to locate information relevant to your request.

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (the Act) I have decided to refuse access to the information you have
requested.

Section 21 of the Act provides:

(1) Information which is reasonably accessible to the application
otherwise than under section 1 is exempt information***
(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), information which is held
by a public authority and does not fall within subsection (2)(b) is not to
be regarded as reasonably accessible to the applicant merely because the
information is available from the public authority itself on request,
unless the information is made available in accordance with the
authority's publication scheme and any payment required is specified in,
or determined in accordance with, the scheme.

The information you have requested is available the sites detailed below.
The first of which links to the Home Office Circular dated August 2006
and the second which links direct to a copy of Annex A to the above quoted
document which details the forms and guidance that you seek in the first
part of your request.

In addition there are many references in the Ministry of Justice
Statistical Bulletins about arrests for Recorded Crime and these include
the Terrorism Act 2000.

http://www.knowledgenetwork.gov.uk/HO/ci...

http://www.knowledgenetwork.gov.uk/HO/ci...

With regard to providing details of the contents of the database, I am
afraid that I am not required by statute to release the information
requested. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

Section 17 of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

The details contained within the database would be exempt from disclosure
as the following exemptions would apply:

Section 23 (2) Information relating to the security bodies
Section 24 (1) National Security
Section 31(1) Law enforcement

Section 23 of the Act is an absolute exemption, which provides that
information which was directly or indirectly supplied to the Metropolitan
Police Service by, or relates to, a body dealing with security matters
then that information is exempt.

Sections 24 (1) is a qualified exemption which mean that information is
exempt if exemption is required for the purpose of safeguarding national
security and if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the
national security. Section 31 (1) provides that information is exempt if
the disclosure of that information would prejudice the prevention or
detection of crime.

In considering the public interest factors in relation to the disclosure
of this information we would consider the general public interest in
openness and accountability of the police service. However this would be
considered against not disclosing information to protect law enforcement
and national security issues. Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an
important tool in the on going fight against terrorism. To reveal details
about the geographic areas where authorisations are in place would limit
the effect of these powers as a counter terrorism measure. It would also
limit the effectiveness of the law enforcement activity because knowledge
of where the authorisations were in place would be of considerable benefit
to those individuals attempting to avoid detection when planning to carry
out an act of terrorism.

The following links are to two statistical publications that might be if
interest to you:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/arrests-r...

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/stats-rac...

Yours sincerely

Gill Brown
Information Manager

show quoted sections

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your reply on 17 December 2008 to my 23 November request for information relating to Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 authorisations in which I was served with:

* Three exemptions to my request for a copy of the database in which details of all Section 44 authorisations are entered into by the NJU

* No comment at all about my request for the format of this database.

Please consider this a letter of complaint in order that an internal review can be conducted regarding my Freedom of Information request.

The grounds for my complaint are as follows:

* Section 23(2) (Information relating to the security bodies) does not apply owing to the fact that none of those directly involved in the Section 44 powers (neither the chief police constable giving the authorisation, the Secretary of State confirming the authorisation, nor the police officers who actually apply these powers) fall under the security bodies listed in Section 23(3). Consequently, there remains a duty to confirm or deny whether such a database of Section 44 authorisations exists.

* Section 24(1) (National security) does not apply owing to the fact that Section 44(3) Terrorism Act asserts that authorisations "may be given only if the person giving it considers it expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism". While these hypothetical acts of terrorism may occasionally relate to issues national security (in terms of infrastructure and agents of the state), the comments made in Lord Carlile's annual reports about the use of Section 44, as well as personal testimonies of those who have been subject to these searches, suggest that many do not. Quite clearly, the existence, structure, and contents of the database as a whole is not a national security issue. Where there is a potential for security body information to be recorded in this database (if it exists), such columns can easily be omitted from any disclosure leaving only the civilian information.

* Section 31(1) (Law enforcement) was served as an exemption on the basis that "knowledge of where the authorisations were in place would be of considerable benefit to those individuals attempting to avoid detection when planning to carry out an act of terrorism." However, the database (if it exists) would contain all the expired authorisations over the past seven years. This historical information cannot be of any use to terrorists attempting to avoid detection for acts which they intend to commit in the future.

In fact the balance for disclosure weighs the other way. The non-existence (as suggested by the non-response to my request) of an effective database of information surrounding Section 44 Terrorism Act authorisations would prejudice the purpose 2(c) of Section 31 (the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment) as well as being able to deal with the problems of the "inconsistency of approach among chief officers as to why, and if so when, section 44 should be used"[Page 8, para 32, Report on the Operation in 2007 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and of Part I of the Terrorism Act 2006 by Lord Carlile of Berrier Q.C. June 2008]

There is a wide perception among those who have been subject to the extraordinary police powers granted by Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 that the authorisations are frequently being given for convenience rather than for the expedient prevention of acts of terrorism. It is beneficial for people to have a reasonable confidence that the Secretary of State has the tools to effectively review the application of these powers en masse to provide the statutory oversight that is required. That is why it would be in the public interest to disclose as much as possible about the capabilities and contents of this database into which information that passes through the NJU and the Home Office could be gathered.

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

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009010000732

I write in connection with your letter dated 31 December 2008 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response dated 17
December 2008 to your request for information relating to:

* FOIA original case number 2008110005594.

The review will be conducted in accordance to the MPS's complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 25 February
2009.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact Sarah Pallen on telephone number 020 71613604 or at the address at
the top of the letter quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009010000732

Further to our letter of 6 January 2009, I have unfortunately been unable
to meet the response time originally provided to you in relation to:

* Original case number 2008110005594

I hope to complete your review no later than 6 March 2009. Should there
be any unforeseen delay, I will contact you and update you as soon as
possible.

I apologise for the delay, and thank you for your patience.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Further to our letter of 26 February 2009, I have unfortunately been
unable to meet the response time provided to you in relation to:

* FOI Case number 2008110005594

I hope to complete your review no later than 20 March 2009. Should there
be any unforeseen delay, I will contact you and update you as soon as
possible.

I apologise for the delay, and thank you for your patience.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009010000732

Further to our letter of 6 March 2009, I have unfortunately been unable to
meet the response time provided to you in relation to:

* FOI Complaint regarding original FOI number 2008110005594

I hope to complete your review no later than 3 April 2009. Should there be
any unforeseen delay, I will contact you and update you as soon as
possible.

I apologise for the delay, and thank you for your patience.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009010000732

Further to our letter of 18 March 2009, I have unfortunately been unable
to meet the response time originally provided to you in relation to:

* FOI Complaint regarding original FOI number 2008110005594

I hope to complete your review no later than 24 April 2009. Should there
be any further delay, I will contact you and update you as soon as
possible.

I once again would like to apologise for the delay and any inconvenience
caused, and thank you for your patience.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009010000732
Further to our letter of 4 April 2009, I have unfortunately been unable to
meet the response time provided to you in relation to:

* FOI Complaint regarding original FOI number 2008110005594

I can confirm your case is near to completion, and I would like to assure
you that this case is being treated as priority. I hope to complete your
review no later than 8 May 2009. Should there be any delay, I will contact
you and update you as soon as possible.
I do apologise for the delay, any inconvenience caused and thank you for
your patience.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Francis Irving left an annotation ()

Julian's blogged about this request: http://www.freesteel.co.uk/wpblog/2009/0...

Bruce Beckles left an annotation ()

I imagine that the requester is probably aware of this, but in case not, the Code of Practice issued by the Information Commissioner on "Time limits on carrying out internal reviews following requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000" (GPG5) at:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

states:

"In view of all the above the Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review. There may be a small number of cases which involve exceptional circumstances where it may be reasonable to take longer. In those circumstances, the public authority should, as a matter of good practice, notify the requester and explain why more time is needed.

In our view, in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days. In such cases we would expect a public authority to be able to demonstrate that
it had commenced the review procedure promptly following receipt of the request for review and had actively worked on the review throughout that
period."

This would suggest that, at this point, after this many delays without any sensible reason being given for said delays, one would now be entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner.

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 200901000732

Further to our letter of 24 April 2009, I have unfortunately been unable
to meet the response time provided to you in relation to:

* FOI original case number 2008110005594

I can confirm this review is close to completion and I do regret any
inconvenience caused by the amended response time. I hope to complete your
review no later than 27 May 2009. Should there be any unforeseen delay, I
will contact you and update you as soon as possible.

Again I do sincerely apologise for the delay, and thank you for your
patience.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Pallen
FOI Policy and Complaints Review Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on [telephone number] or at the address at the top of this
letter, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009010000732

Further to our letter of 24 April 2009, I am now able to provide a
response to your complaint dated 31 December 2009 concerning Section 44 of
the Terrorism Act 2000:

* Original FOI case number 2008110005594.

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to:

* Vary the original decision

The request which is the focus of this review
I have determined that the procedure by which the Secretary of State is
notified of Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 authorisations involved
applications from Assistant Chief Constables or above being submitted
through the National Joint Unit (NJU) of the Metropolitan Police Service
(MPS)

1. The format of the database (list of fields and descriptions) in
which all Section 44 applications are entered into by the NJU as part of
the processing.

2. A full copy of the contents of this database.

REASON FOR DECISION

I would first like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for the
delay in providing your final response. I regret any inconvenience caused
and thank you for your patience.

To complete this review, searches were conducted within SO15 Counter
Terrorism Command.

I understand from your email of complaint that the grounds for which you
require a review are based on the exemptions provided for question three
and four of your original request. My review has therefore focused on this
part of your complaint in terms of the original request.

Question 1
After careful consideration, I am pleased to be able to overturn the
original decision provided for this part of your request.

The information you have requested for this part of your request is held
by the MPS.

The list of fields and descriptions within the database you refer to (Stop
and Search - Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000) are as follows:

· Force
· Section
· Authorisation
· Date/time Authorised by Force
· To run until
· Force Area
· Specific Area
· Local Circumstances
· Renewal
· Confirmed Date/ Time by Home Office
· NJU Ref
· Additional Statistical Information

Question 2
After careful consideration, the MPS continue to uphold the decision to
exempt information captured by this part of your request by virtue of
Section 23(1) - Information supplied by, or relating to, certain security
bodies, 24(1) - National Security) and 31(1)(a)(b)(c) - (Law Enforcement).

The information you have requested for this part of your request is held
by the MPS.

Section 17 of the Act provides:
Refusal of request
(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of Part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-
(a) states that fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 23(1) of the Act provides:
Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security
matters
(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it was
directly or indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or relates to,
any of the bodies specified in subsection (3).

Section 24 of the Act provides:
National security
(1) Information which does not fall within section 23(1) is exempt
information if exemption from section 1(1)(b) is required for the purpose
of safeguarding national security.

Section 31(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Act provides:
Law enforcement
(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice-
(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
(c) the administration of justice,

Section 23 is a class-based and absolute exemption. I am therefore not
required to provide you with a harm test or public interest test for the
use of this exemption.

Sections 24 and 31 are prejudice-based and qualified exemptions. I am
therefore required to provide you with a harm test and public interest
test for the use of these exemptions.

Harm Test regarding Section 24(1) and 31(1)(a)(b)(c)
The information you have requested relates to national security and the
possible detection of those linked to 'terrorism'. The information you
have requested therefore in itself relates directly to the protection of
national security and law enforcement. Non-disclosure of the information
you have requested is required for the purpose of safeguarding national
security as there is the possibility that disclosure could give rise to
the direct or indirect damage to national security.

Providing the content of just one of the fields or one entry may not in
itself prove or appear a harmful risk to national security. However to
provide the full content of the database may enable those with criminal
intent to try and geographically map where there could possibly be
operational weaknesses or gaps between different forces use of Section 44
applications.

In reality, perceived police service 'gaps' in terms of the use of s44
applications may not indicate operational vulnerabilities in any way.
However, those with less of a policing understanding of the use of Section
44 authorisations by police forces could still try to use the mapped
information to gain an advantage over UK police services.

The information could be used to try and pin point areas where possible
terrorist activity appears less likely to take place or be detected. These
mapped areas of perceived 'intelligence' are then likely to become a
hotspot for criminal activity. This is likely to lead to a further
depletion and allocation of additional policing resources and measures to
try and prevent and detect crime as well as ensure justice is
administered. Such an outcome due to a Freedom of Information disclosure
would not be in the public interest.

Public Interest Test regarding Section 24(1) and 31(1)(a)(b)(c)

Considerations favouring disclosure

Accountability
The information requested relates directly to the efficiency and
effectiveness of the MPS and other UK forces. As the purpose of the Act is
to make public authorities more accountable and transparent, providing the
requested information may go some way to detailing how the MPS and other
forces fulfill their role and function in terms of submissions of Section
44 applications and authorisations. The public has an interest in knowing
how many Section 44 applications are submitted and locations where forces
find the need to invoke Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 as a tool in
the ongoing fight against terrorism.

Public Awareness and Debate
Disclosure of the contents of the database may assist individuals by
furthering understanding of and raising awareness of the use of Section 44
of the Terrorism Act 2000 This is due to the high profile nature of the
policing tool and as it is the public who whose lives are affected by it.
To provide the database content would contribute to accurate debate about
how valuable the use of the Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is, as
the public would be able to view where applications are being submitted
from and how often. Disclosure could go some way to correct rumour and
speculation in regards to media conjecture that the police overuse Section
44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 unsuitably at times.

Considerations favouring non-disclosure

Efficient and effective conduct of the service
The current and future law enforcement role of the force as well as
elements of national security would be compromised by the release of the
content of the database. Providing information that would be contained
within the 'local circumstances' for example, is likely to provide
operational intelligence, which could hinder the policing function of the
apprehension or prosecution offenders. There is therefore no doubt that to
reveal details about the geographical areas where authorisations are in
place would limit the effect of these powers as a counter terrorism
measure.

As explained within the original response provided to you, release of the
information would limit the effectiveness of the use of Section 44 of the
Terrorism Act 2000, as knowledge of where the authorisations were in place
would be of considerable benefit to those individuals attempting to avoid
detection when planning to carry out an act of terrorism.

I take into account your view that the database would contain details of
expired authorisations from past years, which would appear on face value
to be harmless if disclosed. However, patterns may still emerge in regards
to the geographical use of Section 44 that could be used to gain a
criminal advantage over UK police forces. For example the very fact of an
authorisations expiry could indicate to a would-be terrorist that a
particular area was now vulnerable.

After review of the original response provided to you, I see that Section
23(2) was quoted as the applied subsection. I believe this subsection was
quoted in error, and that it was Section 23(1), which should have been
quoted. I am sorry for this administrative error and for any confusion
caused.

I also regret that the correct subsections were not quoted within your
original response for Section 31. As quoted above, it is indeed Section
31(1)(a)(b)(c), which are engaged for this request.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 020 7161 3604 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Pallen
Freedom of Information Policy, Research, Review Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Freedom of Information Act Appeal - Mr Todd
FOIA Review - 2009060006411
FOIA Appeal 2009100005899

Dear Mr Todd,

* FOIA Original case number - 2009050005422

Further to consultation with the Information Commissioner's Office, the
Metropolitan Police Service now confirm that following further
investigation, the MPS no longer rely on Section 12 to exempt the
information captured by your Freedom of Information Act request.

The MPS will now retrieve information held and consider providing
information held within the scope of your request in accordance with our
obligations under Section 1(1)(b), or set out why it is exempt in
accordance with our obligations under Section 17 of the Act.

The MPS has reached an agreed timescale with the Information
Commissioner's Office of 20 working days, for providing you with a final
response to your questions. However, I confirm we will look to work on
your request as a matter of priority.

Kind regards,

S. Strong
A/Higher Information Access Manager
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009100005899

Further to our letter of 9 March 2010, I am now able to provide our final
response to you regarding your Freedom of Information Act request.

* FoIA orginal case number: 2009050004522
* FoIA review case number: 2009060006411

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009100005899

* FoIA original case number: 2009050004522
* FoIA review case number: 2009060006411

Thank you for your email dated 2 June 2010.

The request subject to this FoIA Appeal with the ICO is for the following
information contained within the Section 44 authorisations database:

"Please may I have a complete list of:

1. The durations of each request
2. Whether it is a renewal
3. The time it took for it to be confirmed by the Home Office

Broken down by each year since 2000 when the Act was passed."

In regards to our response letter provided to you on the 28th May 2010,
you have confirmed that your information request would be satisfied by a
table containing only the following columns, listed on the data
spreadsheet originally provided to you:

* The year authorised
* The duration
* Home Office response time
* Whether it was a renewal

You have indicated that with the provision of only the above columns, the
MPS would be able to provide data for all UK police services, without
compromising law enforcement or national security.

In terms of the data spreadsheet provided to you on the 28th May 2010, I
wish to clarify that you are confirming that you will not require the MPS
to provide you with the following columns for all other police services in
the UK:

* Date and Time authorised
* To run until
* Force
* Section of the Act
* Date and time confirmed by the Home Office

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Dear S. Strong,

Thank you for your letter of 7 June 2010 requesting confirmation that I only require the 4 columns (year, duration, home office response time, whether it was a renewal) I asked for in my original request with regards all other police forces.

I do not require operational or sensitive police information, such as the precise date and times, or the name of the police force.

As I have explained, the purpose of my enquiries is to assess the extent to which the powers of oversight by the Secretary of State have been applied on these designations, for which the information I have requested should be quite adequate.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009100005899

Thank you for your letter dated 14 June 2010. This email provided the MPS
with further clarification in regards to the level of detail of
information you require, which is held by the Metropolitan Police Service,
in regards to your Freedom of Information request.

As agreed with the ICO, the MPS will now endeavour to respond to your
email by the 12th July 2010.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009100005899

Further to our letter of 17 June 2010, I am now able to provide a response
to your recent letter dated 14 June 2010 in regards to:

* FOIA original case number: 2009050004522
* FOIA review case number: 2009060006411

As highlighted in your email dated 2 June 2010, to answer your request the
MPS provided you with a table of section 44 authorisation details
contained within the Section 44 authorisations database. It contained the
following columns:

(a) Date and time authorized
(b) Date and time to run until
(c) Duration
(d) Force (always MPS within the table provided)
(e) Section (always s44(1)&(2) within the table provided)
(f) Date and time confirmed by the Home Office
(g) Home Office response time

Within your letter you understood that the above data was exempt for all
other police forces other than the MPS, as this level of detail would
geographically pinpoint and spot patterns of police activity.

You therefore confirmed that your request would be satisfied by a table
containing no more than the following columns:

(a) The YEAR authorized
(c) Duration
(g) Home Office Response time
(h) Whether it was a renewal

Your letter stated that in regards to the columns originally provided to
you, we had actually provided you with more than you had asked for. You
indicated that if we cut down the amount of column details to include the
above four columns only, then we would be able to provide other forces
data, rather than just MPS data.

Data for your request in regards to other forces was exempt because
providing the 'durations' would also mean disclosing the two very detailed
columns titled 'date and time authorised' and 'to run until'. Based on
this understanding of the meaning of 'duration', the MPS was therefore
trying to provide you with as full an answer as possible. Should such an
occurrence in regards to the complexity of a definition occur in the
future, we will look to liaise more closely with applicants to try and
assess what information is required which would wholly satisfy an
applicant.

It is worth us noting that in this particular case, the column titled
'duration' was in fact 'created' by the MPS. This column was worked out
using a formula, based on the more detailed columns titled 'date and time
authorised' and 'to run until'. The MPS is not required by the Act to
create new information, but this column was created and sent to you in our
previous response to satisfy your request, in terms of MPS data only. The
MPS was therefore not trying to provide more columns than necessary when
providing MPS data. Instead we looked to provide as full an answer to your
request as possible, based on the information the database actually holds
alone.

As you are content with a less detailed definition of the term 'duration',
and do not require specific times and dates of authorisations connected to
forces, the MPS are able to provide you with the information you have
refined.

Additional information in regards to the provision of data

It is also important to note, that information within the database I am
providing you with today is not exhaustive. As you have requested
information only held within the database, I have therefore answered this
part of your question based on information entered into the database only,
and not by using the further information contained within the manual
files.

Please note, the category left blank or marked VALUE is where the entry in
the database was not manually completed but a record will still be
generated. The system has worked out the 'duration' and 'Home Office
response time' in fractions of a day and not hours. In some cases, there
are negative values or 0 and this is due to inputting errors. Further
detail on each authorisation would be held within the manual files.
However, as you have requested information held within the database,
information held within the manual files is not pertinent to this request.

It is also pertinent to add that the Home Office has conducted a review of
all Section 44 authorisations since February 2001 and has identified those
which were erroneous. The Parliamentary statement laid on 10 June 2010
highlighted where stop and searches were carried out during periods of
invalid authorisation (please see link below). It is important to note
that the Parliamentary statement identified all of the errors and any
further errors you may find within the spreadsheet I have provided you
with will be a result of manual inputting errors.

In terms of inputting errors, the MPS can confirm two inputting errors in
regards to authorisations within the spreadsheet provided to you. This
information was located through the manual files. The Section 44 data
within line 52 of the spreadsheet should actually reflect an authorisation
dated 2008, the duration of which was 27.31 days, Home Office response
time was 1.81 days and this was a renewal. The Section 44 data within line
190 of the spreadsheet should actually reflect an authorisation dated
2009, the duration of which was 5.16 days, Home Office response time was
1.89 days and this was not a renewal.

Parliamentary Statement - Authorisation to stop and search under Section
44 of the Terrorism Act 2000

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publication...

I do apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay of this
information, and thank you for your co-operation with this request.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

show quoted sections

Julian Todd left an annotation ()

Now we need to parse this document to produce a graph and count of their authorizations per year (and subtract out the ones that were covering London).

Most of them were for the full duration of 28 days, so cannot be counted as targeted. Also, it appears that the Home Secretaries signed every single one of the notices put their desk. Some oversight!