Terms of Reference: Operation Weeting

P. John 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 partially successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I understand the MPS wrote to Tom Watson MP recently.

Mr Watson has stated in news reports (*) that the evidence "strongly suggests that, on behalf of News International, [Jonathan Rees] was illegally targeting members of the royal family, senior politicians and high-level terrorist informers, yet the head of Operation Weeting (Scotland Yard's codename for its probe into phone hacking at the News of the World) has recently written to me to explain that this evidence may be outside the inquiry's terms of reference."

Further the MPS are quoted saying; "(We) can confirm that since January 2011 the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) has received a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting."

Please will you disclose the terms of reference/remit of the Operation Weeting inquiry.

Please could you confirm/deny that the allegations of illegal interception offences by Jonathan Rees are also being investigated by the Met Police, and if so, please name the leading officer and operation name of the inquiry into such allegations.

Yours faithfully,

P John

(*) See
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-wor...

P. John left an annotation ()

"Scotland Yard has confirmed that a small team of officers, known as Operation Tuleta, is assessing whether to set up an investigation. They are understood to be examining a mass of material seized from Rees to see whether it contains evidence of lawbreaking on behalf of newspapers. "

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun...

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr / Ms John,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011060001588
I respond in connection with your request for information dated
09/06/2011, which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
the same day. I note you seek access to the following information:

I understand the MPS wrote to Tom Watson MP recently.

Mr Watson has stated in news reports (*) that the evidence "strongly
suggests that, on behalf of News International, [Jonathan Rees] was
illegally targeting members of the royal family, senior politicians and
high-level terrorist informers, yet the head of Operation Weeting
(Scotland Yard's codename for its probe into phone hacking at the News of
the World) has recently written to me to explain that this evidence may be
outside the inquiry's terms of reference."

Further the MPS are quoted saying; "(We) can confirm that since January
2011 the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) has received a number of
allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of
Operation Weeting."

Please will you disclose the terms of reference/remit of the Operation
Weeting inquiry.

Please could you confirm/deny that the allegations of illegal interception
offences by Jonathan Rees are also being investigated by the Met Police,
and if so, please name the leading officer and operation name of the
inquiry into such allegations.

(*) See
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-wor...

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 time-scale 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.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
e-mail or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 1380, quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Sayers
Specialist Crime Directorate
SCD Senior Information 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, 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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Sir or Madam

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011060001588

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 09/06/2011. I note you seek
access to the following information:

Please will you disclose the terms of reference/remit of the Operation
Weeting inquiry.
Please could you confirm/deny that the allegations of illegal interception
offences by Jonathan Rees are also being investigated by the Met Police,
and if so, please name the leading officer and operation name of the
inquiry into such allegations.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.

Section 17(2) provides:

2) Where-
a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated, as we are
currently considering whether 'qualified exemptions' apply to the
information you have requested. As a result we will not be able to respond
within 20 working days.

For your information we are considering the following exemption:

Section 30 - Investigations

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 04 August
2011.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 020 7230 2003 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Beaumont
SCD Information 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, 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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Mr Beaumont,

thank you for your note.

I'm dissapointed to learn there will be a further delay.

Given the issues that surround the Weeting investigation particularly;
- the apparent collusion of the Metropolitan Police press office with executives at NoTW to hide the extent of illegal interception ('Webb stressed the department’s "long-term relationship with News International"'(*)),
- the subsequent disclosure of a personal relationship between John Yates and Felicity Ross (an Australian national, and her role as "Senior Information Officer Operational Services Press Team" at the time of the original investigation (**)),
- and the failure of the Met to adequately assess evidence which John Yates organised in 'bin bags' (***)
- restrictions on the scope of the invesigiation are being cited by Met Police officers as a reason not to investigate further allegations

... it becomes a matter of public interest, trust, and confidence in the Met Police that the scope of the Weeting investigation is openly disclosed (so that the police can be held to account).

Disclosing the scope of the investigation does not require you to reveal any details of the evidence or identity of suspects.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

(*)https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magaz...
(**)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...
(***) http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar...

iainbarrett left an annotation ()

Considering the witch hunt in to the journalistic operations of the news of the world
shouldnt the same questions be asked about the guardian newspaper its owners its agenda and its political and police bed sharing.

P. John left an annotation ()

Perhaps information would be forthcoming from the Met if WDTK allowed users to staple a cheque for £1000 to the request?

Or email the request with a wad of used tenners?

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr or Ms John

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011060001588

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 09/06/2011. I note you seek
access to the following information:

Please will you disclose the terms of reference/remit of the Operation
Weeting inquiry.
Please could you confirm/deny that the allegations of illegal interception
offences by Jonathan Rees are also being investigated by the Met Police,
and if so, please name the leading officer and operation name of the
inquiry into such allegations.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.

Section 17(2) provides:

2) Where-
a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated, as we are
currently considering whether 'qualified exemptions' apply to the
information you have requested. As a result we will not be able to respond
within 20 working days.

For your information we are considering the following exemption:

Section 30 - Investigations

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 01 September
2011.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 020 7230 2003 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Beaumont
SCD Information 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, 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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr or Ms John

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011060001588

I respond in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 09/06/2011. I note
you seek access to the following information:

1. Please will you disclose the terms of reference/remit of the
Operation Weeting inquiry.
2. Please could you confirm/deny that the allegations of illegal
interception offences by Jonathan Rees are also being investigated by the
Met Police, and if so, please name the leading officer and
operation name of the inquiry into such allegations.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
within the Specialist Crime Directorate.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located information relevant to question 1 of your request.

DECISION

I have today decided to exempt question 1 by virtue of Section
30(1)(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) and
to neither confirm or deny question 2 by virtue of Section 30(3), Section
31(3), Section 38(2) and Section 40(5) of the Act.

At question 1 you asked: Please will you disclose the terms of
reference/remit of the Operation Weeting inquiry.

The MPS response is: Having located and considered the relevant
information I am not required by statute to release the information
requested. The information you have requested is exempt by virtue of
Section 30(1)(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c) of the Act.

Under Section 30(1)(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c) of the Act, Public Authorities are
able to withhold information if it was obtained or recorded for the
purposes of investigations, criminal proceedings or civil proceedings. In
this case the information requested relates to an ongoing investigation.
Disclosing specific details of an investigation could potentially impact
and undermine any current or future criminal and /or civil proceedings.
This exemption can be applied after evidencing the Harm, which could be
caused by its release and following completion of a Public Interest Test
(PIT). The purpose of the PIT is to establish whether the 'Public
Interest' lies in disclosing or withholding the requested information.

This email serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Act.

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Act referred to in this
email.

REASONS FOR DECISION

Before I explain the reasons for the decisions I have made in relation to
your request, I thought that it would be helpful if I outline the
parameters set out by the Act within which a request for information can
be answered.

The Act creates a statutory right of access to information held by public
authorities. A public authority in receipt of a request must, if
permitted, confirm if the requested information is held by that public
authority and, if so, then communicate that information to the applicant.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject
to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public authorities
to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, the
Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once
access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then
considered public information and must be communicated to any individual
should a request be received.

I have considered your request for information within the provisions set
out by the Act . I have addressed your request in order to both confirm if
the requested information is held by the MPS and then to provide this
information to you. Where I have been unable to provide the requested
information to you, I have explained my decision in accordance with
Section 17 of the Act.

Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have
considered the potential HARM that could be caused by disclosure.

Under the Act, we cannot, and do not request the motives of any applicant
for information. We have no doubt the vast majority of applications under
the Act are legitimate and do not have any ulterior motives, however, in
disclosing information to one applicant we are expressing a willingness to
provide it to anyone in the world. This means that a disclosure to a
genuinely interested applicant automatically opens it up for a similar
disclosure to anyone, including those who might represent a threat to
individuals, or any possible criminal and / or civil process.

Information of this nature needs to be treated with extreme sensitivity,
as it could have a detrimental effect on an investigation and the
operational effectiveness of the MPS and it's ability to fulfil its core
function of law enforcement.

High profile investigations, such as this one, are highly emotive and the
manner in which they are conducted are usually kept in strict secrecy so
that the tactics and lines of enquiry that are followed do not become
public knowledge thereby rendering them useless.

Public Interest Test

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure for Section
30(1)(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c)

Disclosure of this information would enlighten members of the public as to
the action taken by the MPS in this investigation. This may go some way to
promoting awareness, accountability and would reinforce the MPS's
commitment to openness and transparency. Release of this information would
assist in any public debate on the MPS's action during this investigation
and would demonstrate the willingness of the MPS to be open and
transparent with the public showing what procedures are carried out.

Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure for Section
30(1)(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c)

Information relating to an ongoing investigation will rarely be disclosed
and only where there is a strong public interest consideration favouring
disclosure. In this case, release of the requested information could
allow individuals to use the information contained in the points of
reference to undermine the methodology and techniques employed by the MPS
and impede current / future investigations.

Balancing Test

After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the
disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest.
I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being
disclosed does not outweigh disclosing information relating to your
request for the Terms of Reference for Operation Weeting. The MPS will
rarely disclose information relating to an ongoing investigation as to do
so could adversely harm that investigation.

At question 2 you asked: Please could you confirm/deny that the
allegations of illegal interception offences by Jonathan Rees are also
being investigated by the Met Police, and if so, please name the leading
officer and operation name of the inquiry into such allegations.

The MPS response is: The MPS can confirm that since January 2011 we have
received a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall
outside the strict remit of Operation Weeting. Officers within the
Specialist Crime Directorate, working under their normal line management,
but with close links to the Op Weeting team, have been tasked with
gathering information in relation to these allegations, to ascertain
whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a full criminal
investigation into these matters. This assessment process has the working
title of Operation Tuleta.

Whilst at present there is substantial media and public debate concerning
the focus of Operation Tuleta, to actually confirm or deny that any person
is or is not being investigated would enable those engaged in criminal
activity to identify the focus of policing activity, whilst also breaching
data protection principles in protecting their right to privacy. The
release of such information would also reveal policing tactics regarding
who was of interest to the police generally, which could be to the
detriment of providing an efficient policing service and a failure in
providing a duty of care to all members of the public.

In accordance with theAct, this email represents a Refusal Notice for this
particular request under Section 17(1).

The MPS can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information you
requested as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Act does not apply, by
virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 30(3) - Investigations
Section 31(3) - Law Enforcement
Section 38(2) - Health and Safety
Section 40(5) - Personal Information

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Act referred to in this
email.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 30 (3) of the Act:

There is substantial information already in the public domain concerning
the status of both Operation Weeting and Operation Tuleta and any further
disclosure of information would provide an additional insight into the
progress and direction of these enquiries. Such a disclosure would enable
the public to have better understanding of the efficiency and
effectiveness of the police service. The release of information could
allow the public to make their own informed decisions about the current
police investigation surrounding the phone hacking enquiry and the money
currently being spent in this business area. This would greatly assist in
the quality and accuracy of public debate, which would otherwise likely be
steeped in rumour and speculation.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 30 (3) of the Act:

By confirming or denying whether specific individuals or groups are of
interest or under investigation would hinder the ability of the MPS to
conduct a fair and thorough investigation in deciding as to whether any
person should be charged with an offence or to institute criminal
proceedings which the MPS has a power to conduct. As a result, any
information which may or may not be held would be exempt information by
virtue of Sec (1).

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 31(3) of the Act:

By confirming or denying whether individuals or groups are of interest
would enable the public to understand the focus of police investigations
and provide reassurance that the right people are being dealt with
robustly. In addition, the release of information would also assist
identify whether mistakes have been made during the investigative process.
Better public awareness of who the police are investigating may also
reduce crime or lead to more information from the public.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 31(3) of the Act:

By confirming or denying whether individuals or groups are of interest
would lead to law enforcement tactics being compromised which would hinder
the prevention and detection of crime. To provide advanced knowledge of
any person who the MPS are investigating or intend arresting would
prejudice their apprehension or prosecution as they could leave the
country thereby avoiding arrest and therefore the administration of
justice.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 38 (2) of the Act:

The confirmation or denial of the involvement of any named individual
would not lead to a decline in their physical or mental health or endanger
their personal safety as there is already substantial media focus on their
alleged involvement.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 38 (2) of the Act:

The confirming or denying of any individual who may be involved in phone
hacking activity may endanger their safety. This case has provoked
substantial ill feeling by the general public towards those alledgedly
involved in the interception of mobile calls, and therefore the disclosure
of such information would be likely to place their safety at risk if
someone felt the need to retaliate or inflict harm as a result of their
name being confirmed as being responsible or under investigation for such
offences.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 40 (5) of the Act:

Considerable information is already in the public domain concerning the
criminal activities of the named individual and his alleged involvement in
this case. To confirm or deny his involvement would assist to satisfy the
growing public interest and provide a more informed debate around those
persons responsible for the criminal activities currently being
investigated.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 40 (5) of the Act:

The confirming or denying whether the named individual is being
investigated would constitute a disclosure of his own personal data based
on the fact that the MPS have not provided any such details in the public
domain and therefore confirming or denying this fact would contravene at
least one of the data protection principles.

Sensitive personal data is defined in section 2 of the DPA. It is personal
data which falls into one of the categories set out in section 2 of the
DPA, ie personal data consisting of information as to:

(g) the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence,

(h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been
committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any
court in such proceedings". (see ICO DN FS 50300474)

Balance test

Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of this specific
police investigation and providing assurance to the public that the police
service is appropriately and effectively carrying out a thorough review,
there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of
this police investigation by not revealing who may be the focus of their
enquiries, which could hinder their evidence gathering process in support
of any future prosecution which may subsequently arise. Therefore it is
our opinion that for these issues the balancing test for confirming or
denying the locations is not made out.

However, this should not be taken as necessarily indicating that any
information that would meet your request exists or does not exist.

The senior officer with oversight of Operation Tuleta is Acting Deputy
Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2003 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Beaumont
SCD Information Manager

Legal Annex
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.
Section 30 of the Act provides:

(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information
if it has at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of-

(a) any investigation which the public authority has a duty to
conduct with a view to it being ascertained-
(i) whether a person should be charged with an offence, or
(ii) whether a person charged with an offence is
guilty of it,

(b) any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in
the circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to
conduct, or

(c) any criminal proceedings which the authority has power
to conduct.

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to
information which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be)
exempt information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).

Section 31(3) of the Act provides:

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the
extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to,
prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

Section 38(2) of the Act provides:

(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the
extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to,
have either of the effects mentioned in subsection (1).

Section 40(5) of the Act provides:

(5) The duty to confirm or deny-
(a) does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it
were held by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue
of subsection (1), and
(b) does not arise in relation to other information if or to the
extent that either-
(i) the giving to a member of the public of the
confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section
1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) contravene any
of the data protection principles or section 10 of the [1998 c. 29.] Data
Protection Act 1998 or would do so if the exemptions in section 33A(1)
of that Act were disregarded, or
(ii) by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the [1998 c.
29.] Data Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from section
7(1)(a) of that Act (data subject's right to be informed
whether personal data being processed).

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

in the context of the corruption acknowledged by Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin to have been a "significant factor" in the failure of the Met to prosecute the killers of Daniel Morgan... sadly you have no right to take for granted public confidence in the integrity of the MPS.

In the context of the acknowledged acts of bribery, and corruption committed by News International and its employees... your hesitation and reluctance to answer a simple request such as this begs more troubling questions than it answers.

You must surely recognise that when you claim you are incapable of providing an open and transparent account for the scope of an investigation that involves bribery and corruption by Police officers from your own force... you do nothing to promote public confidence in the integrity of the investigation.

In fact it has exactly the opposite effect; that's certainly not my intention and I hope it is not yours.

For your own benefit - much more so than mine - please conduct an internal review and reconsider your response.

Please demonstrate that the integrity of the MPS is intact by openly disclosing the terms of reference/remit of the Operation Weeting inquiry.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr John,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001898

I write in connection with your letter dated 10 August 2011 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response to your
request for information relating to:

* Original FOI case number 2011060001588

The review will be conducted in accordance with the MPS complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 8 September
2011.

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

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr John,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001898

I write in connection with your letter dated 10 August 2011 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response to your
request for information relating to:

* Original FOI case number 2011060001588

In requesting an internal review, I would be grateful if you could clarify
whether you seek a review of both question one and two or question one
only. I ask this as whilst you have requested an internal review, you have
requested in your complaint that the MPS specifically disclose the terms
of reference/remit of the Operation Weeting inquiry. Confirmation of this
point will enable us to resolve your complaint effectively.

Please provide an update on this matter by 8th September 2011. Should you
have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please contact me
quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA 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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

concerning question 1, I would like you to review the decision to withhold disclosure despite "having located and considered the relevant information".

It is in the public interest (and MPS own interest) that the scope of an inquiry by Met Police... into crimes linked to law breaking by newspapers, and involving Met Police corruption... should be entirely open, transparent, and accountable.

Sadly, instead, the unnecessary secrecy surrounding the scope of this investigation absolutely stinks of more of the same corruption.

When asked to investigate linked complaints about the private detective Jonathan Rees, MPS said it had "received a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting" (*).

That being the case, I would like you to disclose the remit of Operation Weeting in the interests of openness, transparency, and accountability. So I can understand why Mr. Rees seems to enjoy preferential treatment from the MPS.

You then opted 'to neither confirm or deny question 2' concerning the investigation of allegations against Jonathan Rees. However I have since learned the information I requested from you was disclosed by you to the Guardian... the investigation being called Operation Tuleta and employing the services of approximately 6 officers.

"Scotland Yard has confirmed that a small team of officers, known as Operation Tuleta, is assessing whether to set up an investigation. They are understood to be examining a mass of material seized from Rees to see whether it contains evidence of lawbreaking on behalf of newspapers." (**)

If you can reveal that data to the Guardian, perhaps you could explain in detail in your review why it was not possible to disclose it to me?

Was an officer paid to disclose that information to the Guardian? Or did the Guardian use a Freedom of Information request?

If an officer was paid, that would be a crime in itself. If the Guardian used Freedom of Information, why did the same exemptions you imposed on my request not apply to the Guardian request?

You'll recall the prosecution of Jonathan Rees for the murder of Daniel Morgan collapsed because of... Met Police corruption.

You can probably guess, I am not at all happy about the way this FoI request has been handled. It is September now; I expected this information to be made available to me 'promptly and within 20 working days'.

Four months later I find myself pleading with you to disclose this information? That in itself is a cause for complaint.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

(*) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13704943
(**) http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun...

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr John

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001898

Thank you for your letter dated 3 September 2011 which I have taken into
account in regards to this review. I have unfortunately been unable to
meet the response time originally provided to you in relation to the
review for:

* Original FOI case number 2011060001588

I hope to complete your review no later than 6 October 2011. 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.

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

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA 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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Mr John,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001898

Further to our letter of 9 September 2011, I have unfortunately been
unable to meet the response time originally provided to you in relation
to:

* Original FOI case number 2011060001588

I hope to complete your review no later than 28 October 2011. 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.

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

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA 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

 

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Mr John,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001898

Further to our letter of 7 October 2011, I have unfortunately been unable
to meet the response time provided to you in relation to:

* Original FOI case number 2011060001588

I hope to complete your review no later than  11 November 2011. Should
there be any further unforeseen delay, I will contact you and update you
as soon as possible.

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

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

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA  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

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr John,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080001898

Further to our letter of 7 October 2011, I am now able to provide a
response to your complaint dated 10 August 2011 concerning:

·        Original FOI case number 2011060001588

Original FOI request (received 9/6/11)
Mr Watson has stated in news reports (*) that the evidence "strongly
suggests that, on behalf of News International, [Jonathan Rees] was
illegally targeting members of the royal family, senior politicians and
high-level terrorist informers, yet the head of Operation Weeting
(Scotland Yard's codename for its probe into phone hacking at the News of
the World) has recently written to me to explain that this evidence may be
outside the inquiry's terms of reference."
     
Further the MPS are quoted saying; "(We) can confirm that since January
2011 the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) has received a number of
allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of
Operation Weeting."
     
1. Please will you disclose the terms of reference/remit of the Operation
Weeting inquiry.
2(a). Please could you confirm/deny that the allegations of illegal
interception offences by Jonathan Rees are also being investigated by the
Met Police,
2(b) and if so, please name the leading officer and
2(c)operation name of the inquiry into such allegations.

(*) See
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-wor...

DECISION

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

* Vary the original decision

REASON FOR DECISION

I would first like to take this opportunity to apologise for the delay to
your internal review and for any inconvenience caused.

Question One

The original response provided to you confirmed information is held for
question one but is exempt by virtue of Section
30(1)(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c)(Investigations).

On careful review of your questions, the MPS has overturned the original
decision for question one and provided you with the information requested.

I have removed the protective marking within the document as it is no
longer relevant to the document.

Question Two

The MPS originally neither confirmed nor denied whether the information
you requested for question two was held by virtue of Section
30(3)(Investigations), Section 38(2)(Health and Safety), Section 40(5)
(Personal Information) and Section 31(3) (Law Enforcement).

Your second email of complaint (dated 3 September 2011) refers to the
following paragraph within a Guardian article which links appears to link
Operation Tuleta to Mr Rees:

“Scotland Yard has confirmed that a small team of officers, known as
Operation Tuleta, is assessing whether to set up an investigation. They
are understood to be examining a mass of material seized from Rees to see
whether it contains evidence of lawbreaking on behalf of newspapers”.

Your FOI complaint queries (in regards to your FOI request) why it was not
possible to disclose the above information to you, if the MPS has revealed
the above data to The Guardian. You therefore query whether an officer was
paid to disclose that information to The Guardian or whether the Guardian
used an FOI request to obtain this information. You question why the same
exemptions posed in your request were not applied to The Guardian request.

Whilst FOI is not a forum for debate, the MPS has not publicly confirmed
or denied whether officers working on Operation Tuleta are examining
material seized from Mr Rees under the Freedom of Information Act. On
seeking MPS press statements I also find no such link (between Mr Rees and
Operation Tuleta) has been publicly made by the MPS through the
Directorate of Public Affairs (DPA). On the 16th August (which post dates
your request), the MPS confirmed only that:

“Operation Tuleta is currently considering a number of allegations
regarding breach of privacy, received by the MPS since January 2011, which
falls outside the remit of Operation Weeting, including computer hacking.
This is not the subject of a formal investigation and it would be
inappropriate to comment further at this stage”.

If you wish to submit an actual FOI request for information held/recorded
information which may be held that would evidence a member of the MPS
disclosed information relating to Mr Rees in respect of Operation Tuleta
to the Guardian and was paid to do so, please let me know and I will
ensure this request is logged and acknowledged as soon as possible.

In respect of question two the MPS is required to uphold the decision to
neither confirm nor deny whether information is held for question two by
virtue of the following exemptions:

* Section 40(5) (Personal Information)
* Section 30(3)(Investigations)

I have withdrawn the application of Section 38(2)(Health and Safety) and
Section 31(3) (Law Enforcement) in respect of question two.

Section 40 is a class based and absolute exemption. I am therefore not
required to provide you with a Prejudice or Public Interest Test on the
application of this exemption.

Section 30 is a class-based and qualified exemption. I am therefore
required to provide you with a Public Interest test on the application of
this exemption.

Section 40(5) (Personal Information)

To confirm or deny whether personal information exists in response to your
request could publicly reveal information about an individual, thereby
breaching the right to privacy afforded to persons under the Data
Protection Act 1998.

When formulating the Freedom of Information Act legislators recognised
that public disclosure of personal information would be contrary to the
principles of the Data Protection Act.  Therefore an exemption was written
at Section 40 which relates to Personal Information.  Indeed, in the words
of Lord Hope of Craighead in Common Services Agency v Scottish Information
Commissioner (referring to the equivalent provisions in the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the ‘FOISA’):  

“….The references which that Act makes to provisions of DPA 1998 must be
understood in the light of the legislative purposes of that Act, which was
to implement Council Directive 95/46/EC. The guiding principle is the
protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons, and in
particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of
personal data….”  

The details of this case can be found via this link:  
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

The review finds, in this case, that the MPS has correctly refused to
confirm or deny whether personal information requested is held by virtue
of section 40(5).  The MPS applied this exemption, as confirmation or
denial of personal information would breach principle one of the Data
Protection Act.  The principle of ‘neither confirm nor deny’ is long
established, and it is recognised that in some circumstances simply
confirming or denying whether requested information was held could itself
disclose sensitive and  damaging information.  This fact was itself
recognised by the legislators - all exemptions except section 21
(information accessible by other means) include a provision which enable
public authorities to neither confirm nor deny that it holds the requested
information in certain situations.  This principle is explained below:

Person X makes an FOI request to receive all the information about their
complaint and possible subsequent investigation. Such information would be
classed as personal data.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the authority can reply in four
ways:

1.        They do not hold any information, so they say 'no information
held'.
2.        They hold information, and they disclose it.
3.        They hold information, but they recognise it is an individual's
personal data, and they apply the Section 40 (2) exemption.
4.        They neither confirm nor deny that they hold the information
using Section 40(5).

If the authority responds by following either Option 1, 2 or 3, they have
breached the privacy rights of Person X afforded to them by the Data
Protection Act. This is because they have openly revealed whether or not
Person X has been involved with a complaint and possible subsequent
investigation. Under FOI, any response or disclosure is classed as a
release to the world, and this would allow other people to identify Person
X and other involved third parties. Responding as per either Option 1 or 2
reveals whether or not Person X and other third parties are linked to a
specific complaint case. In Option 3, even though the actual details of
the complaint or possible investigation are not disclosed (because section
40 (2) is used to withhold the information), by doing this the authority
has confirmed that the information requested does exist. By exempting the
information, they have confirmed that Person X and other third parties are
involved in a complaint, and in this way the authority has breached those
individuals' rights under the Data Protection Act.

Therefore, when a request for details of a complaint is received by a
public authority and the details have not already been made public, the
appropriate response for the authority to give is one that protects all
relevant individual's rights under the Data Protection Act, in this case
by neither confirming nor denying that the information exists. This
principle is appropriate to requests seeking confirmation of whether
individuals have been subject to an investigation or had involvement with
the police. This is because to indicate whether they were or were not,
would similarly breach their rights to privacy.

Whilst there is a public interest in disclosing information regarding
police actions regarding allegations or complaints which may have been
lodged, the public expects the MPS to handle such matters in a sensitive
and professional manner. The public would lose trust in the MPS to handle
confidential and personal information, should they fear we will routinely
confirm or deny whether complaint information is held, and details of any
such matters under the Freedom of Information Act.

I therefore find the public interest favours neither confirming nor
denying whether the information you have requested is held. I base this
decision on the understanding that the public interest is not what
interests the public. Instead I base this decision on the basis that the
public interest is what would be of greater good to the community as a
whole, if the information was confirmed or denied as held.  The MPS must
legitimately consider the rights of third parties who may be compromised,
should the MPS confirm or deny whether the information requested is held.

It is important to note that personal data is defined under the Data
Protection Act (1998) as data that is biographical in nature, has the
applicant as its focus and/or affects the data subject's privacy in his or
her personal, professional or business life. Should the information be
held, the MPS would define such information as personal data.

Additionally sensitive personal data is defined in Section 2 of the DPA.
It is personal data which falls into one of the categories set out in
section 2 of the DPA, i.e. personal data consisting of information as to:

(g) the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence,
(h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been
committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any
court in such proceedings".

The MPS therefore remains required to neither confirm whether personal
data (including sensitive personal data) pertinent to your request is held
by the MPS.

Further guidance on this principle has been provided by the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which can be found via this link:
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

Section 30(3) (Investigations)

Public Interest Test
Considerations favouring confirming or denying whether information is held

Confirming or denying which individuals may or may not be under
investigation for allegations of illegal interception offences is in the
public interest, considering the high profile nature of the hacking
investigations.

Providing additional information into the public domain regarding publicly
known individuals would also provide insight into how public funds are
being spent relating to this high-profile area.

Confirmation or denial of whether the information is held may also satisfy
the public that all matters are being fully investigated, by being
informed as to who is and is not under investigation. Confirmation or
denial of whether the information is held would enhance the quality and
accuracy of public debate, avoiding rumour and speculation regarding
individuals.

Considerations favouring neither confirming nor denying whether the
information is held

Confirming or denying whether and which particular individuals may or may
not be being investigated for allegations of illegal interception offences
would prejudice the ability of the MPS to conduct a fair and robust
investigation in deciding whether any person should be charged with an
offence or to institute criminal proceedings which the MPS has a power to
conduct.

Especially given the high profile nature of the alleged crimes, it would
not be in the public interest to continually confirm or deny which
particular individuals may or may not be under investigation for
particular crimes, particularly in consideration that both Operation
Weeting and Tuleta remain ongoing.

Balance Test in respect of Section 30(3) (Law Enforcement)

On weighing up the competing interests, I find the strongest reason
favouring confirming or denying whether the information is held is to
enhance transparency in respect of his high profile issue, enabling the
public to have confidence in what avenues the MPS consider necessary to
investigate. The strongest reason favouring neither confirming nor denying
whether the information is held is to ensure a investigative work into the
high profile allegations of hacking are not compromised by informing the
public about who specifically is an is not under investigation for
particular connected allegations. The Police must be able to conduct
investigations into this sensitive matter robustly without the requirement
to disclose information which could detrimentally compromise any
investigation.

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

Legal Annex

Section 17(Refusal of a Request) 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.

Section 40(5)(Personal Information) of the Act provides:
(5) The duty to confirm or deny-
(a) does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held
by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of
subsection (1), and
(b) does not arise in relation to other information if or to the extent
that either-
(i) the giving to a member of the public of the confirmation or denial
that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart
from this Act) contravene any of the data protection principles or section
10 of the [1998 c. 29.] Data Protection Act 1998 or would do so if the
exemptions in section 33A(1)                 of that Act were disregarded,
or
 (ii) by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the [1998 c. 29.] Data
Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from section 7(1)(a) of that
Act (data subject's right to be informed whether personal data being
processed).

Section 30 (Investigations) of the Act provides:
(1)Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it has
at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of-        
(a) any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct
with a view to it being ascertained-
(i) whether a person should be charged with an offence, or
(ii) whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,
(b) any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the
circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or
(c) any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.
(3)The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt
information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).

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

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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