Transfer of Equality Obligations

Nick Brown made this Freedom of Information request to British Waterways Board

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 refused by British Waterways Board.

Dear British Waterways Board,

Please provide the following information:

All correspondence between Sally Ash, Damian Kemp and Greta O'Shea regarding the question whether British Waterways' equality obligations as a public body will be transferred to the Canal and River Trust, between 8 December 2011 and now.

All internal reports and briefing documents written by the BW Legal Department regarding the transfer of BW's equality obligations to the CRT.

For the avoidance of doubt this is a requisition under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Yours faithfully,

Nick Brown

Information Request,

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am pleased to inform you that once we have confirmed the extent to which the regulations permit the release of the information which you have requested a response will be sent within a 20 working day timescale of receipt of your request on 1st March 2012.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
In April 2012 the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

Information Request,

Dear Mr Brown,

I am writing further to your request received on 1st March 2012. In your e-mail you requested the following information from British Waterways:

1) All correspondence between Sally Ash, Damian Kemp and Greta O'Shea regarding the question whether British Waterways' equality obligations as a public body will be transferred to the Canal and River Trust, between 8 December 2011 and now.

2) All internal reports and briefing documents written by the BW Legal Department regarding the transfer of BW's equality obligations to the CRT.

We have considered your request and understand that the information you have requested above is not held by British Waterways.

If we haven’t reasonably met your expectations in relation to a request for information or you believe we may not have acted in accordance with the above legislation you should write in the first instance to Kelly Radley Head of Customer Relations, 64 Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts WD17 1DA outlining your concerns and asking for a review to be undertaken. Your correspondence will be acknowledged and a review of your case will be undertaken by one of British Waterways’ directors.

Should you remain unsatisfied by the response you receive you are able to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us.aspx.

Yours Sincerely,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

Nick Brown left an annotation ()

I have been informed that BW holds no information that fulfils this request. However I know that it does as the existence of the information is identified in internal memos of which I have had sight. Therefore BW has not responded accurately to the requisition.

Dear Ms Young

I am writing to request an internal review of British Waterways Board's handling of my FOI request 'Transfer of Equality Obligations'.

You have informed me that BW holds no information that fulfils this request.

However I know that BW does hold this information as the existence of the information is identified in internal memos of which I have had sight.

Therefore BW has not responded accurately to the requisition.

In addition I note that the passage of BW to the Canals and Rivers Trust is being scrutinised by 5 Parliamentary Select Committees. I note that the issue of transfer of statutory obligations falls under this scrutiny. It is therefore inconceivable that BW has not conducted internal evaluation of this, including the information I seek. It follows that BW has not complied with my requisition.

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

I note that the Code of Practise on the conducting of internal reviews stipulates that someone other than yourself must conduct the review.

Yours sincerely,
Nick Brown

Information Request,

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We maintain that British Waterways does not hold copies of the information you requested in your e-mail of 1st March, specifically:

"Written correspondence between Sally Ash, Damian Kemp and Greta O'Shea regarding the question whether British Waterways' equality obligations as a public body will be transferred to the Canal and River Trust, between 8 December 2011 and now."

You mention that you believe this information does exist because "the existence of the information is identified in internal memos". We are not aware of any internal memos which mention correspondence between Sally Ash, Damian Kemp and Greta O'Shea regarding the question of whether British Waterways' equality obligations as a public body will be transferred to the Canal and River Trust, between 8 December 2011 and now.

Please forward me a copy of this internal memo you refer to and we will look into the matter further.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Young

Please could I draw your attention to the web page:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ka...

This FoI requisition response contains a ZIP file URL
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/92...

The ZIP file contains a document named “BANES meeting notes 8 Dec 2011.pdf”.

This is a copy of the notes taken by BW of a meeting held between BW and BANES Council on 8th December 2011.

It is clear from these notes that:
1 BW attended a meeting with BANES to discuss mooring strategy on the Kennet and Avon Canal
2 the meeting discussed equality issues
3 Further correspondence had been entered into and was ongoing, between Sally Ash and Greta O'Shea, on the subject.

Please could I draw your attention to the web page:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/po...

This FoI requisition response contains a ZIP file URL
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/10...

The ZIP file contains a document named “Meeting notes - BW and B&NES 8 December 2011.pdf”.This is a copy of the notes taken by BANES of the same meeting.

It is clear that Sally Ash presented to BANES on the issues of equality.

In turn it follows that
(1) BW does indeed hold documents relating to the transfer of equality obligations
(2) that these documents are held by Sally Ash and Greta O'Shea
(3) that these documents have been withheld from me; and
(4) that it is likely that these documents have been concealed internally within BW.

I also note that I previously requested an internal review of the disclosure by BW. In your response you state that BW maintains its position, that it holds no documents meeting the description that I have laid out.

I also stated that it was incumbent on BW for another member of staff (other than yourself) to conduct the review. I note that you responded to and conducted the review.

Therefore I require the documents that I have requested to be made available to me within seven (7) days upon the expiry of which, if the documents have not been made available to me, I shall refer the matter to the ICO.

Your sincerely
Nick Brown

Information Request,

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your e-mail of 14th April.

I will now arrange for an internal review of your request for information to take place.

You will have our response over this matter shortly.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

June Pell,

2 Attachments

Please find attached a letter from Simon Salem.

Nick Brown left an annotation ()

The request was refused on the grounds that the information requested is legally privileged and therefore exempt under s.42(1) of the Act. However, on 26 June 2012 the Waterways Minister Richard Benyon MP made a statement in the House of Commons that the Equality obligations of BW would be transferred to the CRT. This is reported in Hansard.