Ukgovernmentdigital.slack.com - public messages

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Cabinet Office should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Cabinet Office,

This request relates to the following recent Information Commissioner's decision concerning a cloud storage thingy used by civil servants:

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

It was estimated that every day Ukgoverntmentdigital.slack.com has 130 new public messages added to it.

Please provide copies of all the public messages that I am entitled to under the FOIA which were added to Ukgovernmentdigital.slack.com yesterday between 9am and 1pm.

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI325007

Dear D MOORE

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received
on 3/8/2017 and we are considering if it is appropriate to deal with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the FOI team.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

 Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached the reply to your FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

E-mail -[1][Cabinet Office request email] 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Cabinet Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Ukgovernmentdigital.slack.com - public messages'.

I firmly believe that my request has a serious purpose and raises a matter of substantial public interest. The Information Commissioner in her Decision on which I have based my request wrote the following regarding the use of Slack:

"54 The Commissioner will also consider any wider implications for Government and the public sector more generally, and whether further guidance is required. She may also consult with the National Archives about the records management issues arising."

Link: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

I also believe that you have exaggerated the technical burden of complying with my request and have failed to provide me with any advice or assistance which could help me refine my request to obtain meaningful information. In her "Slack" Decision, the Commissioner noted:

"49. However, as the Commissioner’s guidance on section 16 explains, whilst the application of section 14(1) mean s there is no positive duty to provide advice and assistance, she believes that reliance on section 14(1) does not prevent the public authority from proactively offering advice and assistance."

My request, far from being the "scattergun" approach you suggest is in fact "laser-guided". I deliberately chose a short time period, and deliberately excluded direct messages and those sent in private channels, to limit the burden of complying. I am genuinely interested in finding out about the sort of messages public servants send using the Slack channel. I was encouragement by the Commissioner's conclusion that certain messages held on Slack cannot be excluded from disclosure:

"53. In the Commissioner’s opinion the complainant’s initial offer to enter into a discussion with the Cabinet Office so that he can frame a request on this subject matter which does not place an undue burden on the Cabinet Office is a reasonable one."

I made a genuine effort to frame my request to remove any undue burden.

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

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  IR325007

Dear D MOORE

Thank you for your request for an internal review. Your request was
received on 1/9/2017 and is being dealt with under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the FOI team.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

J Roberts left an annotation ()

In her keynote speech to the Archives and Records Association Annual Conference, the Information Commissioner said the following:

'We cannot maintain integrity of the public record while exempting tools such as Slack from effective procedures. Public authorities as well as private citizens require access to official information, wherever and however it may be stored.'

https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Latest ICO decision on Slack:

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

The complainant whose Slack request was refused by the Cabinet Office submitted a further request seeking information surrounding its refusal ("a meta request"). The Commissioner has blown the Cabinet Office's reliance on sections 36(2)(b)(i), (ii) and (c) to avoid compliance clean out of the water:

"Given the novel nature of this subject matter the Commissioner agrees with the complainant that there is a heightened public interest in understanding how the Cabinet Office initially considered the original request."

More generally,

"Moreover, the Commissioner firmly agrees with the comments of the Tribunal in the above case, EA/2008/0062, that there is a strong
public interest in knowing that public authorities deal with requests properly and lawfully and do not discriminate against requesters or between requesters."

D. Moore left an annotation ()

ICO contacted.

D. Moore left an annotation ()

This request has been closed by the ICO.

A letter was sent by the ICO to the Cabinet Office recommending that they issue a response to my request for review.

'This case has now been closed, however if you do not receive within 20 working days please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter.'

Full details can be found here:

https://foi1cabinetoffice.wordpress.com/

D. Moore left an annotation ()

Insert 'a response' after the word 'receive' above.

D. Moore left an annotation ()

ICO contacted again because no response was received within 20 working days.

D. Moore left an annotation ()

ICO have accepted this complaint as eligible for further investigation.

D. Moore left an annotation ()

I meant to write 'consideration' and not 'investigation'.

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached the reply to your IR request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

E-mail -[1][Cabinet Office request email] 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

D. Moore left an annotation ()

Decision Notice issued:

https://foi1cabinetoffice.wordpress.com/

"3. The Commissioner requires that the Cabinet Office reconsider the request and issue a fresh response not citing section 14(1) of the FOIA."

"24. The Commissioner is assisted by the Upper Tribunal's comments in Dranfield:

'public authorities should be wary of jumping to conclusions about there being a lack of any value or serious purpose. Dealing with vexatious requests behind a request simply because it is not immediately self-evident.'

26. "...The Commissioner considers that the Cabinet Office, as one of the most experienced public authorities, should be familiar with the standard of supporting information required. It is not sufficinet to state that compliance with a request would be burdonsome, wothout providing detailed and specific arguments to explain why this is the case..."

D. Moore left an annotation ()

All spelling errors above are my fault!

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org