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Michelle Donohue-Moncreiff made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire County Council

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The request was successful.

Michelle Donohue-Moncreiff

Dear North Yorkshire County Council,

Please provide details of the following:

Invitations or hospitality to Councillors or Officers offered by Welcome to Yorkshire.

The cost to the Council of taking up such invitations.

Has any Councillor or Officer undertaken a trip to the finish of the Tour de France as a guest of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Yours faithfully,

Michelle Donohue-Moncreiff

North Yorkshire County Council

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Yours faithfully
 
The information governance team

Infogov - Veritau, North Yorkshire County Council

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Donohue-Moncreiff

 

FOI request N4868

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sent by email
dated 22 January 2019. I note you seek access to the following
information:

 

… Invitations or hospitality to Councillors or Officers offered by Welcome
to Yorkshire.

The cost to the Council of taking up such invitations.

Has any Councillor or Officer undertaken a trip to the finish of the Tour
de France as a guest of Welcome to Yorkshire…

 

The Council does hold certain of this information as set out below. I
attach information from the Officers’ and Members’ Registers of Gifts and
Hospitality, in spreadsheet form.

 

Please note that:

 

•             information irrelevant to your request has not been
included;

•             gifts/hospitality offered but declined are not included;

•             one of the earlier Chief Executive Officer entries relate to
a former postholder;

•             the value of the hospitality is included in the schedule
where it has been recorded.

 

The Registers contain personal data of Council staff, former County
Councillors and third parties. Certain personal information has been
withheld from disclosure and redacted from the information disclosed to
you, such as:

 

•             the names and post titles of employees (post titles for more
senior employees are, however, disclosed); and

•             the names of recipients of gifts/hospitality where the
individual concerned is no longer a serving County Councillor.

 

The redacted information has been withheld from disclosure under section
40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (amended by Schedule 19(58)
of the Data Protection Act 2018) (“FOIA”). Section 40(2) FOIA exempts
personal information from disclosure if disclosure would breach one or
more data protection principles specified by Section 5(1) of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this case it is considered that:

 

•             disclosure would breach the first principle, namely that
personal information must be processed lawfully, fairly, and in a
transparent manner in relation to the Data Subject;

•             disclosure would be unfair and none of the conditions for
processing, listed in Articles 6 and 9 of the GDPR, would be met.

 

Regarding the names of NYCC employees in the Register, and the names of
County Councillors serving at the relevant time but no longer serving,
this is personal data about those individuals, so the Council has had to
decide whether it would be fair and lawful to disclose the information.

 

It is considered that it would not be fair and lawful to disclose
employees’ and former Councillors’ names from the Register. Such
individuals might reasonably expect that some information might be
released from the Register, given the need for accountability and
transparency about public authorities and gifts and hospitality offered,
but that their personal information would not, particularly given that
certain of the employees involved do not hold senior positions within the
organisation and that the former councillors are no longer serving. It is
reasonable to expect that a public authority would disclose more
information relating to senior employees than more junior ones, as they
generally have a public facing role where they represent the authority to
the outside world, accordingly senior officer post titles have been
disclosed to you. Individuals no longer serving as County Councillors have
been referred to as “[then] County Councillor”.

 

There is a legitimate public interest in accountability and transparency
regarding gifts and hospitality offered to Council employees and
Councillors and it is considered that the public interest is served by the
disclosure to you of the attached information. It would be unfair and a
breach of the first data protection principle to disclose the redacted
information. The Council acknowledges the legitimate public interest in
understanding what gifts and hospitality are offered to employees and
councillors and by whom, however, disclosure of specific names is not
warranted in this case to serve that legitimate interest because of the
unfair outcome which would arise to individuals who can be identified in
the withheld information. The public interest in disclosure does not
outweigh the fact that in this case disclosure of the specific names would
result in a breach of the individuals’ right and reasonable expectation to
have such personal data retained confidentially. It is therefore
considered that the disclosed information is sufficient to meet the public
interest in this matter.

 

Please find attached a copy of the Council’s Appeals Procedure for your
information.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

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