Who, currently, is your Monitoring Officer?

The request was refused by Copeland Borough Council.

Dear Copeland Borough Council,

Despite a previous request for information that I believe should be in the public domain [See https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f... ] which you rejected on the basis of a s.8 (1b) argument, yet you are willing to release this information to Jayne Laine [https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f... ], of whose credentials I am usure.

Rather than embarrass you further and press this point, may I ask you who the monitoring officer was from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and from 1st January 2018 onwards?

Yours faithfully,

John Falcon

Clifford Walker, Copeland Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

 

I am writing to you in relation to your recent Freedom of Information 
request to Copeland Borough Council dated 07 December 2017 which is 
reproduced below.

 

Copeland Borough Council remains committed to openness and transparency 
and does hold the information in answer to your query. However  due to the
circumstances outlined below and previous requests made under the same
details, we do not, at this stage, intend to  disclose this information.
There are concerns around pseudonymising and  identification issues and as
a public authority we have to ensure that all  such requests are both
legitimate and valid. There is a danger that some  enquiries may be
submitted to circumvent the legislation and we must  remain committed to
providing the best professional service possible to  the general public.

 

In this regard and following the advice we have received from the 
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) which relates to Freedom of 
Information (FOI) requests made via social media and whatdotheyknow.com, 
'Public authorities do not need to respond to such requests for 
information unless the requestor's real name is clear. If their name is 
not clear, for example their username is a pseudonym or only contains
part  of their real name, the request is 'not valid'.

 

A request for information is not valid if it does not, in accordance with 
s.8 (1b) Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), state the name of the 
applicant and an address for correspondence. As we believe your request 
uses a pseudonym instead of your actual name we do not consider it to be
a  valid request. Accordingly, we are not obliged to respond to it.

 

However, the ICO does recommend that should you wish to resubmit your 
request using your real name then we will be able to process and provide
a  response to your request.

 

In order to fulfil your requirements, I have also been authorised to 
invite you personally to attend the Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, 
Whitehaven where we can discuss the issues raised. I am more than happy
to  arrange such a visit at your convenience.

 

Should you decide to decline the invitation I would make a respectful 
request for acceptable identification which could be in the form of a 
driving license, utility bill or something similar that establishes your 
full name, date of birth and address with photo ID. An original copy of 
the proof of identity document should be sent to the below address, or 
produced in person.

 

I will place this request 6666/18 on hold pending receipt of 
identification from you. Please note that if no identification is
received  within 20 working days, the request will be withdrawn.

 

I hope this response is acceptable to you and that you appreciate the 
safeguards that have to be adopted, but do not hesitate to contact me if 
you wish to clarify anything further.

 

The Council makes every effort to make sure that the services it provides 
are as efficient and effective as possible, and this includes any
requests  under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

If you believe that your request has not been dealt with satisfactorily 
you should follow the Council’s complaints procedure.

 

If you have followed the complaints procedure and are still not happy
with  how your request has been dealt with you may also contact the:

 

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Enquiry/Information Line: 01625 545 745

 

 

Many thanks for your support and understanding in this matter.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Cliff Walker

Information Management Officer

Business Support

Copeland Borough Council

 

Tel: 01946 59 8529

Email: [1][email address]

 

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street,
Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ. Tel: 01946 598300. Fax: 01946 598303.
[2]www.copeland.gov.uk, [3][Copeland Borough Council request email]

[4]Description: cid:image001.png@01CE1E6D.7E7E5480

Working to improve lives, communities and the prosperity of Copeland

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: John Falcon <[5][FOI #456690 email]>
Sent: 11 January 2018 23:55
To: Info
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Who, currently, is your
Monitoring Officer?

 

Dear Copeland Borough Council,

Despite a previous request for information that I believe should be in the
public domain [See
[6]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...
] which you rejected on the basis of a  s.8 (1b) argument, yet you are
willing to release this information to Jayne Laine
[https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...
], of whose credentials I am usure.

Rather than embarrass you further and press this point, may I ask you who
the monitoring officer was from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and
from 1st January 2018 onwards?

Yours faithfully,

John Falcon

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[7][FOI #456690 email]

Is [8][Copeland Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Copeland Borough Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[9]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[10]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[11]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Clifford Walker, Copeland Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

 

Please excuse the typo error in paragraph one. The date of receipt should
read 12 January 2018.

 

Regards,

 

Cliff Walker

Information Management Officer

Telephone: 01946 598529

 

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre

Catherine Street, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ

 

From: Clifford Walker
Sent: 12 January 2018 11:50
To: '[FOI #456690 email]'
<[FOI #456690 email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request 6888/18 - Who, currently, is your
Monitoring Officer?

 

Dear Sir,

 

I am writing to you in relation to your recent Freedom of Information 
request to Copeland Borough Council dated 07 December 2017 which is 
reproduced below.

 

Copeland Borough Council remains committed to openness and transparency 
and does hold the information in answer to your query. However  due to the
circumstances outlined below and previous requests made under the same
details, we do not, at this stage, intend to  disclose this information.
There are concerns around pseudonymising and  identification issues and as
a public authority we have to ensure that all  such requests are both
legitimate and valid. There is a danger that some  enquiries may be
submitted to circumvent the legislation and we must  remain committed to
providing the best professional service possible to  the general public.

 

In this regard and following the advice we have received from the 
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) which relates to Freedom of 
Information (FOI) requests made via social media and whatdotheyknow.com, 
'Public authorities do not need to respond to such requests for 
information unless the requestor's real name is clear. If their name is 
not clear, for example their username is a pseudonym or only contains
part  of their real name, the request is 'not valid'.

 

A request for information is not valid if it does not, in accordance with 
s.8 (1b) Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), state the name of the 
applicant and an address for correspondence. As we believe your request 
uses a pseudonym instead of your actual name we do not consider it to be
a  valid request. Accordingly, we are not obliged to respond to it.

 

However, the ICO does recommend that should you wish to resubmit your 
request using your real name then we will be able to process and provide
a  response to your request.

 

In order to fulfil your requirements, I have also been authorised to 
invite you personally to attend the Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, 
Whitehaven where we can discuss the issues raised. I am more than happy
to  arrange such a visit at your convenience.

 

Should you decide to decline the invitation I would make a respectful 
request for acceptable identification which could be in the form of a 
driving license, utility bill or something similar that establishes your 
full name, date of birth and address with photo ID. An original copy of 
the proof of identity document should be sent to the below address, or 
produced in person.

 

I will place this request 6666/18 on hold pending receipt of 
identification from you. Please note that if no identification is
received  within 20 working days, the request will be withdrawn.

 

I hope this response is acceptable to you and that you appreciate the 
safeguards that have to be adopted, but do not hesitate to contact me if 
you wish to clarify anything further.

 

The Council makes every effort to make sure that the services it provides 
are as efficient and effective as possible, and this includes any
requests  under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

If you believe that your request has not been dealt with satisfactorily 
you should follow the Council’s complaints procedure.

 

If you have followed the complaints procedure and are still not happy
with  how your request has been dealt with you may also contact the:

 

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Enquiry/Information Line: 01625 545 745

 

 

Many thanks for your support and understanding in this matter.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Cliff Walker

Information Management Officer

Business Support

Copeland Borough Council

 

Tel: 01946 59 8529

Email: [1][email address]

 

Copeland Borough Council, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street,
Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ. Tel: 01946 598300. Fax: 01946 598303.
[2]www.copeland.gov.uk, [3][Copeland Borough Council request email]

[4]Description: cid:image001.png@01CE1E6D.7E7E5480

Working to improve lives, communities and the prosperity of Copeland

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: John Falcon <[5][FOI #456690 email]>
Sent: 11 January 2018 23:55
To: Info
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Who, currently, is your
Monitoring Officer?

 

Dear Copeland Borough Council,

Despite a previous request for information that I believe should be in the
public domain [See
[6]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...
] which you rejected on the basis of a  s.8 (1b) argument, yet you are
willing to release this information to Jayne Laine
[https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...
], of whose credentials I am usure.

Rather than embarrass you further and press this point, may I ask you who
the monitoring officer was from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and
from 1st January 2018 onwards?

Yours faithfully,

John Falcon

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[7][FOI #456690 email]

Is [8][Copeland Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Copeland Borough Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[9]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[10]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[11]https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outl...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Sarah Johnson left an annotation ()

Unbelievable - how can they refuse to answer this question? Surely it is a legal requirement to have a monitoring officer and that information should be clearly available on the council’s website. What reason could they possibly have for refusing to answer? Does the council not have a Monitoring Officer??

Sarah Johnson left an annotation ()

John Falcon
CBC have refused a number of my FOIs as they seem to think I am using an alias. However they did answer my FOI about the MO last year - see link - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

It would seem that they can’t even be consistent in their own illegality....

jayne laine left an annotation ()

Any FOIs rejected because they think you are a fake person just ask me and I will lodge the question.

Happy to do so for anyone.

It's hardly transparent asking people to prove their identity. Sometimes people might not want to identify themselves for fear of the repercussions. Repercussions which I fully understand.

Jayne

John Falcon left an annotation ()

Thank you everyone who has made annotations to this request.

The ICO guidelines are clear on such matters:

"If there is a plausible suspicion of wrongdoing on the part of the public authority, this may create a public interest in disclosure. And even where this is not the case, there is a public interest in releasing information to provide a full picture. Arguments based on the requester’s identity or motives are generally irrelevant. Arguments that the information may be misunderstood if it were released usually carry little weight."

This is the second time I have requested information that should be in the public domain but has been refused on a technicality.

Jayne, I have updated your FOI regarding the full council meeting on the 5th of December [https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f... ], if you would be willing to share this information it would be much appreciated.

I'm staggered at the level of hubris that CBC continues to demonstrate in response to a simple question despite the numerous allegations of substantial corporate "wrongdoing" that are currently circulating.

I will close this FOI as refused.

jayne laine left an annotation ()

Dear John

The current Monitoring officer I am led to believe is Julie Betteridge.

julie.betteridge@copeland.gov.uk

Regards

Jayne Laine

John Falcon left an annotation ()

Thanks Jayne.

jayne laine left an annotation ()

John

I am just researching this a bit more - Legally I think that the Monitoring Officer is still the previous one - I cant see a resolution of Full Council to change the MO.

jayne

jayne laine left an annotation ()

Hi John

You should now lodge a formal complaint with the MO. It matters not who asks the question, even if they are Micky Mouse - there is no sensible reason to withhold details of just who their Monitoring Officer is. That is the principle that the ICO should be challenging. The Council's decision is irrational and that is what you should be asking the ICO to focus on.

Then you could ask the Council if it can provide evidence that it has lawfully removed the MO and lawfully appointed the present person called the MO? The answer is no they can't.

Jayne

Ann Wilson left an annotation ()

Monitoring Officer up to December 2017 was Clinton Boyce. Strangely when he reported the Mayor to the Council in November/December 2017 for unlawful handling of Tax Payers money by appointing an officer and giving her a pay rise ceased to be the Monitoring Officer.

The new MO, according to rumour, is the wife of the CEO of a number of Companies that the Mayor is a Director of. She does not seem to have any experience of local government law administration or procedure according to her LinkedIn page.

The Mayor declined to put in his register of interests until fairly recently that he was a director of these companies despite being a director since June 2015.

Not saying that anything is wrong here just quoting facts obtained form CBC and the Internet

John Falcon left an annotation ()

Thank you Ann for taking the time to clarify this.

Ann Wilson left an annotation ()

Seems they now have an alleged alternative MO....yes the post title is "alternate MO"!!! Its Joanne McLeod. Legally you can't have one of these as only one person can be the MO but the MO can appoint a deputy when he/she is away. Joanne McLeod was the head of human resources so she ought to know about personnel appointments. MMMM...... At CBC they seem to make their own laws up. Wonder why the wife of the BEC Boss has not been formally ratified as the new MO? Too problematic?