Withdrawn FOIA complaints

The request was partially successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide the following information for each of the last 3 years:

1. The number of FOIA complaints that were withdrawn, and therefore did not result in a decision notice

2. A list of the withdrawn FOIA complaints, showing the public authority against which the complaint was made, the nature of the complaint, the date that the complaint was made, the date that the complaint was withdrawn, and whether any alternative action was taken

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Spitze

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

14th December 2011

 

Reference: IRQ0428235

 

Dear Mr Spitze,

 

Thank you for your correspondence of todayÂ’s date regarding withdrawn
FOIA complaints.

 

Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  We will respond by 17^th January 2012 which is 20
working days from the day after we received your request, taking into
account the UK bank holidays.

 

Should you wish to reply to this email, please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that the
information is added directly to your case. However, please be aware that
this is an automated process; the information will not be read by a member
of our staff until your case is allocated to a request handler.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Hannah Burling

Lead Internal Compliance Officer

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

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Information Commissioner’s Office

4 Attachments

17 January 2012

Case Reference Number IRQ0428235

Dear Mr Spitze

  
I am writing further to your correspondence of 14 December 2011, in which
you submitted a request for information to the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO).
 
As you know, we have dealt with your request in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
 
 
You firstly requested:
 
“The number of FOIA complaints that were withdrawn, and therefore did not
result in a decision notice”.
 
 
In response, please find below the information held in response to your
request. I note that you requested information for the last 3 years, so we
have run the report starting from 01 April 2009 which is the beginning of
our financial and reporting year. The information was correct as of the
date we ran the report, which as you will see was 21 December 2011. If the
date parameters are problematic do let me know.
 

FOI Complaints finished between 1 April 09 and 21
December 2011 with a withdrawn outcome
Complaints 2009 2010 2011 Total Complaints
Closed -
Closed - withdrawn 793 691 652 2,136 withdrawn
informally resolved informally
resolved
Closed - withdrawn robust 930 789 554 2,273 Closed -
withdrawn robust
Total 1,723 1,480 1,206 4,409 Total

In the event that you are unfamiliar with the above terms, I have attached
our “A Robust Approach to FOI Complaint Cases” policy, which provides
further background as to the circumstances in which case are closed on the
above basis.
 

You further requested
 
“A list of the withdrawn FOIA complaints, showing the public authority
against which the complaint was made, the nature of the complaint, the
date that the complaint was made, the date that the complaint was
withdrawn, and whether any alternative action was taken”.
 
 
 
In response, please find attached a list of each of the aforementioned
4409 complaints that were closed as withdrawn robust/withdrawn informally
resolved. As you will see the list shows the additional information you
have requested. I should further explain that the “Casework finished”
column essentially shows the date that the last piece of work was carried
out on the case and in that sense closure states can be somewhat fluid.
 
You will note I have provided 2 versions of the information – one sorts
the cases in chronological order in terms of when the complaint was made
to the ICO and the other by public authority. Given the context of your
request, I thought that this might be helpful and assist your
comprehension of the information.
  
Regarding your query as to whether any alternative action was taken, I
assume you mean “alternative” to a Decision Notice. As our policy explains
“where the complaint has identified a breach of the Act which is more than
trivial, the attention of the public authority will be drawn to the breach
together with any relevant published advice”.
 
For us to specifically identify what alternative action may have been
taken, it would be necessary to access each case and read the case to
ascertain the nature of any action.
 
As you are aware, we have identified 4409 case, so assuming that it took
approximately 5 minutes to check each case, it would take over 367 hours
to locate the information you have requested.
 
A public authority (such as the Information Commissioner’s Office) is not
obliged to comply with an FOIA request if the authority estimates that the
cost of complying with the request would exceed the ‘appropriate limit'. 
The ‘appropriate limit’ for the Information Commissioner’s Office, as
determined in the ‘Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004’ is £450.  We have determined that £450
would equate to 18 hours work.
 
You may therefore wish to refine or refocus this aspect of your request in
order to bring it under the cost of compliance such as asking for a small
sample of cases to be considered, for example naming a specific public
authority or specific timeframes.  If you would like to refine your
request this would treated as a new request and attract a new 20 working
day time for response.
 
  
Review/Complaint Procedure
 
In respect of our response to you under the FOIA, if you are dissatisfied
with this and wish to request a review of our decision or make a complaint
about how your request has been handled you should write to the Internal
Compliance Team at the address below or e-mail
[1][email address]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to the Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the ‘Complaints’
section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act or
Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.  A copy of our
review procedure is attached.
 
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
Andrew Walsh
Lead Internal Compliance Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
T. 01625 545363  [2]www.ico.gov.uk

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. blocked::http://www.ico.gov.uk/
http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Dear Mr Walsh,

Thank you for this response.

The statistics in the body of your mail have gotten all jumbled and can't be read on the WhatDoTheyKnow website but the documents give me what I was looking for.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Spitze

Thank you for emailing the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  This
is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email
safely.  Please do not reply to this email.

 

If your email was about a new complaint or request for advice it will be
considered by our Customer Contact Department.  One of our case officers
will be in touch as soon as possible. 

 

If your email was about an ongoing case we are dealing with it will be
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If your email was about a case you have already submitted, but is yet to
be allocated to one of our case officers your email will be added to your
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If you require any further assistance please contact our Helpline on 0303
123 1133 or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

 

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Yours sincerely

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    A304 FOI complaints with withdrawn outcome finished since April 09 v0 5 run 17 1 12xls 2.pdf

    23K Download View as HTML

17 January 2012

Case Reference Number IRQ0428235

Dear Mr Spitze

Thank you for your email earlier today.

I am unsure why the statistics within the body of my response did not
display correctly and thank you for bringing this to my attention.

I note you commented that the other information was sufficient for your
purposes, but thought that I would attach a copy of the yearly breakdown
for the sake of completeness.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Walsh
Lead Internal Compliance Officer

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

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