More added ~ #FoI ~ Wirral Council ~ Links to all my ICO Decision Notices

SCORES ON THE DOORS:

Decision Notices issued: 13

Complaints upheld: 14

Complaints not upheld: 3

There are more DNs in the pipeline…

27th August 2014 (Original request lodged 7 months prior to this on 22nd January 2014

Summary: The complainant requested information about the author of a report.  Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (‘the council’) refused to release the information, citing regulation 13 (personal information) of the EIR as its reason for doing so.  The Commissioner has decided that the Council has correctly applied regulation 13 to the request and does not require it to take any further action.

Section of Act/EIR & finding: EIR 13 – complaint not upheld.

View a .pdf of the decision notice FER0533485

 

 

17th October 2013 (Original request lodged 12 months prior to this on 18th October 2012)

Summary: The complainant has requested information relating to the departure of an internal auditor from Wirral Borough Council (the council). The requested details included things such as whether there was any information on severance pay, disciplinary action, or a compromise agreement. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council has incorrectly relied on section 14(1) to refuse to provide the requested information. The Commissioner has also found that the council has breached section 10(1) of the FOIA as it did not provide a response to the complainant within 20 working days from the date of the request. The Commissioner requires the public authority to provide a fresh response to the complainant’s information request without relying on section 14(1) of the FOIA.

It took 4 months for the ICO to get its act together & publish this DN on its website.  No reason was given for the delay.

Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 14 – Complaint Upheld

30th October 2013 (Original request lodged 16 months prior to this on 7th June 2012

Summary: The complainant requested information in relation to the departure of a former Wirral Borough Council (the council) Chief Executive Officer. The council advised that it did not hold some of the requested information. It provided a link to some information already in the public domain and relied on section 40(2) of the FOIA not to provide the remainder. The council revisited the request again following the Commissioner’s investigation and it provided a fresh response in which it confirmed that it did not hold some of the information it initially relied on section 40(2) of the FOIA to withhold. The council still maintained section 40(2) of the FOIA to parts of the information it did hold and provided 3 subsequent documents to the complainant. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council has breached section 10 of the FOIA as it provided its response to the complainant outside of the required 20 working days following the receipt of the request. As the council has now provided a response to the request, the Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld

17th October 2013 (Original request lodged 17 months prior to this on 12th May 2012

Summary: The complainant has requested information with regards to an independent consultant company being used by Wirral Borough Council (the council). The information sought was in relation to the work carried out by the consultancy company and monies paid by the council to them. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council has breached section 10 of the FOIA by not providing a response within 20 working days. As the council has now provided a response, the Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld

3rd October 2013 (Original request lodged 20 months prior to this on 4th February 2012)

Summary: The complainant has requested correspondence between Wirral Borough Council (‘the council’) and a specific law firm. The council initially applied the exemptions for information provided in confidence at section 41 and legal professional privilege at section 42 of the FOIA but retracted its reliance on section 42 during the Commissioner’s investigation. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council was not entitled to rely on section 41 in relation to some of the information, as it was not provided by another party, and has not provided sufficient justification for the application of section 41 to the remainder of the information. The Commissioner requires the public authority to disclose the requested information.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 41 – Complaint Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2013/fs_50474741.ashx

9th September 2013 (Original request lodged 14 months prior to this on 11th July 2012)

Summary: The complainant has requested a copy of a document relating to a ‘whistleblower’ at Wirral Borough Council (council). The council initially relied on section 32 and 40(2) of the FOIA not to release the information. However, during the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the council decided not to rely on section 32 and released the information but it maintained section 40(2) and redacted names in the document. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council has breached section 10(1) of the FOIA as it did not provide a response to the complainant within the required 20 working days from the receipt of the request. As the council has now provided the response to the complainant the Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2013/fs_50482286.ashx

15th August 2013 (Original request lodged 15 months prior to this on 2nd May 2012)

Summary: The complainant has requested details of all contact, whether written or verbal that took place between the council and a suspended member of staff from the date of his suspension. The council withheld information under section 40(2) (personal data). The complainant also requested details of the council’s policies and procedures regarding the suspension of staff which was provided to him. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council has correctly applied section 40(2) to the information. The Commissioner has however decided that the council breached section 10(1) of the Act in that it did not provide a response to the complainant within 20 working days following the receipt of his request. The Commissioner does not require the council to take any steps.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2013/fs_50475685.ashx

4th June 2013 (Original request lodged 13 months prior to this on 9th May 2012)

Summary: The complainant has requested information relating to calls made to a helpline set up to deal with concerns that care packages had been delayed. The Commissioner’s decision is that Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (the Council) has correctly applied section 40(2) to the information relating to the individuals contacting the helpline. However, he also finds that the Council has incorrectly applied section 40(2) to the names of its employees. The Commissioner further finds that the Council is in breach of section 10 of the FOIA due to the delay in issuing its response. The Council has identified with the Commissioner some information within the scope of the request that it now considers is not exempt under section 40(2) and is now prepared to disclose. The Commissioner requires the Council to disclose the further information it has identified. No steps are required with regard to the breach of section 10.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Partly Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2013/fs_50470254.ashx

29th November 2012 (Original request lodged 10 months prior to this on 2nd May 2012)

Summary: The complainant requested information on two senior officers who left Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council by mutual consent. His request encompassed detailed information on whether the individuals were paid severance pay, whether they any disciplinary action was held and whether they signed compromise agreements, including whether these held ‘gagging clauses’. The council responded withholding the information applying section 40(2) (personal data). It did however subsequently disclose information on severance payments made to the individuals. The Commissioner’s decision is that Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council was correct to apply section 40(2) to the information. The Commissioner notes however that the councils response fell after the 20 days required by section 10(1) of the Act. The Commissioner has therefore decided that the council breached section 10(1). He has also decided that as the council did not disclose severance information to the complainant until 2 November 2012 it was again in breach of section 10(1). The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any steps. Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2012/0264 dismissed.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld

Tribunal decision here

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2012/fs_50438500.ashx

10th October 2012 (Original request lodged 20 months prior to this on 4th February 2012)

Summary: The complainant has requested correspondence between Wirral Borough Council (‘the council’) and a specific law firm. Despite the intervention of the Commissioner, the council has not provided a response to the request in accordance with the FOIA. The Commissioner therefore reminds the council of its obligations under the FOIA and requires that it either respond to the request in accordance with the legislation or issue a valid refusal notice under section 17(1).
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2012/fs_50445302.ashx

The council are appealing to the First Tier Information Tribunal

13th August 2012 (Original request lodged 14 months prior to this on 20th June 2011)

Summary: The complainant requested information on senior council officers’ registered interests. The council disclosed some information for high ranking officers but did not disclose information for any officers below that. The council’s response did not however state whether any further information was held, nor claim any exemptions under the Act for any further information it does hold. Information it provided indicated that it was very possible that further information is held, however this was not addressed further in the council’s final response. The council did not therefore fully respond to the request. The complainant therefore asked the council to review its decision. In spite of stating to the complainant that it would review the decision and providing details of the officer within the council who was assigned to review the decision the council did not do so. The Commissioner’s decision is that the Council has breached section 1(1)(a) of the Act. It did not specify to the complainant exactly what information it holds. The Commissioner requires the public authority specify to the complainant whether it holds further information which falls within the scope of his request as required by Section 1(1)(a) of the Act; to consider any further information it holds for disclosure to the complainant as required by section 1(1)(b) of the Act and to consider any information which it does hold for disclosure bearing in mind the First Tier Tribunal’s decision in the case of Greenwood v ICO (EA/2011/0131 & 0137).
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2012/fs_50416628.ashx

15th February 2012 (Original request lodged 13 months prior to this on 3rd January 2011)

Summary: The complainant has requested information about costs associated with the early retirement of the Chief Executive of Wirral Borough Council. The public authority stated that some of the requested information was not held, and refused some information under the provisions of the exemption at section 40 of FOIA: that disclosure would breach the data protection principles. The complainant has appealed against the refusal of information, and about the public authority’s claim that some specified information is not held by it. The Commissioner’s decision is that Wirral Borough Council has incorrectly applied the exemption in this case and has therefore breached section 1(1)(b) of FOIA. He finds that the public authority correctly stated that some of the information requested was not held. The Commissioner requires the public authority to disclose the information withheld under section 40 of FOIA – namely: a report which was considered as Agenda item 3 by the Council’s Employment and Appointments Committee on 17 August 2010.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 40 – Complaint Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2012/fs_50406724.ashx

21st November 2011 (Original request lodged 10 months prior to this on 1st January 2011)

Summary: The complainant requested information about the number of compromise agreements entered into, and the reasons for those agreements. The request was initially refused under section 12 of Freedom of Information Act 2000 [the Act] however following the intervention of the Commissioner all of the requested information was subsequently provided. The Commissioner’s decision is that Wirral Borough Council [the council] has supplied the complainant with all of the requested information. The information was not supplied within 20 working days and therefore the council has breached section 10. The Commissioner does not require the council to take any further action.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld

http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2011/fs_50398901.ashx

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About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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