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Response to request for Halcrow reports from LB Hillingdon

On September 18, 2011, in Ruislip Lido, by Peter Silverman
0

From: Richard Ingle [mailto:RIngle@Hillingdon.Gov.UK]
Sent: 05 August 2011 16:14
To: PCSFOI.PO-3.Pri-Dom@Hillingdon.Gov.UK; barbaramilner@tesco.net
Subject: Re: Ruislip Lido Improvement Programme – Ref. 3071

Ref: FOI/3071

Dear Ms Milner

I am writing in response to your request for information below and further to my colleagues acknowledgement of the 18th July 2011.

As I understand it you are requesting to know:

ALL reports produced by Halcrow to date so that residents can be fully informed of the present position relating to these reports

We are of the view that the information you are requesting would be considered to be ‘environmental information’ and as such the information requested is exempt from the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) pursuant to S39 of the FOIA however your request has been considered in relation to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)

I can confirm that we hold information that could be seen as marching the description of your request. However it is important to note that there is no final complete report and that any ‘reports’ produced by Halcrow to date are in draft form only. As such these reports are exempt from the requirements of the EIR pursuant to R 12(4)(d) of the EIR which provides an exemption where the request relates to  material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data.

We have considered the public interest in this matter and we note the following (please note that when considering the public interest test it is important to bare in mind the principle that just because the public are interested in the information it does not follow that the public interest is in favour of disclosure.)

Public Interest Factors in favour of disclosure

?          The EIR create a presumption towards disclosure

?          Disclosure can promote transparency of decision making

Public interest Factors in favour of withholding

?          The information is incomplete and does not represent the final or complete picture

?          disclosure of  copies of draft reports each containing incomplete data and information would be likely to be misleading and cause confusion

?          This confusion could not be mitigated

?          Disclosure of incomplete information would not fulfill one of the stated public interest arguments in favour of disclosure because, as the material is in the course of completion, it does not represent information on which the Public Authority will base any decision on and would not therefore promote transparency in decision making

?          it is intended that a full report will be published once it is completed

On balance we are of the view that the public interest is in favour of maintaining the exemption.

If you have any queries, or if you wish to discuss this matter please do not hesitate to contact me on the details below.

If you wish to request an internal review of our response you should write, within 2 months, to:

Office Managing Partner, Legal Services, Civic Centre, High St, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW (or via email to foi@hillingdon.gov.ukmarkedfor the attention of the Office Managing Partner).

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,

SK9 5AF

 

Richard Ingle

 

Richard Ingle

Data Protection &

Freedom of Information Officer

Legal Services (3E 04)

London Borough of Hillingdon

Civic Centre

High Street

Uxbridge

UB8 1UW

01895 55(6923)

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