FOIA request to Cabinet Secretary regarding promised Undertaking about the Detainee Inquiry into allegations of complicity in torture

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Following from our

Spy Blog letter to the Detainee Inquiry re: lack of whistleblower anonymity protection and immunity from prosecution

Freedom of Information Act requests
FOI Team
Cabinet Office
Room 120
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

via email to: foiteam@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

Saturday 20th August 2011

Dear Sirs,

On 6th July 2010 a letter from Prime Minister David Cameron set out the Terms of Reference of the Detainee Inquiry into the alleged complicity in torture by the United Kingdom intelligence agencies and the Government, chaired by Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Gibson, the distinguished former High Court Judge and former Intelligence Services Commissioner under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

A copy of this letter is available on the Detainee Inquiry website:

http://www.detaineeinquiry.org.uk/2010/07/letter-to-sir-peter-gibson/

http://detaineeinquiry.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/06.07.10-Letter-from-PM-to-Sir-Peter-Gibson4.pdf

(copy attached)

"The Cabinet Secretary and the heads of the intelligence services will require staff in their departments and agencies to cooperate fully with the inquiry and expect them to cooperate with the Inquiry's requests for oral evidence. The Attorney General has agreed to provide an undertaking that evidence given by witnesses may not be used against them in criminal proceedings, whether their evidence is given in public, private or both (other than in proceedings where he or she is charged with giving false evidence or conspiring to do so in the course of this Inquiry). The Cabinet Secretary and heads of the intelligence services will set out analogous undertakings to staff in respect of disciplinary proceedings based on their evidence, whether public or private. )"

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please disclose the following information:

1) A full detailed copy of this promised Analogous Undertaking by the Cabinet Secretary

2) When this Undertaking was communicated to the Detainee Inquiry

3) If this Undertaking is still to be published, the planned publication date, bearing in mind that it is now over a year since the Prime Minister's letter

Please provide the requested information, ideally by publishing it on your public world wide website, or alternatively by email.

Ideally this should *not* be in the form of a "copy and paste" locked Adobe .pdf file, or similar, attachment.

In the unlikely event that this information is not already available in a standard electronic format, then please explain the reasons why, when you provide the information in another format.

If you are proposing to make a charge for providing the information requested, please provide full details in advance, together with an explanation of any proposed charge.

If you decide to withhold any of the information requested, you should clearly explain why you have done so in your response, by reference to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 legislation.

If your decision to withhold is based upon an evaluation of the Public Interest, then you should clearly explain which public interests you have considered and why you have decided that the public interest in maintaining the exception(s) outweighs the public interest in releasing the information.

I look forward to receiving the information requested as soon as possible and in any event, within the statutory 20 working days from receipt of this email i.e. no later than Tuesday 20th September 2011 (taking into account the August Bank Holiday).


Yours Sincerely,

1 Comment

The clock is till ticking and the Cabinet Office is technically in breach of the FOIA, again.

The request to the Cabinet Office for the Undertakings by the Cabinet Secretary and heads of the intelligence services was apparently

"not correctly assigned on arrival and has only now been assigned an FOI file"

despite being sent to the the FOI team and clearly stating that it was an FOIA request.

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This United Kingdom based blog has been spawned from Spy Blog, and is meant to provide a place to track our Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests to United Kingdom Government and other Public Authorities.

If you have suggestions for other FOIA requests,  bearing in mind the large list of exemptions, then email them to us, or use the comments facility on this blog, and we will see  what we can do, without you yourself having to come under the direct scrutiny of  "Sir Humphrey Appleby" or his minions.

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