FCO publish online October 2012 London Diplomatic List , but FOIA section insist on out of date January 2012 printed version

Information Commissioner's Office
FOIA casework team

via email: casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Sunday 21st October 2012

Dear Sirs

I am writing to formally complain about the mishandling of my FOIA
request for the missing online (.pdf) August and September versions
of the the London Diplomatic List, by the Foreign & Commonwealth

In their original response attached below, and in their Internal
Review, they (insultingly) pretend that the out of date, printed,
annual version of the London Diplomatic List (published in January
2012) is somehow the same as the monthly 2012 updates published as
Adobe (.pdf) documents on the the FCO website.

They failed to mention any FOIA Exemptions or any mention of my
right to an independent Internal Review or my right to complain to
Information Commissioner's Office in their original reply to my
properly formatted FOIA request.

Probably not coincidentally, the FCO Protocol section *has*
published online the London Diplomatic List for October 2012,
created on 15th October 2012, so there is no question that they do
not hold such information.


The Internal Review effectively admits breaches of sections 16 and
17 of the FOIA 2000.

N.B. I still want the August and September 2012 versions of the
London Diplomatic List to be published on their public website or
made available to me via email.

I expect at least some informal "pull your socks up" to the
standard of other Whitehall departments advice, or a formal
Decision Notice from the ICO to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.


----- Forwarded message from [email of address of civil servant] -----
Dear [name]

I am writing to you as the Deputy Head of the Information Rights
Team. When we received your request we forwarded this to our
Protocol Department to deal with. Their advice was that the
information you requested was easily obtainable from The Stationery
Office (TSO). We decided that it would more effective to respond
to you quickly and provide you with that information which is what
my colleague did on 10 October. The only difference between my
colleague's response and any official FOI reply would have been the
citation of section 21 - information which is reasonably accessible
by other means. Under the FOI Act we are not obliged to provide
you with information which is already in the public domain and
would be readily accessible to you, even if it means you have to
buy a copy of the London Diplomatic List.

We would have also have quoted the following paragraphs which would
have advised you of your rights to ask for an internal review or
appeal to the Information Commissioner.

The paragraphs are as follows:

If you are unhappy with this reply you may ask for an internal
review. If you wish to do so you should contact:

Information Rights Team
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Old Admiralty Building

Email: dp-foi.img@fco.gov.uk

You should must submit your request for an internal review within
40 working days from the date of this letter.

I have already done so and you have already rejected my FOIA request, on spurious grounds.

I am complaining to the Information Commissioner's Office

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner
for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by
Foreign Office. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
SK9 5AF.

I do not feel that my colleague acted in an unprofessional manner.
I believe that she was trying to be helpful in answering you as
quickly and as fully as possible. If you are still dissatisfied
with my response please write to the Information Rights Team at the
above address and we will conduct a further internal review if you

Yours sincerely

[name of civil servant]
Deputy Head, Information Rights Team
Information Management Department
SG/126, OAB
Tel: 020 7008 [POTS number] FTN: 8008 [different number]
Fax: 020 7008 [fax number]
BlackBerry: [non government mobile phone number ?]
Email: [email]

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