Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
(1) All internal correspondence and communications that mentions, or refers to, the private investigations firm Precision Risk and Intelligence Limited https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08680122
(2) All external correspondence and communications that mentions, or refers to, the private investigations firm Precision Risk and Intelligence Limited, including communications between the police and the firm’s directors and secretaries (past and present).
By ‘correspondence and communications’, I define this as including, but not limited to the following:
- Emails (and their attachments)
- Minutes taken during meetings
- Ministerial submissions
- Research documents
- Press clippings
- Presentation slides
- Notes taken during telephone conversations
- Text messages / WhatsApp messages
- Drafts of reports
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply. This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00
You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for your request.
I have set out the reasons for this below.
Your request asks for 'all internal and external correspondence' on the subject of Precision Risk and Intelligence Limited. This included emails, letters, memos, to name a few from your list.
This means that we must then consider all locations where the requested information may be found. This would include all officers, staff and departmental mailboxes being checked, as well as other forms of correspondence that you have suggested in your list, to establish if any information regarding your request is held. This would far exceed the permitted time constraints of the Act, therefore Section is relevant.
Additionally you should note that had we been able to locate, extract and retrieve the information requested within the time constraints of the Act, other relevant appropriate exemptions to withhold would be considered and applied where applicable.