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6 April 2022
ATISN 15850 – Justifying the decisions behind the lockdowns and restrictions put in place
Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 22 December 2021. Please note, the Welsh Government is facing unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result resources, both finances and people, are being diverted away from many of our usual activities to deal with the pandemic. This will undoubtedly impact on our ability to comply with the normal requirements for information rights work and as a result you may experience delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic. We thank you for your understanding during this time. You requested the following:
- A copy of all the meeting minutes between Mark Drakeford on the coronavirus pandemic over the past 24months and also any supporting documentation used to justify the lockdowns and restrictions put in place.
For the first part of your request you have not provided a sufficiently clear description of the information you are seeking access to. You describe the information as ‘a copy of all the meeting minutes between Mark Drakeford on the coronavirus pandemic’ but you have not prescribed the parties the First Minister met with. As your description is not sufficient to allow us to identify what information it is you are after, this part of your request is not a valid FOI request (see s1(3)(a) of the FOI Act). However, you will find minutes of Cabinet meetings are available publically here: cabinet-meetings content.
In relation to the second part of your request for ‘supporting documentation used to justify the lockdowns and restrictions put in place’, you may wish to note that most information relating to decisions on the response to the ongoing COVID pandemic are published on our website. Links to key publically available information are provided in Annex 1 to this letter. The information you are looking for may be already available from one, or more of these pages.
Reviews of the regulations were carried out at least once every three weeks since they were first brought into force in March 2020. As part of this process the Welsh Government has published the scientific evidence, advice from the Chief Medical Officer, Written Statements to the Senedd, Cabinet minutes and Summary Impact Assessments.
The request you sent me contains personal information about you - for example, your name and address. The Welsh Government will be the controller for this information and, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, it will be processed in order to fulfil our public task and meet our legal obligations under the Act to provide you with a response. We will only use this personal information to deal with your request and any matters which arise as a result of it. We will keep your personal information and all other information relating to your request for three years from the date on which your request is finally closed. Your personal information will then be disposed of securely.
Under data protection legislation, you have the right:
- to be informed of the personal data we hold about you and to access it
- to require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
- to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
- for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
- to (in certain circumstances) data portability
- to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection.
For further information about the information which the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you wish to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:
Data Protection Officer
Any information released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 will be listed in the Welsh Government’s Disclosure Log (at freedom-of-information-responses).
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit
or e-mail: Freedom.email@example.com
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.