02 February 2022
Thank you for your request which I received on 07 January 2022. You asked:
Information request relating to monies given to Stonewall and other equality advisory organisations. Specifically you asked for:
- Copies of equality impact assessment undertaken to establish which equality organisations should be used to ensure fair advice given for all characteristics detailed in the Equality Act 2010.
- Which organisations were paid and how much they were paid to provide advice for equality of the protected characteristics, including but not limited to disability, race, sex.
- A full breakdown of the £236,529 paid by Welsh government to Stonewall as detailed in Stonewall's annual amounts dated 31/03/2021.
I promised to write back to you by Thursday 3 February 2022.
With regard to Question 1, although you did provide further clarification as to the information you were interested in, the request remains broad and as a result I estimate that it will cost more than the appropriate limit set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 to answer your request in its entirety.
The appropriate limit specified for central government is £600. This represents the estimated cost of it taking over 24 hours of time to determine whether we hold the information and to thereafter locate, retrieve and extract it. To provide you with the information that you have requested would require me to search and examine 250+ records of advice provided to Welsh Ministers across each of the protected characteristic areas you confirmed as required in 2021. I estimate it will take on average 5-6 minutes to locate and check each of those records. That is 1,500 minutes, or 25 hrs on this aspect alone (and this does not include other officials’ time to cross check and approve my findings).
I am afraid that, on this occasion, I am not able to provide you with the information you have requested for Question 1. You may wish to refine your request by narrowing its scope or being more specific about what information you particularly wish to obtain, including any dates or period of time relevant to the information required. If you do refine your request in this way, this will be treated as a new request.
With regards to Question 2, as far as I was able to ascertain in my initial research, there were no organisations which received payment to advise Welsh Ministers directly in 2021. Many organisations do sit on advisory panels and working groups to help steer and inform policy development by invitation, however, they are not paid to do so. They provide their insight and expertise on a voluntary basis.
With regard to Question 3, I attach an explanation of the Welsh Government funding provided as requested.
£202, 206 - via the Equality and Inclusion Funding Programme Grant to provide strategic and coordinated support to citizens and communities throughout Wales across a range of key equality and inclusion issues. IN the case of Stonewall, this support is targeted at the LGBTQ+ community.
The remaining balance of £34,323 supported action in the following areas:
- Supporting the development of resources for preventing the sexual abuse of LGBTQ+ children;
- Delivering LGBTQ+ Awareness Training for Welsh Government Senior Civil Service members;
- Stonewall Global Diversity Champion Annual Subscription;
- Conference tickets.
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.
The following is a link to the blog page of the Information Commissioner’s web site where you can find an article entitled “FOI and the coronavirus: a measured approach”
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
The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
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 https://gov.wales/about/open-government/freedom-of-information/responses/?lang=en).
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 Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
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 the address shown above:
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.