Internal review , file type: PDF, file size: 98 KB
7 June 2022
Request for Information - ATISN 16301
Thank you for your request for information dated 8 May. You have asked for copies of the following documents -
- The “incorrect” version of the 2018-2019 Trawscymru Annual report.(referred to by South Wales Police on 11/08/2021, 12/08/2021 and 07/03/2022). The document was removed from the Welsh Government website in November 2021.
- The “correct” version of the 2018-2019 Trawscymru Annual report.(referred to by South Wales Police on 07/03/2022)
- The “documented evidence”, (provided to South Wales Police by the Welsh Government Data Security Head), that an official had allegedly attempted to correct the incorrect data over the months before the Strategic Management Board Meeting (referred to by South Wales Police on 07/03/2022)
- The minutes from the Strategic Management Board meeting (referred to by South Wales Police on 07/03/2022)
I have concluded that your requests are vexatious under Section 14(1) of the Act and, as such, we are refusing to deal with them for the reasons set out below.
We have previously provided you with guidance from the Information Commissioner on vexatious or repeated requests. The ico.org.uk guidance explains that “Section 14(1) is designed to protect public authorities by allowing them to refuse any requests which have the potential to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress”. My view is that dealing with these questions would be likely to cause a disproportionate and unjustified level of disruption to the Welsh Government.
We have also previously explained that for the purpose of identifying potentially vexatious requests, the Information Commissioner’s Guidance sets out a series of indicators (albeit not a definitive or limiting list) which demonstrate typical key features of a vexatious request. The Guidance also allows public authorities to take into account the wider context and history of the request.
In a letter sent to you on 15 November 2018, namely the internal review response to ATISN 12698, it was again explained to you that, in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner, the wider history and context of your request is taken into consideration when concluding that a request is vexatious. To be clear, this means the decision is based on the cumulative argument of all your correspondence to the Welsh Government on this matter to date, not just this particular FOI request.
This approach was upheld by the decision notice from the ICO review of ATISN 12896 of 12 November 2019 and then by the Information Rights Tribunal.
The matter you are asking about relates directly to the matters you have asked about in multiple previous requests, and the history of those requests remains relevant. Although some time has passed since your last request to us, I find that the indicators previously advised to you are still to be found in this current request. In particular, this request targets one particular Welsh Government official whom you have repeatedly targeted over the course of your many requests and correspondence, in a manner that has already been found to be vexatious by the ICO and the Information Rights Tribunal.
I am of the view that you are attempting to re-open matters on which you have already received responses or which have been subject to independent scrutiny.
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.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.