Information Governance (FOI/EIR/SAR)

Details:

Reference Number: 5420
Request Date: 16/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please could you inform us what system(s) your authority uses to handle information requests? For clarity that includes FOI, EIR, CAFCAS, etc. requests for information, as well as SARs/GDPR requests and also complaints handling.
 
A.1 FOI/EIR - Vuelio
Complaints - Lagan CRM
SAR - No specific system procured for handling requests.
 
Q.2 Please provide the name of the vendor and country or origin of the software.

A.2 FOI/EIR - Vuelio, UK.
Complaints - n/a
SAR - n/a
 
Q.2a Name of the system(s) where there is a brand name that differs from the company name.

A.2a 
FOI/EIR - n/a
Complaints - n/a
SAR - n/a
 
Q.2b Do you use system(s) that are internally developed and maintained by your development staff rather than purchased?

A.2b FOI/EIR - No
Complaints - Yes
SAR - No we only use the functionality available through Google Sheets
 
Q.2c Amount paid approximately (split into a. set up and b. ongoing costs)

A.2c FOI/EIR - £4,300 per annum
Complaints - Not held
SAR - Not procured specifically for SAR, required for the conduct of Council business more generally.
 
Q.2d Date of end of contract with the present supplier(s).

A.2d FOI/EIR - April 2019
Complaints - n/a
SAR - n/a
 
Q.2e Is the system running in house on your servers or is it provided SaaS (“Software as a Service” i.e. hosted externally on a supplier’s servers)

A.2e FOI/EIR - SaaS
Complaints - Yes 
SAR - Cloud hosted
 
Q.3 What did you pay for system(s)?
 
Q.3a Set up

A.3a FOI/EIR - see 2c
Complaints - n/a
SAR - n/a
 
Q.3b Ongoing (please state if per year or per month)

A.3b FOI/EIR - see 2c
Complaints - n/a
SAR - n/a
 
Q.4 How many requests did you receive in each of 2016, 2017 & 2018

A.4 FOI/EIR (stats are recorded on financial years):
2016-17 - 1,371
2017 - 18 - 1,315
2018 - 19 (as of December 2018) - 1,128
 
Complaints - 
2016 - 733
2017 - 564
2018 - 973
 
SAR -
2016- 2017 - 58
2017-2018 - 58
2018 - 19 - 65
 
Q.5 What is the URL for your Public Disclosure Log - i.e. where the public can see the information requests and answers (obviously excluding private ones such as SARs)?

A.5 FOI/EIR - responses can be found on our public website here (https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/FOI.aspx). Please note this is under review and is there not up to date currently.
Complaints - n/a
SAR - n/a
 
Q.6 How long does it take (officer/manager hours) to log a request and inform the relevant officers that they must respond? (Please assume this email is an example of a low complexity average FOI request with only one or perhaps two departments required for the multi question response.)
 
a - Five minutes - mostly automated with the incoming email creating the case reference/ auto acknowledgement to the requestor and the only human intervention is to vet the request to see if it is valid and then allocate the tasks to the officers concerned with pre configured auto emails going out to them.
b - About an hour - as above, but done manually
c - Some other length of time - if so what and why is it so long/short, etc.
 
A.6 FOI/EIR - A
Complaints - A
SAR - C- No SAR request is deemed simple and most take a significant amount of time to consider and collate information for. We try to automate as much as we can but realistically this is still a very manual process.
 
Q.7 Does your system automatically create a public disclosure log and reports for the Information Commissioner or does someone have to update spreadsheets manually?

A.7 FOI/EIR - manually 
Complaints - manually
SAR - manually
 
Q.8 Can you use the same system for all your complaints and other citizen and internal and external enquiries.

A.8 No


Details:

Reference Number: 5678
Request Date: 27/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

A.1      How many Freedom of Information requests were made of Northumberland County Council in the most recent five calendar years on record (figures for each year required)? 

A.1 2019 - 306 as at 28.02.2019

2018 - 1,471

            2017 - 1,316

            2016 - 1,44

            2015 - 1,579

            2014 - 1,247

 

Q.2      Where do these requests come from? (e.g. how many are from newspapers, freelance journalists, businesses etc.) 

A.2 We do not record this information.

 

Q.3      How much did the Freedom of Information requests cost in each of the above years- is there a published report I could be sent a link to?


A.3 We do not record this information.


Details:

Reference Number: 5709
Request Date: 05/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How do you reconcile the council’s policy “the council wishes to be more transparent” when 2 requests have been made over a period of 120 days and the senior executive and Council members are aware of my requests and no responses are provided?

A.1 We unfortunately cannot comment on this question as it is not an FOI, if you would like to make a complaint please direct this to complaints@northumberland.gov.uk 

Q.2   Why have nearly 20% of registered caravan sites substantially been allowed to exceed the number of licensed pitches. On average by nearly 35%?

A.2 The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 (‘the Act’) gives a right of access to held information.  We are unable to provide an opinion as this would be the opinion of one person and not information held by Northumberland County Council.

Q.3   Which department and who within that department carries the responsibility of ensuring Caravan Sites meet the requirements of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and the mobiles homes act 2013?

A.3 The Licensing Team are responsible for checks relating to suspected unlicensed sites and for compliance of the model conditions imposed on the site following the grant of planning permission. 

Q.3.1  Why has this monitoring not been carried out?

A.3.1 Monitoring has been carried out by the Licensing Team and a list of inspections recently carried out by the team is attached.

A.3.1 Planning only monitor compliance with Planning Permission

Q.4      Please provide a copy of the register of Caravan sites which the licensing authority is legally obliged to keep and make available to the public,

A.4 3 Licensing registers attached.

Q.5      Please provide details of what inspections have taken place,

A.5 Site visits are carried out if there is a report of a potential planning breach by Planning enforcement officers.  

Q.5.1   When the inspections have taken place in respect of caravan site legislation, and

A.5.1 Licensing inspections carried out for the period 1st April 2017 to date are attached as a PDF named ‘FOI 5709 - spreadsheet’

Q.5.2   details of the number of pitches for which the site is licensed and the number of pitches actually in use, and

A.5.2 The number of pitches would be included within the planning permission either by a set figure or 60 pitches per hectare.  

For sites established prior to 1960 there may be no restrictions.

Q.5.3   the title of the council officer responsible for carrying out such inspections to ensure planning permissions are complied with

A.5.3 Inspections are not carried out to check that the development is in accordance with approved plans unless it is reported to Planning Enforcement. There are 5 Planning Enforcement Officers so cases are allocated based on the area

Q.6     Please provide details about the planning permission granted to all caravan parks within the area controlled by Northumberland County Council or the local licensing authority if they are not the same entity.

A.6 Please see PDF attached named ‘5709 - Attachment 1’ which includes a list of applications that were approved on caravan sites.  If you wish to see more information you will be able to search for the applications on our public access system using the reference number.  If the associated documents are not there to view; a request to have them uploaded can be sent to the planningfilerequest@northumberland.gov.uk 

Q.6.1 Please provide details Specifically of the number of pitches the site is licensed for and any other constraints imposed, and

A.6.1 The caravan site licence restrictions only relate to the relevant model imposed which is dependent on the year it was approved and the area the site is situated in.   

There are 149 caravan sites licences and to extract the information relating to the number of pitches from the planning permission and to print off the relevant model conditions for each site would take approximately 10 minutes per site which would take in excess of 24 hours.

Q.6.2 Please provide details of what inspections have taken place to ensure planning permissions are complied with, and

A.6.2 Planning will investigate breaches of Planning Control.  Planning do not actively monitor permissions 

Q.6.3 Please provide details any planning applications for caravan sites made since January 1st, 2019 which have yet to be granted permission, and

A.6.3 We have not received any applications for caravans sites this year so far, so we have none pending or determined 

Q.6.4 Please provide details any planning applications for caravan sites made since January 1st, 2019 which have been granted permission, and

All details for this section must state the number of pitches, any constraints the applied when permission is granted. Of course other significant factors which would need to taken into account are the safety of site occupants (i.e. are the units sufficiently spaced to prevent fire spreading?). Are fire precautions adequate for the number of units? Is the waste disposal (sewage) capable of dealing with the excess effluent? What impact does the excess usage have on the socio-environmental impact of the sites, on schools, communications,(telephone and broadband access), policing, medical and council services. What of concerns about safety because of the significant increase in the use of private cars in otherwise quiet rural areas for activities from shopping to visiting tourist attractions. What would be the effect on the character and appearance of the countryside, particularly in areas of high landscape value, what would be the impact on areas of best and most versatile agricultural land, or on farm structures? What would be the impact on the local community, and where associated with a settlement? Is the increase in site pitches well related to local character in terms of scale and siting? What would be the impact on sites of heritage or nature conservation value?

A.6.4 We have not received any applications for caravans sites this year so far, so we have none pending or determined.


Details:

Reference Number: 5754
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The total number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests the council has received for each of the last ten years. 

A.1
2019 - 492 as at 31/03/2019.
2018 - 1,313 
2017 - 1,315 
2016 - 1,371
2015 - 1,412  
2014 - 1,495  
2013 - 1337
2012 - 981 
2011 - 892 
2010 - 831 
2009 - 782

Q.2   The total number of WTE staff that have had to have been employed by the council with an FOIA remit for each of the last ten financial years.

A.2 Each area within the council has a link officer who deals with freedom of information requests as an addition to their employed role.  Due to the reorganisation of areas within the Council, the number officers who deal with requests is not static.

Q.3   The dedicated budget provided for the FOIA department for each of the last ten financial years

A.3 As per the previous answer, the Council utilises a number of staff across many service areas to carry out FOI processing however, this is not their full time role. As this is not static and we currently do not monitor the percentage of their time spent on FoI processing, this information is not held. 

Q.4   The total percentage and number of FOIA enquiries answered within the 20 working day timescale for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018.

A.4
2018 - 1280
2017 - 1217
2016 - 1223
2015 - 1324
2014 - 1451
2013 - 1297
2012 - 929
2011 - 805
2010 - 782
2009 - 667
 
The data provided in Q1 & Q4 can be manipulated to generate the percentage of requests answered within 20 working day timescale. 

Q.5   The total  percentage and number of FOIA enquiries answered within 20 - 40 working days of receipt for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018

A.5 We only monitor if it’s within timescales or if the request is overdue, we do not specify into categories of how many days overdue.
 
Q.6   The total percentage and number of FOIA enquiries that took longer than 40 working days of receipt to answer for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018

A.6 As we only monitor if it’s within timescales or if overdue, not specifically into categories of how many days overdue we do not the number or percentage over a 40 day period. 

Q.7   The total percentage and number of FOIA enquiries that were never answered for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018

A.7 2018 - 16 outstanding
There are no outstanding requests older than 2018 

Q.8   The total number of FOIA requests where the council has issued a charge for the information in the last ten years for which figures are available

A.8   We do not record this information centrally. In order to calculate this, we would have to look at each request to confirm if there was a charge issued.  We would only hold 7 years worth of financial information in line with our retention policy. With this in mind, the calculation to do this would be as follows:- 9716 requests (2012-2019 requests) *  2 minutes = 323.8 hours. 

Section 12 exemption applies to Q8.
 
Q.9   The total income received from FOIA charges imposed by the council for providing information for each of the last yen years. 

A.9 We do not record this information centrally. In order to calculate this, we would have to use the information from Q.7, identify the service area cost code and run individual transaction reports for each year. We would only hold 7 years worth of financial information in line with our retention policy.  9716 (2012-2019 requests) * 2 minutes = 323.8 hours. 

Section 12 exemption applies to Q.9. 

Exemptions 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to Q.8 and Q.9 of your request is exempt under the following provisions as the time and cost involved in extracting the requested information would exceed our statutory obligation to comply with the request e.g. 2.5 days. It would take 323.8 hours for Q.6 and 323.8 hours for Q.7 giving a total of 647.6 hours equivalent to 89.4 days.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6144
Request Date: 29/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   What percentage of software applications are developed in-house vs. supplied by third parties (commercial software and open source components)?
(a)    Less than 10 percent
(b)    More than 10 percent, but less than 50 percent
(c)    More than 50 percent

A.1   (b) More than 10 percent, but less than 50 percent
 
Q.2   What percentage of your software development organization has received data privacy related training?
(a)    Less than 10 percent
(b)    More than 10 percent, but less than 50 percent
(c)    More than 50 percent

A.2   (c) More than 50 percent
 
Q.3   In the past five years, has your organisation suffered a data privacy incident which would now be required to be reported under GDPR?

A.3    Yes

(a) What processes were implemented to address shortcomings contributing to these incidents?
 
A.3(a)    Whenever a data privacy incident occurs work is undertaken to review the contributing factors to the incident, including speaking to any staff members involved to understand if the incident was the result of existing processes not being adhered to correctly, or if changes to processes are required.  Where changes are required these are then discussed with the management team of the section involved to ensure that changes to processes are balanced against service delivery requirements, budget etc, and assuming no significant issues are raised the service is then asked to implement the changes. Changes vary dependant on the nature of the incident, and can range from very light touch changes to process such as having a second member of a team carry out a further check as part of the process, or in some cases the changes require more significant changes to processes, systems or working practices.

Q.4   Has your organisation suffered at least one data privacy incident which was reported under GDPR?
(a) Yes
(b) No

A.4   (a) Yes
 
Q.5   To which position(s) does your data protection officer report?
(a) CISO
(b) CRMO
(c) CIO
(d) CFO
(e) CEO

A.5    (c) CIO
 
Q.6   Has your organisation received any requests under the GDPR “Right to Access” provisions?
(a) Yes
(b) No

A.6   (a) Yes
 


Details:

Reference Number: 7029
Request Date: 25/11/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    The name of your Data Protection Officer

A.1     The Council does not disclose the names of individual employees other than Heads of Service and Directors. The Council's Information Governance Manager is the DPO and Liam Henry, Assistant Director: Legal Services is the Council's SIRO (most senior officer responsible). 

Q.2    Is your DPO an employee of your organisation

A.2     Yes

Q.3    If not an employee are they privately contracted or contracted via a comply

A.3     n/a

Q.4    If via a company the name of the company

A.4     n/a

Q.5    The pay band of the DPO if employed by your organisation

A.5     Band 10 (SCP 39 £41,675 - SCP 43 £45,591)