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LisaContractorUmbrella
28th October 2015, 14:35
Sorry chaps - I can't find the original thread where I mentioned an FOI request I put in so full update is here: (it will come as no surprise)

28 October 2015
FOI Ref 2517/15


Dear Lisa Keeble

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

I am writing in response to your e-mail dated 22 September 2015, in which
you requested an internal review of our handling of your recent FOI
request. I am sorry for the delay in providing this response.

Your request
In your request, which was received on 21 August 2015, you asked for the
following information:

"Now that the agency reporting requirements have come into force could you
please confirm numbers of workers who are engaged through recruitment
agencies and operating through 1. umbrella companies 2. single person
Limited Companies (PSC's)."

Our response
We replied on 21 September 2015. In our refusal notice. we estimated that
finding and extracting the information would exceed costs under section
12(1) of the FOIA.

Our response explained that we could not see any scope to refine or narrow
down the request to the extent that HMRC would be able to comply within
the appropriate costs limits. The rationale for this is that there is a
project underway in HMRC to increase our capacity to compare data across
different regimes. On completion of this project, the type of data you
have requested will be accessible.

In respect of your request, however, we estimate that to accelerate the
project to provide the data requested would significantly exceed the FOIA
costs limits.

Internal Review
On 22 September in an email to HMRC you requested a review in the
following terms:

"HMRC are proposing legislation in the form of changes to tax relief on
Travel and Subsistence and also IR35 and they have stated that the changes
are required as the Treasury have been negatively financially impacted. In
order to make the assertion one assumes that studies have been conducted
and an analysis produced to support it; the request put forward is merely
asking for part of the information contained within such an analysis.
Therefore, I fail to see why such a request would take in excess of 3.5
working days to fulfil and would ask, respectfully, that it be revisited."

The purpose of the internal review is to provide a fair and thorough
review of decisions made under the FOIA. In carrying out this review, I
have consulted with HMRC officers involved in dealing with your initial
request.

We responded to your request on 21 September, within the 20 working day
deadline required by section 10(1) of the FOIA, and included information
about your right to complain to the Information Commissioner in accordance
with section 17(7) of the FOIA.

An applicant has two rights under the terms of the FOIA. The first is the
right to be told if the information described in their request is held
(known as the duty to confirm or deny). The second right is to have that
information communicated to them, subject to any FOIA exemptions which may
apply.

To the extent the information described in your request is held within
HMRC, it is stored across a range of databases and within underlying
records. As we explained, there is a project underway which will pull all
of this information together so it can be more easily extracted from the
records.

However, at the date we received your request, it was not possible for
HMRC to provide the specific information you asked for from the records
held.

Therefore, I am amending our decision and now confirm that the specific
information you asked for is not held.

In your request for a review, you have assumed that the information you
are seeking formed part of an analysis. While I can confirm that studies
on IR35 and travel and subsistence issues have recently been concluded,
the information described in your request did not form part of the
methodology for those studies.

Conclusion
For the reasons explained above, I am amending our decision and confirm
that the information is not currently held by HMRC in a way that would
enable us to comply with your request.

Whilst I appreciate you will be disappointed by this reply, I would like
to assure you that HMRC expect wide ranging analytical work on extracting
this data to be completed in the near future.

Appeal process
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you can
complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). You can make a
complaint to the ICO by post to: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

northernladuk
28th October 2015, 14:39
So the summary is Computer Says No?

LisaContractorUmbrella
28th October 2015, 14:42
So the summary is Computer Says No?

Yep pretty much :eyes

DaveB
28th October 2015, 14:42
In your request for a review, you have assumed that the information you
are seeking formed part of an analysis. While I can confirm that studies
on IR35 and travel and subsistence issues have recently been concluded,
the information described in your request did not form part of the
methodology for those studies.



FOI request for the information included in the studies they have caried out?

jamesbrown
28th October 2015, 14:45
So the summary is Computer Says No?

Executive summary: original computer says no, revised computer says revised no.

LisaContractorUmbrella
28th October 2015, 14:46
FOI request for the information included in the studies they have caried out?

Same answer - have tried asking HMRC face to face for this in a meeting with them and still can't get it :frown

Zero Liability
28th October 2015, 15:58
Laughable.

mudskipper
28th October 2015, 20:07
I trust a story about made up data will feature in the next CUK newsletter. :)

SueEllen
28th October 2015, 20:23
I trust a story about made up data will feature in the next CUK newsletter. :)

Needs to be publicised in a few places.

Pherlopolus
28th October 2015, 21:34
Not knowing all the ins and outs of the FOI act, could the initial question be reworded to say "Please provide a copy of the underlying data that was used to form the opinion including a list of sources...." rather than "show me this data that I have assumed you have used"

It does sound like they didn't actually use the data and just pulled a number out of thin air though...

northernladuk
28th October 2015, 21:57
Not knowing all the ins and outs of the FOI act, could the initial question be reworded to say "Please provide a copy of the underlying data that was used to form the opinion including a list of sources...." rather than "show me this data that I have assumed you have used"

It does sound like they didn't actually use the data and just pulled a number out of thin air though...

It does indeed appear you don't know the ins and outs lol

Pherlopolus
28th October 2015, 22:02
It does indeed appear you don't know the ins and outs lol

BAU then :)

MicrosoftBob
28th October 2015, 22:08
Can you do a FOI request on all the information pertaining to the FOI request you previously submitted ?

northernladuk
28th October 2015, 22:28
Can you do a FOI request on all the information pertaining to the FOI request you previously submitted ?

That would be all 'data' pertaining to the FOI and they don't give out data.

PurpleGorilla
29th October 2015, 07:25
Take it to the independent appeal.

They use data, then when you ask questions about it they can't answer them because they don't have the data?