FOI Update FOI Update
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  1. #1

    Umbrella Queen

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    Default FOI Update

    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
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  2. #2

    My post count is Majestic

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    So the summary is Computer Says No?
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  3. #3

    Umbrella Queen

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    So the summary is Computer Says No?
    Yep pretty much
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  4. #4

    Nice But Dim

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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaContractorUmbrella View Post
    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?
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    So the summary is Computer Says No?
    Executive summary: original computer says no, revised computer says revised no.

  6. #6

    Umbrella Queen

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
    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
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  7. #7

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    Laughable.

  8. #8

    TPAFKAk2p2

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    I trust a story about made up data will feature in the next CUK newsletter.

  9. #9

    I live on CUK

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    I trust a story about made up data will feature in the next CUK newsletter.
    Needs to be publicised in a few places.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  10. #10

    More time posting than coding


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    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...

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