Freedom of Information Request 10/0699 – Internal Review

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 15 June, 2010 at

Received this from BIS – further investigation required.

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: 9 June 2010 19:05
Subject: Freedom of Information Request 10/0699 – Internal Review

Dear Mr Whittaker,

I am writing to you in response to your request for an internal review
in relation to FOI request 10/0699. Your original FOI request, made on
23 April 2010, asked for:

“Minutes of meetings which took place in August 2009 between Lord
Mandelson and David Geffen. I would also like to see all emails
relating to the proposed digital economy bill from August 2009,
September 2009 & October 2009 which were sent between Sion Simon, Lord
Mandleson & Stephen Timms.”

Following searches of relevant electronic and paper records, I confirm
what was said in Laura Williams’s email of 17th May to you, that we
have found that the information you requested on both parts of your
request is not held by this department, because there is no record of
such a meeting taking place as Ministerial business. Nor has any
information been withheld or subject to exemptions.

By way of explanation:
“Holding” information means information held relating to the business
of the Department that:
• we have created, or
• we have received from another body or person, or
• held by another body on our behalf

As the Digital Economy Bill was run as a joint Bill between the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for
Culture, Media and Sport, searches also included any relevant
information held or created on our behalf by the Department for
Culture, Media and Sport.

BIS use an email system that auto-deletes email after 12 months.
However, staff are asked to individually select and store emails which
document evidence of government activity and decisions in the
department’s electronic records and document management system, where
they are treated as a record, and usually deleted at about 7 years.

There is no specific policy relating to taking note or minutes of
meetings.  However, I refer you to Guidance on the Management of
Private Office Papers, published jointly by the Cabinet Office and The
National Archives which can be found on the National Archives’ website
In particular paragraphs 4 and 13 (ii) are relevant.

But having reasonably searched our records, we found first that there
is no record of such a meeting you referred to as having taken place
as Ministerial business. Therefore no minutes would be held by the
Department(s) and I confirm that there are none. Second, we found that
no such emails were sent using BIS’s Departmental email systems
between the Ministers and within the constraints listed in your

Lastly we would not be able to refer you to another Department(s) as
we are unaware of any records they keep regarding the subject of your
request apart from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which
we have been in contact with as mentioned above.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

          Information Commissioner’s Office
          Wycliffe House
          Water Lane
          SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely


REMOVED | Director Information Economy | Business Group | Department
for Business, Innovation & Skills | [email protected] | | |

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for
business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and
giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve
this we will foster world-class universities and promote an open
global economy.

BIS – Investing in our future

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government
Secure Intranet virus scanning service supplied by Cable&Wireless
Worldwide in partnership with MessageLabs. (CCTM Certificate Number
2009/09/0052.) On leaving the GSi this email was certified virus free.
Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.