FCA Freedom of Information response 1 - Dishonest or Incompetent? Discuss
In the past 3-12 months I have submitted multiple FOIA's (Requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Until two weeks ago I had not received any of the information requested within them, or anything more substantive than a weak apology for the delay and assuring me they would be responding as soon as possible.
Then on 6th October, just days before The FCA Annual Public Meeting where the public has the right to ask questions of The FCA, in rapid fire fashion, five 'Freedom Of Information' responses from The FCA. (Screenshot of my email inbox featuring them and their timestamps)
There are a multitude of sins within those responses, but each is worthy of and in need of its own article.
This article focuses on the response to which The FCA gave the reference: FOI9482.
It is a response to this FOIA that I submitted on 23rd July 2022.
On that page on The FCA website you will find a link to this page
This is the document that lists every FCA employee that has the 'rank' of 'Manager' or above. In this case as of April 2022. (screenshot from the page here)
The FCA state that they update this 'register' every six months.
I simply asked for a copy of each of the registers for each six month period dating back to 2014. About as straightforward as it gets.
However, the weeks and months passed with no information or response beyond the 'Auto-Responder' confirmation of receipt.
Until 6th October, when I received this response:
To be very clear, The FCA said:
"We can confirm that we do not hold the information which you have requested. We maintain a list of FCA staff at manager/technical specialist level and above, which is regularly updated on a half yearly basis. However, when the list is updated, we do not retain copies of the previous version of the document, as there is no business need for us to do so."
Really? Let's explore that shall we.....
The email also said "If you are unhappy with this response, you have the right to request an internal review. To do so, please contact us within 40 working days of the date of this response at FreedomofInformationAppeals@fca.org.uk ."
I have duly accepted that invitation and submitted this Appeal.
1. This [the FOIA response] would appear to be a false representation given this email below from John Dodd of the FCA Whistleblower team dated 17th December 2020:
2. In Mr Dodd’s email he clearly states that the FCA and ICO established an agreement whereby they would only ever publish in response to data requests, the names of FCA employees if they were at Manager level or higher.
3. Indeed, Mr Dodd is confirming that this ‘agreed protocol’ applies to DSAR’s whereby persons request their personal information. To be clear, my request to Mr Dodd was specific to the name of a person at the FCA to whom he had sent an email in August 2015. An email disclosed to me by the FCA in their DSAR response to me of February 2017.
4. In order to abide by this protocol that the FCA has established with the ICO, whereby the will Redact the name of all employees below Manager level, it obviously stands to reason that the FCA MUST retain a register or record of the rank or status of every employee from year to year so as to be in a position to execute such a protocol.
4.1. FOR EXAMPLE: How could the FCA possibly Redact the names of all employees below Manager level for the purpose of a data disclosure, without have a record of all employee ranks at that time?
4.2. FURTHERMORE, the FCA will receive DSAR’s and other data requests dating back a potentially significant number of years, and has managed to execute this agreed protocol. This includes in DSAR responses to me. How are they able to do this if they apparently destroy this record every 6 months?
5. It is therefore my formal allegation that this response to my FOI Request is factually incorrect, if not knowingly dishonest. There clearly is a ‘business need’ for which an ongoing historic record is required, and the data team who apply the ICO agreed protocol, must therefore know this.
The reason Mr Dodd was so keen to share this ICO agreed protocol with me was in an attempt to claim that the person he had forwarded my smoking gun evidence to in August 2015 was not a manager.
This evidence proved the attempt to defraud Tesco by LBG sales persons that I prevented, and the falsifying of the investigation outcomes by LBG investigator, and former colleague of FCA, Head of Intelligence Jane Attwood.
So, who was lying to me? John Dodd in his email, or The FCA person that sent this response to my FOI, claiming that they do not keep such records?