7 June 2022
Complaint in respect of ATISN 16219 – Home Abortion Consultation Stats
I am responding to your email which was received on 05 May 2022 in which you asked us to review the response issued to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). This letter is to inform you of the outcome.
In your original request dated 30 March 2022, you referred to a qualitative summary of responses to the Home Abortion Consultation which closed on 23 February and the responses that were published on the Welsh Government website, and asked for the following:
- I wish to make a Freedom of Information request for the numerical values of responses (affirmative, negative and 'don't know') to each section of each of the questions posed in the consultation, together with the denominator for each section, and the percentage value of each of the types of response (affirmative, negative and 'don't know') to each section.
- Please indicate whether the quantitative assessment of responses in 1. above has been undertaken independently, and by whom.
In our response dated 9 April 2022, we explained that Welsh Government did not hold the information in the format that you had requested and confirmed that full responses to the consultation could be found on the Welsh Government webpages. We also explained that for this reason, quantitative assessment was not required though we were able to confirm that Welsh Government Officials had interpreted the results.
The provisions within the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides right of access to what is held as recorded information at the time the request is made. However, the Act is clear that public authorities are not required to create new information to comply with a request for information under the Act. They only need to consider information already in existence at the time of request is received.
In your email dated 05 May 2022, you stated that you were not satisfied with our response.
I have reviewed our response to your FOI request in accordance with the procedure stated in my previous letter to you (dated 05 May 2022).
The FOIA provides the right to access recorded information held by Welsh Government and does not require us to create any new information in order to answer requests. In my view this was a reasonable response, and therefore I do not uphold your complaint.
If you remain dissatisfied with this response you also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510
FOI and EIR complaints | ICO
Also, if you think that there has been maladministration in dealing with your request, you have the option to make a complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who can be contacted at:
Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
Telephone: 0845 6010987 (local rate)
Sir Frank Atherton
Chief Medical Officer
5 April 2022
ATISN 16219 – Home Abortion Consultation Stats
Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 30 March 2022. You have requested the following:
- The numerical values of responses (affirmative, negative and 'don't know') to each section of each of the questions posed in the consultation, together with the denominator for each section, and the percentage value of each of the types of response (affirmative, negative and 'don't know') to each section.
- Please indicate whether the quantitative assessment of responses in 1 above has been undertaken independently, and by whom.
- Welsh Government does not hold the information in the format you are requesting. We are able to confirm that information relating to respondents answers is already in the public domain and is therefore exempt from disclosure under Section 21 of the Act. We are not required to provide information which is already reasonably accessible to you. The full responses to the consultation on Early Medical Abortion at Home has can be found on the Welsh Government website: Termination of pregnancy arrangements in Wales.
- As above, Welsh Government didn’t collect the information in the format request and therefore quantitative assessment was not required, though we can confirm that Welsh Government officials have interpreted the results.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit
or Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.