Some feedback on my request for the sites used in Jones et al 1990 (no data):
On Feb. 22, 2007, I sent the following request to Phil Jones:
Dear Phil, a couple of years ago, I requested the identities and data for the Russian, Chinese and Australian networks studied in Jones et al Nature 1990 on urbanization. At the time, you said that it would be unduly burdensome to locate the information among your diskettes as the study was then somewhat stale. However, I notice that Jones et al 1990 has been cited in IPCC AR4 (in the section where you were a Coordinating Lead Author) and continues to be cited in the literature (e.g. Peterson 2003).
Accordingly, I re-iterate my request for the identification of the stations and the data used for the following three Jones et al 1990 networks:
1. the west Russian network
2. the Chinese network
3. the Australian network
For each network, if a subset of the data of the data was used, e.g. 80 stations selected from a larger dataset, I would appreciate all the data in the network, including the data that was not selected.
In each case, please also provide the identification and data for the stations used in the gridded network which was used as a comparandum in this study.
Thank you for your attention.
On March 9, 2007, CRU sent me the following refusal letter under FOI, transferring jurisdiction to the Environmental Information Regulation (which was separately responded to):
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_07-05; EIR_07-02)
Your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received by us on 22 February 2007 has been considered and I am not obliged to supply the information you have requested under this Act.
The exemption applied is s. 39, exempting information that is ˜environmental information’ within the meaning of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
This exemption applies because environmental information’ must be disclosed under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). In short, we will consider your request and provide information under EIR, not FOIA.
Your request is being considered under EIR and you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the EIR 2004, subject to the information not being exempt.
If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large print, etc. then please let me know.
For your information, the EIR defines a number of exemptions which may prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.
If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.
There may a fee payable for this information. This will be considered and you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.
If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me at:
University of East Anglia
Telephone: 01603 593 523
E-mail: foi AT uea.ac.uk
You also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 01625 545 700
OK, section 39 of the FOI Act 2000 says:
39. – (1) Information is exempt information if the public authority holding it-
(a) is obliged by regulations under section 74 to make the information available to the public in accordance with the regulations, or
(b) would be so obliged but for any exemption contained in the regulations.
(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of subsection (1).
(3) Subsection (1)(a) does not limit the generality of section 21(1).
Section 74 says:
Power to make provision relating to environmental information.
74. – (1) In this section “the Aarhus Convention” means the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters signed at Aarhus on 25th June 1998.
(2) For the purposes of this section “the information provisions” of the Aarhus Convention are Article 4, together with Articles 3 and 9 so far as relating to that Article.
(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make such provision as he considers appropriate-
(a) for the purpose of implementing the information provisions of the Aarhus Convention or any amendment of those provisions made in accordance with Article 14 of the Convention, and
(b) for the purpose of dealing with matters arising out of or related to the implementation of those provisions or of any such amendment.
(4) Regulations under subsection (3) may in particular-
(a) enable charges to be made for making information available in accordance with the regulations,
(b) provide that any obligation imposed by the regulations in relation to the disclosure of information is to have effect notwithstanding any enactment or rule of law,
(c) make provision for the issue by the Secretary of State of a code of practice,
(d) provide for sections 47 and 48 to apply in relation to such a code with such modifications as may be specified,
(e) provide for any of the provisions of Parts IV and V to apply, with such modifications as may be specified in the regulations, in relation to compliance with any requirement of the regulations, and
(f) contain such transitional or consequential provision (including provision modifying any enactment) as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
(5) This section has effect subject to section 80.
environmental information” has the same meaning as in Article 2(1) of the Directive[ Council Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information], namely any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on –
(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements;
(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred to in (a);
(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements;
(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;
(e) cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in (c); and
(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in (b) and (c);
Exceptions under the Environmental Information Regulations are stated to be:
Exceptions to the duty to disclose environmental information
12. – (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3) and (9), a public authority may refuse to disclose environmental information requested if –
(a) an exception to disclosure applies under paragraphs (4) or (5); and
(b) in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
(2) A public authority shall apply a presumption in favour of disclosure.
(3) To the extent that the information requested includes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject, the personal data shall not be disclosed otherwise than in accordance with regulation 13.
(4) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that –
(a) it does not hold that information when an applicant’s request is received;
(b) the request for information is manifestly unreasonable;
(c) the request for information is formulated in too general a manner and the public authority has complied with regulation 9;
(d) the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data; or
(e) the request involves the disclosure of internal communications.
(5) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that its disclosure would adversely affect –
(a) international relations, defence, national security or public safety;
(b) the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair trial or the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature;
(c) intellectual property rights;
(d) the confidentiality of the proceedings of that or any other public authority where such confidentiality is provided by law;
(e) the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest;
(f) the interests of the person who provided the information where that person –
(i) was not under, and could not have been put under, any legal obligation to supply it to that or any other public authority;
(ii) did not supply it in circumstances such that that or any other public authority is entitled apart from these Regulations to disclose it; and
(iii) has not consented to its disclosure; or
(g) the protection of the environment to which the information relates.
(6) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a public authority may respond to a request by neither confirming nor denying whether such information exists and is held by the public authority, whether or not it holds such information, if that confirmation or denial would involve the disclosure of information which would adversely affect any of the interests referred to in paragraph (5)(a) and would not be in the public interest under paragraph (1)(b).
(7) For the purposes of a response under paragraph (6), whether information exists and is held by the public authority is itself the disclosure of information.
(8) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(e), internal communications includes communications between government departments.
(9) To the extent that the environmental information to be disclosed relates to information on emissions, a public authority shall not be entitled to refuse to disclose that information under an exception referred to in paragraphs (5)(d) to (g).
(10) For the purposes of paragraphs (5)(b), (d) and (f), references to a public authority shall include references to a Scottish public authority.
(11) Nothing in these Regulations shall authorise a refusal to make available any environmental information contained in or otherwise held with other information which is withheld by virtue of these Regulations unless it is not reasonably capable of being separated from the other information for the purpose of making available that information.
It’s such a pleasure doing business with the Team.