I am writing to respond to item 3 of your request of 16 March 2011:
3. Details of procedures, processes or reports which set out how and/or in what circumstances the Wales Audit Office will commission external legal advice
Please see Corporate Notice 35, Access to Legal Advice, of January 2011, and Extracts from Challenge Toolkit, which meet your request. I have redacted some email and direct line telephone information from Corporate Notice 35. This is because when such information is put into the public domain it is often used for spamming or cold calling, both of which takes up time and communications resources. The redacted information is therefore prejudicial to our commercial interests and falls within the exemption provided by section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. While there are public interest reasons for making such contact information publicly available—facilitating direct contact with public authority staff—I have determined that these do not outweigh the reasons against disclosure, and I am maintaining the exemption and not providing the redacted information. In addition, my email address is available to you by other means and so falls within the section 21 exemption.
The Challenge Toolkit is an extensive document (in its single volume form it has 164 pages) only parts of which meet your description. For ease of communication and reference, I have only provided the relevant extracts.
With regard to the other items of your request of 16 March 2011, as those items required clarification (as provided for by section 1(3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000), I shall need more time to respond. I shall, however, write to you regarding those items as soon as possible next week.
If you wish to complain about my handling of your request, please email me.
I must also refer you to section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act under which you may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether or not your request has been dealt with in accordance with the Act. The Information Commissioner's contact details are:
Information Commissioner's Office
Tel: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510
You should note, however, that the Information Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted our internal complaints procedures before dealing with such an application. Further guidance may be found on the Information Commissioner's website http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you would like any clarification.
Rheolwr Cydymffurfiaeth a Swyddog Gwybodaeth/Compliance Manager & Information Officer
Swydddfa Archwilio Cymru/Wales Audit Office
029 2032 0526