date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 09:12:21 +0100
from: "Thorne, Peter (Climate Research)" <peter.thorneatXYZxyzoffice.gov.uk>
subject: RE: Freedom Of Information
to: "Phil Jones" <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
Sounds like a whole barrel of laughs. I hope to have booked John at 11 today but taht is
hopee rather than expectation. At least his diary said he was free then ...! We've also had
something through parlimentary channels from a MP in Bromsgrove I think. It was whilst I
was off sick. I am chasing that down and will advise if it adds anything new to the mix.
Peter Thorne, Climate Research scientist
Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB.
tel. +44 1392 886552 fax. +44 1392 885681
From: Phil Jones [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 09 September 2009 09:04
To: Thorne, Peter (Climate Research)
Subject: FW: Freedom Of Information
Here's an email from your Press Officer to ours about a letter from a Stuart Harmon.
I modified the intended reply a little and this went back to Dave Britton a few days ago
via our press officer.
I said the bit about records not being kept should be removed. Our FOI person has ruled
that if we get an FOI request from Harmon we can treat it as vexatious! I'm surprised that
your press office have bothered to reply to it.
Also attaching another thing I got for amusement. This one was sent to the President of
the AGU (Tim Grove) and also to Alan Robock. Alan persuaded Tim to ignore it and gave him
some of the background. I wasn't aware that Alan was so up to speed with all this - good
that he was. The funny thing is that the person in Cornwall sent me a hard copy which
arrived last week. He sent me a copy plus the letter he's sent to the Pope. This letter is
up in the CRU coffee room. The attachments are amazingly complex and ridiculous.
McIntyre has appealed here and that is going through the process. Two others have
appealed as well - academics at Anglia Ruskin University and one at Oxford. I have been
meaning to check up on the Oxford one, and may send it on.
From: "Dunford Simon Mr (MAC)" <S.DunfordatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
To: "Jones Philip Prof (ENV)" <P.JonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
CC: "Gook Susan Mrs (MAC)" <S.GookatXYZxyz.ac.uk>,
"Palmer Dave Mr (LIB)"
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 15:45:51 +0100
Subject: FW: Freedom Of Information
Thread-Topic: Freedom Of Information
Accept-Language: en-US, en-GB
acceptlanguage: en-US, en-GB
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 01 Sep 2009 14:45:48.0250 (UTC) FILETIME=[E4DBDBA0:01CA2B12]
The Met Office would like our comments about a reply they plan to send to Stuart Harmon
- see below. Could you let me know asap if you are happy with it. I wonder if the line
about records not being kept is unnecessary? And I notice they are not saying that we
hope to provide some of the data in the future.
I attach the agreed UEA statement as a reference.
Over to you... (they're in a hurry by the way).
Simon Dunford, Press Officer,
University of East Anglia,
Norwich, NR4 7TJ.
Tel:+44 (0)1603 592203
A PREMIER RESEARCH AND TEACHING UNIVERSITY
2009 "What Uni" Student Choice Award winner and 2nd amongst mainstream English
universities in the National Student Survey
World top 200, European top 100, UK top 30 (Times League Table 2010)
Norwich: fourth highest cited UK city for science, thanks to the University and our
Norwich Research Park partners.
From: Britton, Dave [ mailto:Dave.Britton@metoffice.gov.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 3:18 PM
To: Dunford Simon Mr (MAC); Richards, Chris
Subject: RE: Freedom Of Information
Please see the email below that I plan to send the Stuart Harmon. Do you have any
A quick response on this would be very much appreciated.
Firsty, I am sorry that I have not responded sooner. Unfortunately I have been away
from the office for the last 3 weeks or so.
The Met Office and CRU are not in a position to release this data under FOI or otherwise
as we have obtained some of the data from scientists and institutions on the
understanding that this station data will be be publicly released, mainly as some of the
data has a commercial value. We are not in a position to clarify which data sets have
been provided under such terms and which have not as records were not kept. As a result
we cannot release the data where we have no authority to do so and any such release of
data could damage relationships with data providers
The Met Office uses the data solely and expressly to create a gridded product that we
distribute without condition.
I hope this helps
From: STUART HARMON <stuart.harmonatXYZxyznternet.com>
To: email@example.com; dave.brittonatXYZxyzoffice.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, 28 July, 2009 11:51:56 PM
Subject: Freedom Of Information
Dear Mr Britton
I am preparing an article on the freedom of information act and would request your
comments on why the Met Office is unwilling to release temperature data and methodology.
Provided to you is a link to Mr McIntyres web site
The article I am proposing is to be based on the unintended consequences of abusing the
freedom of information act to prevent the release of information.
In summary I pose to posit the following:-
1 The reason for not releasing information is to hide information which will be
embarrassing. I will use the MP's expenses to illustrate.
2 Another reason is because the organisation is incompetent.
3 The organisation is politicised and manipulates data to create an intended result.
Should the organisation subsequently be guilty of any of the above the unintended
consequence of not releasing data is that the organisation will bring British science
into disrepute. Which is not in the national interest.
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk