FOI Request Review of FOI 101001582978 Equal Opportunities Follow Up

Request 101001609681

Original Request and Response http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_114741.html

Review requested:
I find it strange, however, that under the EOA, you do not hold information on the age of applicants, and whether, as you should, be able to answer a question, which is entirely relevant to your application of the law.
To not report on the age of candidates would appear to be blatant disregard for the EOA, and as such, I will be asking for a review. I also do not accept you reason for denial of question 3, especially as this information will be on their personnel files and easily accessible.

Response 04-10-2017

Following your request for a review of our response to the FOI you submitted, 101001488458, a review meeting was held at the council offices on 2nd October 2017. In attendance were the Records and Heritage Manager, Senior Solicitor, HR Manager, Equal Opportunities Officer and the Information Coordinator.

The review was handled in two parts; part one: Age of applicants and part two: Successful candidates previously employed by the council. 

Part one: Age of applicants

Your review request was discussed and it was agreed that the Council’s original decision was upheld. Therefore this information is exempt under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002; we do not hold the requested information.

Your request for review cited EOA legislation, for the purpose of this review the legislation we considered was the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012. The duties require relevant authorities to take steps to gather information on the composition of its employees and on the recruitment, development and retention of people as employees with respect to the number and relevant protected characteristics of such persons. Information about age is not included in the information provided by applicants. Also, we utilise the National Recruitment Portal (used by many Local Authorities in Scotland) for all of our external recruitment. The portal does not require an applicant to provide a date of birth.

Part two: Successful candidates previously employed by the council

Your request for us to review our response to question 3 was discussed and the original decision is upheld. This information is contained within personal files, however, as these files are not stored differently to all of the other personal staff files this information would again be exempt under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002- Excessive Cost of Compliance. As per the 49 page list of vacancies advertised in the past 24 months (previously provided at http://www.moray.gov.uk/downloads/file115322.pdf) we would have to scrutinise each successful applicant’s file to identify if they had previously worked for the Council which would exceed 40 hours, the limit allowed by the Act.

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