General Practitioners (GPs) and GP Health Centres
Information Standards Freedom of Information Response
Our Ref: FoI 29-20
17 June 2020
Freedom of Information Act 2000
I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission may hold some information relating to your request of 18th May 2020. In your request you asked for the following information:
“I wish to have all records of legislation, Statuary Rules, discussions, decisions, actions, departments involved, committees, advisers, their qualifications, their individual input, their positions.
Records should include for e.g., Electronic, handwritten, typed, recorded and any other means of communication.
The DVLA / DVA, person/s responsible for exhorting pressure on GPs, by instructing / contacting the DOH, requesting them to contact GP Health Centres Management, an action which contradicted Government / DOH, advice to curtail footfall in order to prevent contamination to others.
This request is particularly regarding the requirement of having a completed Medical form ( DLM1 ), to renew a driving licence in Northern Ireland in the present Environment.
When other Countries in Europe, Great Britain and Ireland, have temporarily suspended the legal requirement to submit a medical to renew a driving licence.”
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Assembly Commission is not required to provide information that is already available in a form accessible by the public. Legislation such as acts of the Assembly and statutory rules are published and are accessible at www.legislation.gov.uk.
Statutory rules are made by departments (or other public bodies) and are then laid at the Assembly. The Assembly Commission does hold some information relating to statutory rules laid at the Assembly. These records are held by statutory rule number.
For each statutory rule, the Assembly Commission holds a copy of the rule itself and any associated documents provided with it; the name of the laying authority (e.g. the Northern Ireland department or other public body) making the statutory rule; and the name of the Assembly Committee to which the rule was sent for scrutiny or information. The associated documents that accompany a statutory rule will include the laying letter (called an SL5), and an explanatory note, if one has been provided.
The Assembly Commission can provide copies of the associated documents and the name of the Assembly Committee to which a rule was sent for scrutiny for those statutory rules laid during the current Assembly mandate (2017-22). The Assembly Commission does not hold copies of the associated documents laid for statutory rules from previous mandates.
A list of the statutory rules laid at the Assembly is included in the Minute of Proceedings. The Minutes of Proceedings are published on the Assembly’s website, http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/minutes-of-proceedings/session-2019-20/
If there are particular statutory rules for which you would like to receive the further information that the Assembly Commission holds, please provide the relevant statutory rule number and year.
As noted above, statutory rules are made by Northern Ireland departments (or other public bodies). The Assembly Commission is a separate entity to the Northern Ireland Executive and departments. You may wish to consider contacting the relevant Northern Ireland department about specific statutory rules that they have made and other relevant information that they hold. The matters which you raise appear to fall within the remit of the Department for Infrastructure. Information on how to submit request for information to this department is available from the site: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/information-access-foi-complaints.
You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.
If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above.