Section 8.3 Responses

Paragraph 1.3

8. Response to Freedom of Information requests. A number correspondents and commentators assert that requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) were incorrectly denied by the University of East Anglia on advice from the CRU.  This is the subject of a separate inquiry by the Data Protection Commissioner, but does fall within the terms of reference of the Review Team.

QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS

 Over the five years to November 2009:

 3.1 how many requests were received? 

 3.2  how many were rejected, and on what grounds?

 3.3 how many received full release of information? 

 3.4  how many received partial release of information?

20 Responses to “Section 8.3 Responses”

  1. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 1182255717.txt

    1. Think I’ve managed to persuade UEA to ignore all further FOIA
    requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit.
    2. Had an email from David Jones of BMRC, Melbourne. He said
    they are ignoring anybody who has dealings with CA, as there are
    threads on it about Australian sites.

  2. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 1182255717.txt

    Why does CRU have a confidentiality agreement with Germany?
    http://climateaudit.org/2007/05/31/why-does-cru-have-a-confidentiality-agreement-with-germany/
    The issue came up recently as one of Jones’ reasons for not providing a list of stations used in HadCRU3. As reported here , CRU said that these were governed by confidentiality agreements:

    “The remaining 2% of data that is not in the websites consists of data CRU has collected from National Met Services (NMSs) in many countries of the world. In gaining access to these NMS data, we have signed agreements with many NMSs not to pass on the…”

    Doug Keenan
    “On May 25, 2007, Doug wrote to Phil Jones as follows:

    According to Steve McIntyre, some of your raw station data was obtained from National Met Services who asked you to not disclose that data. Is this correct?

  3. jimchip Says:

    1106338806.txt

    From: Phil Jones

    To: Tom Wigley
    Subject: Re: FOIA
    Date: Fri Jan 21 15:20:06 2005
    Cc: Ben Santer

    Tom,
    I’ll look at what you’ve said over the weekend re CCSP.
    I don’t know the other panel members. I’ve not heard any
    more about it since agreeing a week ago.
    As for FOIA Sarah isn’t technically employed by UEA and she
    will likely be paid by Manchester Metropolitan University.
    I wouldn’t worry about the code. If FOIA does ever get
    used by anyone, there is also IPR to consider as well.
    Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people,
    so I will be hiding behind them. I’ll be passing any
    requests onto the person at UEA who has been given a post to
    deal with them.
    Cheers
    Phil

  4. jimchip Says:

    1182361058.txt Wahl acting indirectly to help check-kite the data

    From: “Wahl, Eugene R”
    To: “Phil Jones”

    Subject: RE: personal
    Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 13:37:38 -0400

    Hi Phil:

    Glad I can help, even if quite indirectly. I know what you mean about the need for community when under duress. The individual quality of being a scientist works against us in this way. Attached are the original letter and the official UCAR response. I don’t know what the lawyers might have written, other than their input to the official response letter. I do know they sought information from Caspar (and myself, but less so). I don’t recall if we made available to them our correspondance with Steve Schneider about our responses to the review of WA that McIntyre did, which had a lot of information in it that debunked his claims about withholding contrary results,

  5. jimchip Says:

    1199984805.txt

    > CA are now to send out FOIA requests for the Review Editor comments
    > on the AR4 Chapters. For some reason they think they exist!

  6. jimchip Says:

    From: Ben Santer
    To: “Thomas.R.Karl”
    Subject: Re: [Fwd: FOI Request]
    Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 19:57:22 -0800

    My personal opinion is that both FOI requests (1) and (2) are intrusive
    and unreasonable. Steven McIntyre provides absolutely no scientific
    justification or explanation for such requests.
    —————————
    The community mail list is interesting:

    Cc: Karen Owen , Sharon Leduc , “Thorne, Peter” , Leopold Haimberger , Karl Taylor , Tom Wigley , John Lanzante , Susan Solomon , Melissa Free , peter gleckler , “‘Philip D. Jones'”

    , Thomas R Karl , Steve Klein , carl mears , Doug Nychka , Gavin Schmidt , Steven Sherwood , Frank Wentz , “David C. Bader” , Professor Glenn McGregor , “Bamzai, Anjuli”

  7. jimchip Says:

    1228330629.txt

    One issue is that these requests aren’t that widely known within the School. So
    I don’t know who else at UEA may be getting them. CRU is moving up the ladder of
    requests at UEA though – we’re way behind computing though. We’re away of
    requests going to others in the UK – MOHC, Reading, DEFRA and Imperial College.
    So spelling out all the detail to the LLNL management should be the first thing
    you do. I hope that Dave is being supportive at PCMDI.
    The inadvertent email I sent last month has led to a Data Protection Act request sent by
    a certain Canadian, saying that the email maligned his scientific credibility with his
    peers!
    If he pays 10 pounds (which he hasn’t yet) I am supposed to go through my emails
    and he can get anything I’ve written about him. About 2 months ago I deleted loads of
    emails, so have very little – if anything at all. This legislation is different from the
    FOI –

    From: Phil Jones

    To: santer1@llnl.gov, Tom Wigley
    Subject: Re: Schles suggestion
    Date: Wed Dec 3 13:57:09 2008
    Cc: mann , Gavin Schmidt , Karl Taylor , peter gleckler

  8. jimchip Says:

    1228922050.txt

    From: Phil Jones

    To: santer1@llnl.gov
    Subject: Re: A quick question
    Date: Wed Dec 10 10:14:10 2008

    Ben,
    Haven’t got a reply from the FOI person here at UEA. So I’m not
    entirely confident the numbers are correct. One way of checking would be
    to look on CA, but I’m not doing that. I did get an email
    from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails –
    unless
    this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable! McIntyre hasn’t
    paid his £10, so nothing looks likely to happen re his Data Protection Act email.
    Anyway requests have been of three types – observational data, paleo data
    and who made IPCC changes and why. Keith has got all the latter – and
    there have been at least 4. We made Susan aware of these – all came from
    David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an
    international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds
    anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything
    to do with our core business – and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey here!
    McIntyre often gets others to do the requesting, but requests and responses
    all get posted up on CA regardless of who sends them.
    On observational data, there have been at least 5 including a couple from
    McIntyre. Others here came from Eschenbach and also Douglas Keenan.
    The latter relate to Wei-Chyung Wang, and despite his being exonerated by
    SUNY, Keenan has not changed his web site since being told the result by SUNY!
    [1]http://www.informath.org/
    The paleo data requests have all been to Keith, and here Tim and Keith reply.
    The recent couple have come from McIntyre but there have been at least two
    others from Holland.
    So since Feb 2007, CRU is in double figures. We never get any thanks for putting
    things up – only abuse and threats. The latest lot is up in the last 3-4 threads on
    CA.
    I got this email over the weekend – see end of this email. This relates to
    what Tim sent back late last week. There was another one as well – a chatty
    one saying why didn’t I respond to keep these people on CA quiet. I’ve
    ignored both.
    Finally, I know that DEFRA receive Parliamentary Questions from MPs to
    answer. One of these 2 months ago was from a Tory MP asking how much
    money DEFRA has given to CRU over the last 5 years. DEFRA replied that they
    don’t give money – they award grants based on open competition. DEFRA’s system
    also told them there were no awards to CRU, as when we do get something it is
    down as UEA!
    I’ve occasionally checked DEFRA responses to FOI requests – all from Holland.
    Cheers
    Phil

    At 01:48 09/12/2008, you wrote:

    Dear Phil,
    I had a quick question for you: What is the total number of FOIA requests that you’ve
    received from Steven McIntyre?
    With best regards,
    Ben
    —————————————————————————-
    Benjamin D. Santer

  9. jimchip Says:

    1229468467.txt

    Dear Ben,

    This is a good idea. However, will you give only tropical
    (20N-20S) results? I urge you to give data for other zones
    as well, viz, SH, NH, GL, 0-20N, 20-60N, 60-90N, 0-20S,
    20-60S, 60-90S (plus 20N-20S). To have these numbers on
    line would be of great benefit to the community. In other
    words, although prompted by McIntyre’s request, you will
    actually be giving something to everyone.

    Also, if you can give N3.4 SSTs and SOI data, this would be
    an additional huge boon to the community.

    For the data, what period will you cover. Although for our
    paper we only use data from 1979 onwards, to give data for
    the full 20th century runs would be of great benefit to all.
    This, of course, raises the issue of drift. Even over 1979
    to 1999 some models show appreciable drift. From memory we
    did not account for this in our paper — but it is an
    important issue.

    This is a lot of work — but the benefits to the community
    would be truly immense.

    Finally, I think you need to formally get McIntyre to list
    the 47 models that he wants the data for. The current request
    is ambiguous — or, at least, ill defined. I think it is
    crucial for McIntyre to state specifically what he wants.
    Even if we think we know what he wants, this is not good
    enough — FOIA requests must be clear, complete and
    unambiguous. This, after all, is a legal issue, and no court
    of law would accept anything less.

    Tom.

    From: Tom Wigley
    To: santer1@llnl.gov
    Subject: Re: FOIA request

  10. jimchip Says:

    1232064755.txt

    From: Ben Santer
    To: “Thorne, Peter” ,”‘Philip D. Jones'”

    , Thomas R Karl , Steve Klein
    Subject: Data published
    Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 19:12:35 -0800

    Dear coauthors of the Santer et al. International Journal of Climatology
    paper (and other interested parties),

    I have now publicly released the synthetic MSU tropical lower
    tropospheric temperatures that were the subject of Mr. Stephen
    McIntyre’s request to the U.S. Dept. of Energy/National Nuclear Security
    Agency under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I have also
    released additional synthetic MSU temperatures which were not requested
    by Mr. McIntyre. These synthetic MSU datasets are available on PCMDI’s
    publicly-accessible website. The link to the datasets is:

    http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/projects/msu/index.php

    The rest of the To: list, not cc’d

    Leopold Haimberger , Karl Taylor , Tom Wigley , John Lanzante , Susan Solomon , Melissa Free , peter gleckler , carl mears , Doug Nychka , Gavin Schmidt , Steven Sherwood , Frank Wentz

    This is the cc’d list
    Cc: “David C. Bader” , Bill Goldstein , Pat Berge , Janet Tulk , Kathryn Craft Rogers , George Miller , Tomas Diaz De La Rubia , Cherry Murray , Doug Rotman , “Bamzai, Anjuli” , mann , Anthony Socci , Bud Ward , “Peter U. Clark” , “Michael C. MacCracken” , Professor Glenn McGregor , Stephen H Schneider , “Stott, Peter” , “‘Francis W. Zwiers'” , Tim Barnett , “Verardo, David J.” , Branko Kosovic , Bill Fulkerson , Michael Wehner , Hal Graboske , Tom Guilderson , Luca Delle Monache , “Celine J. W. Bonfils” , “Dean N. Williams” , Charles Doutriaux , Anne Stark

  11. jimchip Says:

    http://climateaudit.org/2008/12/07/another-brick-in-the-wall/
    In the wake of Mann et al 2008, I re-visited the matter, this time using the FOI act. Mann et al referred to gridded MXD data, which proved to derive from Rutherford (Mann) et al 2005. Although Rutherford et al 2005 promised in the Journal of Climate text that their data was available, the URL for the MXD data was not available at the designated website, which said to “contact Tim Osborn” (Briffa’s colleague). I wrote to CRU in September 2008 as follows:

    In the Supporting Information to Mann et al (PNAS 2008), in particular http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2008/09/02/0805721105.DCSupplemental/SD1.xls , a number of “Schweingruber” series are listed, with nomenclature such as schweingruber_mxdabd_grid11, which I presume were provided by Keith Briffa or Tim Osborn of the UEA.

    Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and/or Environmental Information REgulations, whichever is aplicable, would you please provide me with a digital version of these data sets in the form provided to Dr Mann, together with any relevant meta-data, manuals or literature describing the grid locations of the series and the method of their calculation.

    A few weeks later, as reported at CA, the gridded data versions were posted up at CRU together with meta-data

    ——

    Here’s the CRU data page link. Steve Mc’s is to the ‘being rebuilt” homepage:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/

  12. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 how many were rejected, and on what grounds?
    1228922050.txt From 8.3 above

    “this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable! McIntyre hasn’t
    paid his £10, so nothing looks likely to happen re his Data Protection Act email.”

  13. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 how many were rejected, and on what grounds?

    and who made IPCC changes and why. Keith has got all the latter – and
    there have been at least 4. We made Susan aware of these – all came from
    David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an
    international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds
    anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything
    to do with our core business – and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey here!

  14. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 how many were rejected, and on what grounds?
    1228922050.txt From 8.3 above

    There was another one as well – a chatty
    one saying why didn’t I respond to keep these people on CA quiet. I’ve
    ignored both.

  15. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 how many were rejected, and on what grounds?
    1228922050.txt From 8.3 above

    Finally, I know that DEFRA receive Parliamentary Questions from MPs to
    answer. One of these 2 months ago was from a Tory MP asking how much
    money DEFRA has given to CRU over the last 5 years. DEFRA replied that they
    don’t give money – they award grants based on open competition. DEFRA’s system
    also told them there were no awards to CRU, as when we do get something it is
    down as UEA!
    I’ve occasionally checked DEFRA responses to FOI requests – all from Holland.

  16. jimchip Says:

    8.3.1 how many requests were received?
    1228922050.txt From 8.3 above

    “requests have been of three types” Total (12/10/08)= 13

    “So since Feb 2007, CRU is in double figures.”
    See Also: next comment re: http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/07/a-small-document/

    observational data= 5

    paleo data = 2 + 2

    and who made IPCC changes and why= 4

    Keith has got all the latter – and
    there have been at least 4. We made Susan aware of these – all came from
    David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an
    international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds
    anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything
    to do with our core business – and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey here!
    McIntyre often gets others to do the requesting, but requests and responses
    all get posted up on CA regardless of who sends them.
    On observational data, there have been at least 5 including a couple from
    McIntyre. Others here came from Eschenbach and also Douglas Keenan.
    The latter relate to Wei-Chyung Wang, and despite his being exonerated by
    SUNY, Keenan has not changed his web site since being told the result by SUNY!
    [1]http://www.informath.org/
    The paleo data requests have all been to Keith, and here Tim and Keith reply.
    The recent couple have come from McIntyre but there have been at least two
    others from Holland.
    So since Feb 2007, CRU is in double figures. We never get any thanks for putting
    things up – only abuse and threats. The latest lot is up in the last 3-4 threads on

  17. jimchip Says:

    8.3.1 how many requests were received?

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/07/a-small-document/
    Steve McIntyre, posted on Feb 7, 2010
    according to http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017905.ece “In today’s Times, the work involved in creating this “small document” of 1257 words increased to over 1000 hours.

    Last year in July alone the unit received 60 FoI requests from across the world. With a staff of only 13 to cope with them, the demands were accumulating faster than they could be dealt with. “According to the rules,” says Jones, “you have to do 18 hours’ work on each one before you’re allowed to turn it down.” It meant that the scientists would have had a lot of their time diverted from research. ..”

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=991&filename=1248902393.txt
    Phil says “I’m
    going to write a small document for our web site to satisfy (probably the
    wrong word) the 50 or so FOI/EIR requests we’ve had over the weekend.”

  18. jimchip Says:

    8.3.1 how many requests were received?

    Request for list of FOI requests made re CRU
    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/request_for_list_of_foi_requests
    A Freedom of Information request to University of East Anglia by Charles Arthur

    Link to pdf:
    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/25032/response/66822/attach/2/Response%20letter%20199%20100121.pdf

    “The table below lists all FOIA requests we have received relating directly to the CRU or staff who work in the CRU from 1 January 2005 until 22 December 2009.
    The following 58 requests were of a similar nature requesting details about the confidentiality agreements associated with data sources used by the CRU. Most of these requests were refused.”

  19. jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 how many were rejected, and on what grounds?

    Here’s two of mine from CA re Amman and Wahl
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/07/rose-on-fortress-met-office/#comment-220212
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/07/rose-on-fortress-met-office/#comment-220227

    Searching for confidentiality or Wahl, Briffa’s “secret agent”

  20. Jimchip Says:

    8.3.2 see https://crutapeletters.wordpress.com/section-1-responses/section-1-6-response/#comment-235

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