In May of 2008 a series of emails were exchanged by the Team. First from Tim Osborne to Caspar Ammann.
Our university has received a request, under the UK Freedom of Information law, from someone called David Holland for emails or other documents that you may have sent to us that discuss any matters related to the IPCC assessment process. We are not sure what our university’s response will be, nor have we even checked whether you sent us emails that relate to the IPCC assessment or
that we retained any that you may have sent.
Okay, that seems fair enough, Ammann replies
Oh MAN! will this crap ever end??
Well, I will have to properly answer in a couple days when I get a chance digging through emails. I don’t recall from the top of my head any specifics about IPCC.
I’m also sorry that you guys have to go through this BS. You all did an outstanding job and the IPCC report certainly reflects that science and literature in an accurate and balanced way.
That last bit needs some repeating and emphasis.
the IPCC report certainly reflects that science and literature in an accurate and balanced way
Yes, well. There you have it; ‘accurate and balanced’. But then the cover up starts. An email from Phil Jones.
Although requests (1) and (2) are for the IPCC, so irrelevant to UEA, Keith (or you Dave) could say that for (1) Keith didn’t get any additional comments in the drafts other than those supplied by IPCC. On (2) Keith should say that he didn’t get any papers through the IPCC process.either. I was doing a different chapter from Keith and I didn’t get any. What we did get were papers sent to us directly – so not through IPCC, asking us to refer to them in the IPCC chapters. If only Holland knew how the process really worked!! Every faculty member in ENV and all the post docs and most PhDs do, but seemingly not Holland.
So the answers to both (1) and (2) should be directed to IPCC, but Keith should say that he didn’t get anything extra that wasn’t in the IPCC comments. As for (3) Tim has asked Caspar, but Caspar is one of the worse responders to emails known. I doubt either he emailed Keith or Keith emailed him related to IPCC. I think this will be quite easy to respond to once Keith is back. From looking at these questions and the Climate Audit web site, this all relates to two papers in the journal Climatic Change. I know how Keith and Tim got access to these papers and it was nothing to do with IPCC.
So everyone ‘could’ or ‘should’ say this or that. No suggestion that they simply tell the truth.
These emails are now in the public domain. As Ammann indicated
If I would consider my texts to potentially get wider dissemination then I would probably have written them in a different style.
Watts up with that? is reporting an email press release from a Graham Smith Deputy Commissioner in the UKs Information Commissioners Office that is potentially explosive. (I can’t find a copy on the ICO website, so I can’t be sure of its veracity).
Norfolk Police are investigating how private emails have become public.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is assisting the police investigation with advice on data protection and freedom of information.
The emails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information. Mr Holland’s FOI requests were submitted in 2007/8, but it has only recently come to light that they were not dealt with in accordance with the Act.
The legislation requires action within six months of the offence taking place, so by the time the action taken came to light the opportunity to consider a prosecution was long gone. The ICO is gathering evidence from this and other time-barred cases to support the case for a change in the law. It is important to note that the ICO enforces the law as it stands – we do not make it.
These comments are quite extraordinary, if confirmed to have originated in the ICO. While the period the bring a prosecution has passed (a huge loophole in the UK FOI legislation) there can be little doubt that in Smith’s opinion a violation of the UK FOI legislation has occurred. I also think it is quite incredible that a public official would express such a strong opinion before the police inquiry is concluded.
Update I: The Times Online is now reporting the story and, via Bolt, so too is the Norwich Evening Times.
Update II: John O’Sullivan at Climategate is suggesting that Phil Jones can still be prosecuted for fraud under the UK Fraud Act (2006). While many of the actions appear to have occurred before 2006, I understand that the legislation simply formalises the common law position.