The Request

received on 26 april 2016 

 Dear Sir/Madam,

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, please could you supply me with the following information about preparations your Department (including arms-length bodies) has made for a possible vote to leave the EU at the 23 June referendum:

1.     What preparatory work has your Department (including arms-length bodies) undertaken in order to understand how its’ remit and operations could be affected if the UK voted to leave the EU?

2.       Please could you confirm whether your Department (including arms-length bodies) has delayed any decisions on policy matters, major projects or procurements until after the results of the EU referendum?  If yes, please say which.
 
3.       If the UK voted to leave the EU, please indicate whether your Department (including arms-length bodies) would be likely to experience any of the following over the next 2 -3 years as a direct or indirect result:
•           A change in the remit or duties of your organisation
•           Major projects or procurements subject to uncertainty, cancellation or delayed decision-making
•           Need to help client group(s) understand the implications of EU exit for them
•           Need for increased budget to deal with additional workload related to EU renegotiation and exit
•           Need for extra staff to deal with additional workload related to EU renegotiation and exit
•           Need to change IT systems or implement new ones
•           Need to review suppliers or supplier contracts

With thanks and best wishes,

Our Response

responded on 24 may 2016

24 May 2016

Dear

Thank you for your request for information dated 26 April 2016 concerning information about preparations we have made for a possible vote to leave the EU at the 23 June referendum. Your request has been handled under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 and has been passed to me for reply.

For your ease of reference, I have restated your request below in bold and have provided our response beneath each point.

1. What preparatory work has your Department (including arms-length bodies) undertaken in order to understand how its’ remit and operations could be affected if the UK voted to leave the EU?

No preparatory work has been undertaken in this area.

2. Please could you confirm whether your Department (including arms-length bodies) has delayed any decisions on policy matters, major projects or procurements until after the results of the EU referendum?  If yes, please say which.

We have not delayed and decisions on policy matters, major projects or procurements until after the results of the EU referendum.

3. If the UK voted to leave the EU, please indicate whether your Department (including arms-length bodies) would be likely to experience any of the following over the next 2 -3 years as a direct or indirect result:

• A change in the remit or duties of your organisation
• Major projects or procurements subject to uncertainty, cancellation or delayed decision-making
• Need to help client group(s) understand the implications of EU exit for them
• Need for increased budget to deal with additional workload related to EU renegotiation and exit
• Need for extra staff to deal with additional workload related to EU renegotiation and exit
• Need to change IT systems or implement new ones
• Need to review suppliers or supplier contracts

No preparatory work has been undertaken in the event of this scenario.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:

Information Governance Advisor (Disclosures)
Information Governance and Risk Management
British Council
Bridgewater House
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester
M1 6BB
Email: IGDisclosures@britishcouncil.org

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner for a decision at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113
Website: www.ico.org.uk

Yours sincerely