The question as to whether or not Iraq actually used chemical weapon-loaded Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War is still an open one. Further to this, there still remain outstanding questions about the claims that Iraq possessed illegally-retained Scud Missiles in the period prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. There is no complete record to draw upon and no one organisation has ever been seen to have compiled an exhaustive and comprehensive analysis.

- A review by a former member of the Dhahran Scud Watchers Club


#6 - UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations FOIA Request
Date - November 05 2007



Monday November 05 2007 at approximately 22.30 New York time

(Submitted by E-mail to UK@UN.int)

XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
UK
BS23 2QE

The UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
885 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
USA

05 November 2007
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request


Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to make a Freedom of Information Act request for the following information relating to Iraq's December 7th 2002 'Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration'.

This documentation related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes and was at that time transmitted to all the members of the UN Security Council in either full or redacted form in conjunction with individual full sections being similarly transmitted to the Executive Director of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA respectively.

I wish to determine:

a/. Whether the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations still holds or retains either the original or a copy (full or redacted) of the Iraqi December 7th 2002 declaration?

b/. If it does, whether it could and would please release to me Chapter 6 of part IV (which is the part of Iraq's ballistic missile declaration relating to Iraq's actual use of Scud-type ballistic missile power), complete with any supporting documents referred to by Chapter 6 as may be contained in the supporting document annex of 5047 pages?

c/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations does not currently hold either the original or a copy of the declaration, whether the UK Permanent Mission was ever in possession, even briefly, of the complete original declaration or a copy thereof?

d/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations was ever in possession of either the original or a copy of the declaration, between which dates was this documentation held by the UK Permanent Mission?

e/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations previously held either the original or a copy of the declaration at any time, even briefly, but does not now currently still hold or retain control over this documentation, whether the UK Permanent Mission could please advise me as to when and where the documentation was sent or taken and where it is now believed to be located?

f/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations passed control of either the original or a copy of the declaration to any other UK authority at any time, whether the UK Permanent mission could please advise me as to which department(s) of UK Government (e.g. FCO, MoD or sub-department(s) etc) took control of the original or the United Kingdom copy of the full declaration and/or any other full or redacted copies which were subsequently produced?

(I would greatly appreciate it if an E-mail receipt for this correspondence could please be sent to me upon its arrival at its destination in order that I can be assured of its correct delivery. Please note that I am taking the liberty of posting all correspondence relating to my FOIA requests at www.scudwatch.org.foi )

Yours sincerely

Andrew XXXXX

Scudwatch.Org

Phone: 01934 4136XX

E-mail: scudwatch@btinternet.com


Follow-up telephone call:

A telephone call was made to the UK UN Permanent Mission and an automated message left on 03 January 2008 in order to follow up this request.


E-mail received:

An E-mail was subsequently received. The UK Mission to the UN [uk@ukun.org] wrote:

From: "UK Mission to the UN" [uk@ukun.org] Add to Address Book
To: xxxxxxxx@btinternet.com
Subject: Re: Your voicemail & email
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 12:26:36 -0500

Mr. Andrew XXXXX

Dear Mr. XXXXX,

I understand you left a voicemail message at the UKMISSION regarding an email request about the Freedom of Information Act sent on 5 November 2007. Unfortunately we have no record of having received that email. I would be grateful if you can send the email to us again and we will try to answer immediately.

Thank you

UKMISSION


Original resent:

The original requesting E-mail was then resent as edited below:

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew XXXXX [mailto:xxxxxxxx@btinternet.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2008 10:06 AM
To: UK Mission to the UN
Subject: Re: Resend of FOIA request

XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE
UK

The UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
885 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
USA

November 05 2007

(Resent January 05 2008)


Re: Freedom of Information Act Request


Dear Sir/Madam

(I am resending this FOIA request following communication with yourselves. The original e-mail was sent to UK@UN.int on November 06 2007 UK time (November 05 New York time), this address was found at your website, this link transpires to actually be mailto:%20UK@UN.int on close examination, this may lead to an error in some e-mail interfaces leading to non-delivery/receipt?)

I wish to make a Freedom of Information Act request for the following information relating to Iraq's December 7th 2002 'Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration'.

This documentation related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes and was at that time transmitted to all the members of the UN Security Council in either full or redacted form in conjunction with individual full sections being similarly transmitted to the Executive Director of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA respectively.

I wish to determine:

a/. Whether the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations still holds or retains either the original or a copy (full or redacted) of the Iraqi December 7th 2002 declaration?

b/. If it does, whether it could and would please release to me Chapter 6 of part IV (which is the part of Iraq's ballistic missile declaration relating to Iraq's actual use of Scud-type ballistic missile power), complete with any supporting documents referred to by Chapter 6 as may be contained in the supporting document annex of 5047 pages?

c/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations does not currently hold either the original or a copy of the declaration, whether the UK Permanent Mission was ever in possession, even briefly, of the complete original declaration or a copy thereof?

d/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations was ever in possession of either the original or a copy of the declaration, between which dates was this documentation held by the UK Permanent Mission?

e/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations previously held either the original or a copy of the declaration at any time, even briefly, but does not now currently still hold or retain control over this documentation, whether the UK Permanent Mission could please advise me as to when and where the documentation was sent or taken and where it is now believed to be located?

f/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations passed control of either the original or a copy of the declaration to any other UK authority at any time, whether the UK Permanent mission could please advise me as to which department(s) of UK Government (e.g. FCO, MoD or sub-department(s) etc) took control of the original or the United Kingdom copy of the full declaration and/or any other full or redacted copies which were subsequently produced?

(I would greatly appreciate it if an E-mail receipt for this correspondence could please be sent to me upon its arrival at its destination in order that I can be assured of its correct delivery. Please note that I am taking the liberty of posting all correspondence relating to my FOIA requests at www.scudwatch.org.foi )

Yours sincerely

Andrew XXXXX

Scudwatch.Org

Phone: 01934 4136xx

E-mail: scudwatch@btinternet.com

(added January 05 2008 - or xxxxxxxx@btinternet.com )


First response received:

Following the resent of the request the following was received:

From: XXXXXX.XXXX-XXXX@fco.gov.uk Add to Address Book
To: XXXXXXXX@btinternet.com
Subject: FOI Request, Ref: 0023-07
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2008 11:57:22 -0000

Dear Mr XXXXX

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. It has been passed to the relevant section within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to deal with. They will be in touch with you should your request need clarification.

We received your request on 7 January 2008 and will aim to respond within 20 working days.

Yours

XXXXXX XXXX-XXXX

Information Management Group

Information Rights Team


Further response received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

A further E-mail was received on 4 February 2008:

From: XXXXXXX.XXXX@fco.gov.uk Add to Address Book
To: XXXXXXXX@btinternet.com
CC: XXXX.XXXXXXXX@fco.gov.uk
Subject: Request for information - (0023-08)
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 12:14:08 -0000

Dear Mr XXXXX,

I send the attached letter on behalf of my colleague, XXXX XXXXXXXX, regarding your request for information reference (0023-08). Please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions.

Best regards, XXXXXXX XXXX

((Request for information 0023-08.TIF))


The attached .TIF document contains a letter as partly follows:

Reference: (0023-08)

Dear Mr XXXXX,

Thank you for your request for information, which we received on 7 January. I can confirm that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does hold the information falling within the terms of your request.

The FOI Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. However, when a qualified exemption applies to the information and the public interest test is engaged, the Act allows the time for response to be longer than 20 working days, and a full response must be provided within such time as is reasonable in all circumstances of the case. We aim to make all decisions within 20 working days, including in cases where we need to consider where the public interest lies in respect of a request for exempt information. However, in this case we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of public interest lies.

We estimate that it will take a further 20 working days to take a decision on where the balance of public interest lies. We plan to let you have a response by 3 March 2008. We will let you know if it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion.

The specific exemption that applies to your request is section 27 (international relations).

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, you should write to:

The Information Rights Team
Information Management Group
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
SG/124 Old Admiralty Building
The Mall
London SW1A 2PA

Email: dp-foi.img@fco.gov.uk

You should do this within 40 working days of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint [sic], you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted (sic)

(end)


Second response as above:

A similar response was received by e-mail on 3 March 2008:

XXXX.XXXXXXXX@fco.gov.uk Add to Address Book
To: XXXXXXXX@btinternet.com
Subject: Request for information - (0023-08) - Notification of Extension
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 11:32:09 -0000

Dear Mr XXXXX,

Please find attached a further extension letter regarding your request for information reference (0023-08).

Best regards,

XXXX

(The attached .TIF document contains a letter which read exactly as the one above dated 04 February, with the exception of the extention date, which was now 02 April 2008.)


Final response:

A full and final response was received on 3 April 2008:

03 April 2008

Counter Proliferation Department
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Tel: 020 7008 3472
Fax: 020 7008 3804
E-mail: xxxx.xxxxxxxx@fco.gov.uk

Mr Andrew xxxxx
xx Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

Dear Mr xxxxx

Freedom of Information Request Reference: FCO 0023-08

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act") for:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has now completed its search for the information which you requested on 5 January 2008 (as follows):

a/. Whether the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations still holds or retains either the original or a copy (full or redacted) of the Iraqi December 7th 2002 declaration?

b/. If it does, whether it could and would please release to me Chapter 6 of part IV (which is the part of Iraq's ballistic missile declaration relating to Iraq's actual use of Scud-type ballistic missile power), complete with any supporting documents referred to by Chapter 6 as may be contained in the supporting document annex of 5047 pages?

c/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations does not currently hold either the original or a copy of the declaration, whether the UK Permanent Mission was ever in possession, even briefly, of the complete original declaration or a copy thereof?

d/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations was ever in possession of either the original or a copy of the declaration, between which dates was this documentation held by the UK Permanent Mission?

e/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations previously held either the original or a copy of the declaration at any time, even briefly, but does not now currently still hold or retain control over this documentation, whether the UK Permanent Mission could please advise me as to when and where the documentation was sent or taken and where it is now believed to be located?

f/. If the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations passed control of either the original or a copy of the declaration to any other UK authority at any time, whether the UK Permanent mission could please advise me as to which department(s) of UK Government (e.g. FCO, MoD or sub-department(s) etc) took control of the original or the United Kingdom copy of the full declaration and/or any other full or redacted copies which were subsequently produced?


I am responding on behalf of the FCO, which includes our Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

In detail our response is as follows:

A/. The FCO does currently hold a redacted copy of the Iraqi December 7th 2002 declaration.

B/. The FCO does not currently hold Chapter 6 of part IV. It is possible that we hold some of the supporting documents referred to in Chapter 6. However not holding Chapter 6 we cannot be sure which of these documents are referred to in that Chapter.

C/. At the time of your request our Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York was in possession of a redacted copy of the declaration.

D/. The Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York originally received copies of the declaration on 12 December 2002. The complete, unredacted copy was sent on to the FCO in London, arriving on 13 December 2002. The Permanent Mission retained a further redacted copy of the declaration until 23 January 2008 when it was sent to the FCO Counter Proliferation Department in London for assessment in relation to your request.

E/. Following on from D/. above, FCO Counter Proliferation Department now hold the redacted copy of the declaration that UKMIS NY previously held.

F/. We have established that the Ministry of Defence may currently hold the unredacted Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration.

In summary we do not hold the specific information that you have requested, but have established that the Ministry of Defence may hold a copy of the declaration. I suggest you contact the Ministry of Defence for the information at the following address:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/ContactUs/FreedomOfInformationInformationRequest.htm

I apologise for the delay in getting this response to you. Counter Proliferation Department's initial assessment of the information, on receipt of the redacted version of the declaration from our Permanent Mission, was that within the redacted copy there was information relevant to your request that we needed to consider for exemption under section 27 (International Relations) of the Freedom of Information Act. However following a more detailed analysis of this redacted copy of the declaration (see sub-paragraph B/. above) we believe that none of the information that the FCO holds falls within the scope of your request.

If you are able to provide details of which of the annexes to the report you are interested in we would be happy to see if they form part of the redacted copy that we hold and assess them for release to you.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me. Please quote the reference number above in any future communication.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request an internal review of our decision you should write to me at xxxx.xxxxxxxx@fco.gov.uk, or at the address above.

If you are not content with the outcome of that internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally the Information Commissioner's Office cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaint procedure provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

xxxx xxxxxxxx

Counter Proliferation Department

cc. Ministry of Defence