12-15 Cliff Terrace, Margate funding

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Government Office for the South East

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group

Dear Government Office for the South East,

We, from 15 groups** ie Residents' Associations, business groups and other community organisations, are writing to request information about your funding of the following organisations or projects. Specifically, we would like to know

12-15 Cliff Terrace, Margate
1. Has any money from GOSE funds been given to any owners / developers of this building since 2005 and, if so:
2. What is the total amount of the money given?
3. What were the conditions under which the money was given and have the recipients of the money complied with those conditions?
4. How has that compliance been verified by GOSE officers?
5. What action has been taken, or is to be taken, if the recipients have not complied with the conditions of the funding?
6. Is the building occupied or empty?

Our preferred format to receive this information is by electronic means. If one part of this request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need any clarification of this request please feel free to email me. If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests.

Many public authorities release their contracts with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public’s interest. The public have an interest in knowing the terms of contracts and grants awarded by public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then we would like to know the following:
• When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
• All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed.
• The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements

We ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements. They go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. We would also point to the Information Commissioner’s guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: ‘Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.’

Finally, within the law of confidence there is also a public interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly to charge its stakeholders.

We would be grateful if you could confirm, in writing, that you have received this request, and we look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.

Regards

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group

** Arlington House Residents' Association, Cliftonville Partnership, Cliftonville Residents Assoc, DAAG, Dalby Sq Project, Dane Valley Woods, Godwin Rd, GRASS, Grotto Hill, Hawley Square, Margate Civic Society, Old Town Action Group, Senior Citizens’ Forum, SRAAG, St Paul’s Community Centre

Jeanie Maynard, Government Office for the South East

1 Atodiad

Dear Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group,

Please find attached our formal acknowledgement of your request for
information. Please quote reference number F002114 in any further
correspondence.

Kind regards,
Jeanie

Jeanie Maynard
Safer & Stronger, Kent & Medway Team
Government Office for the South East
Tel: 01483 882436
(GTN 3011 2436)
Fax: 01483 882284

Please note that I work 4 days per week and my non-working day is usually
Friday.

Are you Compact compliant?
[1]www.thecompact.org.uk

>>> Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group
<[FOI #39269 email]> 23/06/10 09:44:42 >>>
Dear Government Office for the South East,

We, from 15 groups** ie Residents' Associations, business groups
and other community organisations, are writing to request
information about your funding of the following organisations or
projects. Specifically, we would like to know

12-15 Cliff Terrace, Margate
1. Has any money from GOSE funds been given to any owners /
developers of this building since 2005 and, if so:
2. What is the total amount of the money given?
3. What were the conditions under which the money was given and
have the recipients of the money complied with those conditions?
4. How has that compliance been verified by GOSE officers?
5. What action has been taken, or is to be taken, if the recipients
have not complied with the conditions of the funding?
6. Is the building occupied or empty?

Our preferred format to receive this information is by electronic
means. If one part of this request can be answered sooner than
others, please send that information first followed by any
subsequent data. If you need any clarification of this request
please feel free to email me. If FOI requests of a similar nature
have already been asked could you please include your responses to
those requests.

Many public authorities release their contracts with private
vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption
for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified
exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in
the public*s interest. The public have an interest in knowing the
terms of contracts and grants awarded by public authorities,
whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of
confidence) then we would like to know the following:
* When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
* All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality
agreements were discussed.
* The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements

We ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord
Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of
Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and
services) specifically state that public authorities should not
enter into these types of agreements. They go directly against the
spirit of the laws of disclosure. We would also point to the
Information Commissioner*s guidance on accepting blanket commercial
confidentiality agreements: *Unless confidentiality clauses are
necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of
a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.*

Finally, within the law of confidence there is also a public
interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in
full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that
can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only
then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These
are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or
where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly
to charge its stakeholders.

We would be grateful if you could confirm, in writing, that you
have received this request, and we look forward to hearing from you
within the 20-working day statutory time period.

Regards

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group

** Arlington House Residents' Association, Cliftonville
Partnership, Cliftonville Residents Assoc, DAAG, Dalby Sq Project,
Dane Valley Woods, Godwin Rd, GRASS, Grotto Hill, Hawley Square,
Margate Civic Society, Old Town Action Group, Senior Citizens*
Forum, SRAAG, St Paul*s Community Centre

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Clare Parnham, Government Office for the South East

2 Atodiad

To: Cliftonville and Margate Future's Group,

Please find attached a response to your FOI request ref: F0002114.

Best wishes.

Clare Parnham
Relationship Manager Medway/PSA16 Lead
GOSE
1 Walnut Tree Close
Guildford
GU1 4GA
Tel: 01483 882332
[mobile number]
email: [1][email address]
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