Dear Haringey Borough Council,

Building Survey for Alexandra House
===============================
Please supply a copy of the most recent building survey for Alexandra House (Station Road, Wood Green).

If that survey was made subsequent to the purchase of Alexandra House, then please also supply a copy of the survey that relates to the building prior, or immediately prior, to the purchase in mid-April, 2020 (at a total cost of £22,600,000).

(N.B. If the intention is to refuse this request then please do so promptly, rather than use-up all the Statutory 20 working days available for reply.)

Many thanks,

Yours faithfully,

Clive Carter

Haringey Borough Council

1 Atodiad

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Dear Mr Carter,

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
LBH/11220321

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 21 June 2021.

 

This information request will be dealt with in accordance with the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations and we
will send the response by 19 July 2021

 

Your request for information may be delayed due to urgent operational
responses to dealing with Covid-19 priorities. We apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause, we do remain committed to responding to your
request and will respond as soon as we are able.

 

Should our response to your request breach the statutory time-frame and
you remain unhappy with our response you have the right to complain to the
Information Commissioners Office.  You can contact them at
[email address]. Information about their services is on their website:
www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Corporate Feedback Team

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

FORMAT of the Alexandra House Building Survey
=========================================

Thank you for your acknowledgement.

If the Building Survey for Alexandra House is in *pdf* (portable document format) then please supply it to me in that format, as an email attachment, rather than in printed form.

When in 2007 I asked you for the Building Survey for Alexandra *Palace*, you supplied it only after three months of delay.

That survey of September 2005 by King Sturge LLP was originally supplied to you in pdf format. I suggested how you could send the 18mb pdf file to me, but this was disregarded. Instead, you chose to print out the 83 (eighty three) pages, many in full colour, on spiral-bound, A3 paper. This big package was physically sent to me.

This method of supply seemed an unnecessarily costly and wasteful discharge of your duties under the FoI Act. It appeared as an attempt to frustrate further distribution of the Building Survey. This interpretation is lent weight by your covering, paper letter:

« the document was prepared by two firms of property consultants for the Charitable Trust. The document was provided in confidence. However the authors have agreed to disclosure by the Council on the basis that this is for the purpose of provision of the information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 only and that the document should not be used for other purposes ».

Entities, like local authorities, that hold requested information, either release it into the public domain—or they do not. As I am sure the council knows, there is no provision in the Act limiting how released information is used by the requesting person. The letter was essentially meaningless.

I much hope that such bluff and bluster will not be repeated with the Alexandra *House* Building Survey.

Yours faithfully,

Clive Carter

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Haringey Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Building Survey for Alexandra House' that was received by the council on 21 June 2021.

The council response dated the same day, promised "we will send the response by 19 July 2021".

I have received no reply by yesterday's date and the council is now in breach of its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (2000). The council seems to treat the 20-working day period as many motorists treat speed limits: as a goal or merely as a guide. The council faces no penalties for failure to reply within the statutory period and these delays have become almost habitual. The only sanction that may apply, is potential damage to reputation.

For more than 12 months, the council's initial, boilerplate response has included,

«Your request for information may be delayed due to urgent operational responses to dealing with Covid-19 priorities.»

This is misleading if not incredible. For many years before the pandemic, responses by Haringey to citizens’ requests for information have been delayed for reasons best known to the council. The level of service in terms of the Act has frequently been slow, with responses made at the last possible Statutory date, or not within the Statutory period at all. The performance has not been significantly different during the pandemic.

You also said, « … Should our response to your request breach the statutory time-frame … you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office. »

It is now worse than that. Yes, the statutory time-frame has now been breached but—apart from the initial timely acknowledgement—without a response of any kind.

This request for the Building Survey of Alexandra House is the most recent of my four related enquires, about the missing of an opportunity to buy this building. These council offices were later bought at huge public expense and at excessive cost by a factor of more than 100%. The external Auditor required that the value of the building be recorded at under half of what was paid with public money. This is the real public interest.

Both the council's internal and external Auditors have drawn attention to this matter, that is only partly in the public domain. My four requests are either delayed or refused and this seems to form a pattern. The delay over the Building Survey is in effect, a constructive Refusal and I therefore request an «Internal Review».

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

Thank you for your attention.

Yours faithfully,

Clive Carter

Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Carter,

 

Internal Review regarding Freedom of Information request reference
LBH11220321

 

Thank you for your email received on 20 July 2021. I am sorry that we
have not yet responded to your request for information.

 

Your request for an Internal Review has been logged with the reference
LBH/11335721. Please quote this reference number on any further
correspondence.

 

We will now review the response you have been sent to the above request
and I aim to let you know the outcome of our investigation by 17 August
2021. If I need longer, I will write to let you know the reason and when
you can expect a full reply.

 

At the current time our response may be delayed due to urgent operational
responses to dealing with Covid-19 priorities. We apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause, we do remain committed to undertaking the
review and will respond as soon as we are able.

 

Should our response to your request breach the statutory time-frame and
you remain unhappy with our response you have the right to complain to the
Information Commissioners Office.  You can contact them at
[email address]. Information about their services is on their website:
www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Claire Gilmour

Corporate Feedback Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Sehangera Kiran, Haringey Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Carter,

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/11220321

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 21 June 2021, in which
you asked for the following:

 

Please supply a copy of the most recent building survey for Alexandra House
(Station Road, Wood Green).

 

If that survey was made subsequent to the purchase of Alexandra House, then
please also supply a copy of the survey that relates to the building prior, or
immediately prior, to the purchase in mid-April, 2020 (at a total cost of
£22,600,000). 

 

My response is as follows:

 

We apologise for the delay in responding to this Freedom of Interest request. 
Due to the nature of the information contained in the report, we have needed to
take advice about what information should be exempted.  Certain aspects of the
information are sensitive, and cannot be released into the public domain. 
Making sure we deal with this in a compliant way is taking longer than expected.

 

I apologise for not responding sooner to explain the cause of the delay.  We
will provide the response by end of August.

 

If you are unhappy with how we have responded to your request you can ask us to
conduct an Internal Review. If so, please contact the [1]Corporate Feedback
Team. (Please note you should do so within two months of this response)

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Kiran Sehangera

PMO Officer – Capital Projects and Property (Interim)

 

 

 

Housing, Regeneration and Planning

Haringey Council, River Park House, London N22 8HQ

 

M: 07940 302 001

[2][email address]

 

[3]www.haringey.gov.uk

[4]twitter@haringeycouncil

[5]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/
4. https://twitter.com/haringeycouncil
5. https://www.facebook.com/haringeycouncil

Kiran Sehangera
PMO Officer –
Capital Projects and Property (Interim)

Dear Ms. Sehangera,

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/11220321
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for your message to me of 10 August in which you confirm that there will be more delay in responding to my FoI request dated 19 June 2021.

You write that you seek «to explain the cause of the delay».

However, is not the real reason for the delay, that the council is reluctant to release some information and is attempting to drag out the process for as long as possible?

The original promise was for a reply by 19 July, so I hope you will forgive my doubt when you claim that you will provide a response by the end of this month.

Unfortunately, the FoI Act provides for no sanctions on local authorities that behave in a delinquent fashion. There is no incentive to provide timely answers to questions that are found difficult or embarrassing. (In my opinion, the legislation needs tightening up.)

Enquiries about Alexandra House
---------------------------------------------
Questions about the Alexandra House purchase were put to the then Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Strategic Regeneration in a Scrutiny Panel meeting in public, held on 2 March 2021.

A fortnight later, matters relating to the purchase were discussed by the Council’s Head of Risk & Audit, in the Corporate Committee meeting held in public, on 17 March 2021.

You write that «certain aspects of the information [about the Building Survey] are sensitive».

However—months after those related discussions in public—at the time of my enquiry on 19 June 2021 it is hard to see that those aspects were unknown or not thought about, and hard to believe that those aspects have only recently occurred to somebody, prompting this further delay.

All answers to the questions I have asked relating to Alexandra House have been subject to delay or omissions. This suggests a huge problem and to any reasonable observer, may suggest that the council has something significant to hide.

It beggars belief that a building survey of all things, could be so sensitive.

«Cannot»
------------
The council cannot be a law unto itself. You have claimed that certain aspects «cannot» be released into the public domain. The real «cannot» here, is that Haringey cannot be above the law and council decisions may still be subject to judgement by a court. The council cannot escape such review over a survey for a building, a survey paid for with public money.

I will need to take advice in respect of the balance of information that you claim is exempt and which you indicate that you intend to continue to conceal from the public.

Via taxation, the public is obliged to pay money to councils. Councils then spend that money, and are required to do so in the public interest and for public benefit. Most councils properly regard that as a duty and as a heavy responsibility.

Please remember for whom the council ultimately works. Please now review the Nolan Principles of Public Life, apply them to this FoI enquiry, and then answer my question fully without redaction and without further delay.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Carter

Sehangera Kiran, Haringey Borough Council

Please note I will not be working for Haringey Council until the 16th
August.

 

If you need immediate assistance please contact
[email address]

 

Kind regards,

 

Kiran Sehangera

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Carter,

 

Please find attached my response to your below request for an Internal
Review.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Claire Gilmour

Corporate Feedback Officer

Haringey Council

 

[1]www.haringey.gov.uk

[2]twitter@haringeycouncil

[3]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 

From: [4][email address]
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2021 5:46 PM
To: [5][FOI #766422 email]
Subject: RE: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Building
Survey for Alexandra House

Dear Mr Carter,

 

Internal Review regarding Freedom of Information request reference
LBH11220321

 

Thank you for your email received on 20 July 2021. I am sorry that we have
not yet responded to your request for information.

 

Your request for an Internal Review has been logged with the reference
LBH/11335721. Please quote this reference number on any further
correspondence.

 

We will now review the response you have been sent to the above request
and I aim to let you know the outcome of our investigation by 17 August
2021. If I need longer, I will write to let you know the reason and when
you can expect a full reply.

 

At the current time our response may be delayed due to urgent operational
responses to dealing with Covid-19 priorities. We apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause, we do remain committed to undertaking the
review and will respond as soon as we are able.

 

Should our response to your request breach the statutory time-frame and
you remain unhappy with our response you have the right to complain to the
Information Commissioners Office.  You can contact them at
[6][email address]. Information about their services is on their
website: [7]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Claire Gilmour

Corporate Feedback Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Sehangera Kiran, Haringey Borough Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Carter,

 

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/11220321

Thank you for your request for information received on 21 June 2021, in
which you asked for the following:

 

Please supply a copy of the most recent building survey for Alexandra
House (Station Road, Wood Green).

 

If that survey was made subsequent to the purchase of Alexandra House,
then please also supply a copy of the survey that relates to the building
prior, or immediately prior, to the purchase in mid-April, 2020 (at a
total cost of £22,600,000).

 

My response is as follows:

 

Further to the Council’s holding email correspondence below,  please find
attached the Building Survey Report for Alexandra House in response to
your  FOI request .

 

It is prudent to note that the document submitted is the redacted version
that removes content deemed commercially sensitive and  that could
potentially pose a security risk to the Council.

 

If you are unhappy with how we have responded to your request you can ask
us to conduct an Internal Review. If so, please contact the [1]Corporate
Feedback Team. (Please note you should do so within two months of this
response)

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Kiran Sehangera

PMO Officer – Capital Projects and Property (Interim)

 

 

 

Housing, Regeneration and Planning

Haringey Council, River Park House, London N22 8HQ

 

M: 07940 302 001

[2][email address]

 

[3]www.haringey.gov.uk

[4]twitter@haringeycouncil

[5]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

From: Sehangera Kiran <[6][email address]>
Sent: 10 August 2021 16:59
To: [7][FOI #766422 email]
Cc: Meek Andrew <[8][email address]>; Sehangera Kiran
<[9][email address]>; Ighodaro Gloria
<[10][email address]>; Bosman Linda
<[11][email address]>; Smith Panayiota
<[12][email address]>; FOI
<[13][email address]>; Bakker Ruby
<[14][email address]>
Subject: FOI LBH/11220321 - Building Survey for Alexandra House

 

Dear Mr Carter,

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/11220321

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 21 June 2021, in which
you asked for the following:

 

Please supply a copy of the most recent building survey for Alexandra House
(Station Road, Wood Green).

 

If that survey was made subsequent to the purchase of Alexandra House, then
please also supply a copy of the survey that relates to the building prior, or
immediately prior, to the purchase in mid-April, 2020 (at a total cost of
£22,600,000). 

 

My response is as follows:

 

We apologise for the delay in responding to this Freedom of Interest request. 
Due to the nature of the information contained in the report, we have needed to
take advice about what information should be exempted.  Certain aspects of the
information are sensitive, and cannot be released into the public domain. 
Making sure we deal with this in a compliant way is taking longer than expected.

 

I apologise for not responding sooner to explain the cause of the delay.  We
will provide the response by end of August.

 

If you are unhappy with how we have responded to your request you can ask us to
conduct an Internal Review. If so, please contact the [15]Corporate Feedback
Team. (Please note you should do so within two months of this response)

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Kiran Sehangera

PMO Officer – Capital Projects and Property (Interim)

 

 

 

Housing, Regeneration and Planning

Haringey Council, River Park House, London N22 8HQ

 

M: 07940 302 001

[16][email address]

 

[17]www.haringey.gov.uk

[18]twitter@haringeycouncil

[19]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/
4. https://twitter.com/haringeycouncil
5. https://www.facebook.com/haringeycouncil
6. mailto:[email address]
7. mailto:[FOI #766422 email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. mailto:[email address]
10. mailto:[email address]
11. mailto:[email address]
12. mailto:[email address]
13. mailto:[email address]
14. mailto:[email address]
15. mailto:[email address]
16. mailto:[email address]
17. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/
18. https://twitter.com/haringeycouncil
19. https://www.facebook.com/haringeycouncil

Dear Kiran Sehangera,

ALEXANDRA HOUSE:
BUILDING INSPECTION REPORT Version 1.0
WITH 32 REDACTIONS
=========================================================
Thank you for yesterday sending me a copy of the extensively redacted Building Survey for Alexandra House. You have said that the content removed was "deemed" commercially sensitive and [or?] that "could potentially" pose a security risk to the Council.

I note there are a total of 32 (thirty two) instances of such redaction, whose *extent* of information withheld, is itself hidden. This is due to the unusual replacing of the redacted material—including photographs—with the single word "Redacted", in red. By this means, Haringey conceals the degree of redaction. That magnitude could range from a single word for a heading, to words, or a sentence, or a paragraph or paragraphs. There is no way of knowing (it is clear where it is a photograph that has been concealed).

If the council is not prepared to reconsider making 32 redactions then, as a simple and prompt first step, will you please now supply a copy of the Building Inspection Report in the way that the council normally redacts, i.e. by blacking-out the areas of redaction so that at least the extent of information concealed is clear.

Can you also report the total number of words in (a) the original document and (b) the redacted version. Please note that this is not hours or days of work to be billed for, or a reason for further extended delays, but the work for a desktop computer of seconds.

The word "asbestos" appears 29 times in the redacted version that you have supplied. Are you prepared to say how many times the word appears in the original document and if so, can you provide that information please?

Finally, I note the pdf file is described as "Report F" and the first page has, "Building Inspection Report Version 1.0", dated 2 March 2020. Can you please say what is meant by report "F", and if there were further versions beyond "1.0".

As a general observation, I would again ask the council always to bear in mind the Nolan Principles of Public Life when they consider concealing information from the public they serve, using the public's money.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Carter

Sehangera Kiran, Haringey Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Carter,

 

Please see the response in the email below to your questions.

 

Regards,

Kiran

 

Kiran Sehangera

PMO Officer – Capital Projects and Property (Interim)

 

 

 

Housing, Regeneration and Planning

Haringey Council, River Park House, London N22 8HQ

 

M: 07940 302 001

[1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

Regards,

Kiran

 

Kiran Sehangera

PMO Officer – Capital Projects and Property (Interim)

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir