Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local Plan Costs

Joseph Walsh made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Buckinghamshire Council

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Mae'r cais yn aros am eglurhad. Os Joseph Walsh ydych chi, os gwelwch yn dda, mewngofnodi i anfon neges ddilynol.

Dear Buckinghamshire Council,

Further to FOI / EIR 23513 (information regarding Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local Plan Costs).

Thank you for the information provided under FOI / EIR 23513.

Please list the private sector companies, consultancies, advisors and individuals which were used to provide services when compiling the Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local Plan and list the total amount paid to each one.

Yours faithfully,

Joseph Walsh

Buckinghamshire Council

 

 

 

 

Dear Joseph Walsh

 

Thank you for your information request received on 10 May 2021.

 

We can confirm receipt of your request for information and will handle it
under the most appropriate legislation.  

Your case reference number is FOI 24786

 

You can expect to receive a response by 08 June 2021.

 

The Council will be in touch if we need any further information.

 

Yours sincerely,

Information Management Team

Buckinghamshire Council

[1][Buckinghamshire Council request email]

[2]A Little Longer

DISCLAIMER FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL

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are not necessarily those of Buckinghamshire Council unless explicitly
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Buckinghamshire Council

Dear Joseph Walsh

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 11 May 2021
concerning Follow up - Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local Plan Costs.

 

This request has been handled under the Environmental Information
Regulation 2004.  

Thank you for your follow up question in relation to the private sector
companies, consultancies, advisors and individuals which were used to
provide services when compiling the Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local
Plan and list the total amount paid to each one.

 

This request has been handled under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004. The Council is exempting your request under Regulation
12(4)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which states
the request for information is manifestly unreasonable. This is because to
comply with the request unreasonable costs for the public authority would
be incurred.

 

In order to comply with the request, the Council would need to analyse
over 6 years-worth of budgetary information which is stored across the
historical Chiltern and South Bucks Finance System, as well as the current
Buckinghamshire Council Finance system.

 

The functionality of the historical finance system for Chiltern and South
Bucks means that it is not possible to create a report to extract the
information requested, and therefore it would require the data to be
manually copied from our Finance system and placed into an Excel
spreadsheet for interrogation.

 

In order to provide the level of breakdown requested the Council would
then need to go through each individual cost centre and their associated
cost codes to find the relevant invoices. There are 2 cost centres and 9
cost codes. In order to find the relevant purchase order and invoice the
Council would need to open and examine each purchase order and invoice
within the relevant cost code to determine which are relevant. The
information would then need to be extracted from each individual purchase
order and invoice on a manual basis.

 

The Council anticipates that to determine whether the information is held;
locating the information; retrieving the information; and extracting the
information will take in excess of 18 hours (or £450 which is calculated
at £25 per hour for the 18 hours).

 

The EIR does not contain a limit at which the cost of compliance with a
request is considered to be too great. However, the formal guidance issued
by the Information Commissioner’s Office, along with Decision Notices
regarding this EIR exception, such as FS505859262, all acknowledge that
public authorities may use the use the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 as the basis of
considering the cost and time of complying with a request.

 

Therefore the Council has used this as the benchmark in determining what
it believes to be manifestly unreasonable.

 

Public Interest Test

In applying this exemption, the Council is required to balance the public
interest in withholding the information against the public interest in
disclosure. The factors that have been considered are as follows:

 

For Disclosure:

·         The Council acknowledges that there has been a strong public
interest in the CSB Local Plan and that we must be sufficiently
transparent in order to promote public confidence.

·         The Council acknowledges that there is general public interest
in how public money is spent and the importance of being open and
transparent with regards to expenditure.

 

Against Disclosure:

·         The Joint CSB Local Plan is already been open to public
scrutiny.

·         It would take a significant amount of officer time in order to
determine what information the Council holds; locating the information;
retrieving the information; and extracting the information being
requested. This would cause a significant diversion of resources, as well
as cost to the public purse.

·         The Council already publishes a significant amount of financial
information and will continue to do so, for members of the public to
scrutinise.

 

Decision

The council acknowledges that there is a strong expectation of
transparency and accountability, and has considered the greater
expectation attached to the disclosure of environmental information.
However, having considered the wider public interest, the Council’s
decision is to withhold the information requested due to the significant
amount of officer time it would take, the diversion of resources and
impact on the public purse.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number provided in the subject line of
this email in any future communications.

 

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 can contact us at [1][Buckinghamshire Council request email] or by
writing to us at Information Governance, Buckinghamshire Council, The
Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.

 

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the internal review
procedure provided by Buckinghamshire Council.  You can contact the ICO
via their website [2]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ or by writing to
them at Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  Alternatively, you can phone them on 0303
123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

A Roscoe

Freedom of Information Manager

[3][Buckinghamshire Council request email]

 

[4]A Little Longer

DISCLAIMER FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL

Any views expressed in this email are those of the individual sender and
are not necessarily those of Buckinghamshire Council unless explicitly
stated.

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or privileged
information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity
to whom it is addressed. Any confidential, sensitive or protectively
marked material must be handled accordingly.

If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute,
copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in the email or
attachments, and all copies must be deleted immediately. If you do receive
this email in error please notify the sender immediately and note that
confidentiality or privilege is not waived or lost. 

Buckinghamshire Council may monitor the contents of emails sent and
received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with
relevant legislation and the Council’s policies and procedures. All such
monitoring will take place in accordance with relevant legislation
including privacy and data protection legislation. For details of how
Buckinghamshire Council uses personal information please see the Council’s
website.

Buckinghamshire Council has scanned this email and attachments for viruses
but does not accept any responsibilities for viruses once this email has
been transmitted. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus
checks before opening any documents.

References

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1. mailto:[Buckinghamshire Council request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
3. mailto:[Buckinghamshire Council request email]

Dear Buckinghamshire Council,

ATTN: A Roscoe - Freedom of Information Manager

I am writing to request an internal review of your decision to refuse my FOI request 'Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local Plan Costs'.

I am not content with the Council's response to this request and am requesting an internal review before escalating the the complaint to the Information Commissioner and my MP.

The Council has acknowledged that (i) there has been a strong public interest in the CSB Local Plan and that it must be sufficiently transparent in order to promote public confidence & (ii) that there is general public interest in how public money is spent and the importance of being open and transparent with regards to expenditure.

Despite this Council's only ground for refusing the request is the cost of £450. In the context of the Council's budget of £458.9m for 2021/22 and the cost of the Local Plan itself of £3.75m, the cost of providing the information requested is trivial. The Council has already acknowledged the validity of the public interest and transparency factors relating to the CSB Local Plan and these clearly and significantly outweigh the stated cost of providing the information. As such the reason given for refusing the request is invalid.

Please review this decision and provide the information requested.

Furthermore, it is common good practice for a register of of providers/suppliers (in this case advisors/consultants) to be maintained on a project of this scale. If such a register had been maintained then providing the requested information would have been a relatively easy task. When responding please confirm that no such register exists.

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

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Walsh

Buckinghamshire Council

Dear Joseph Walsh

 

Thank you for your request for a review received on concerning FOI 24786
about Follow up - Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local Plan Costs.

 

I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your
request under the Environmental Information Regulation 2004 / Data
Protection Act 2018. 

 

I can confirm that we are considering your concerns and we will aim to
provide you with a response within 20 working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

Information Management Team

Buckinghamshire Council

[1][email address]

[2]A Little Longer

DISCLAIMER FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL

Any views expressed in this email are those of the individual sender and
are not necessarily those of Buckinghamshire Council unless explicitly
stated.

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or privileged
information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity
to whom it is addressed. Any confidential, sensitive or protectively
marked material must be handled accordingly.

If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute,
copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in the email or
attachments, and all copies must be deleted immediately. If you do receive
this email in error please notify the sender immediately and note that
confidentiality or privilege is not waived or lost. 

Buckinghamshire Council may monitor the contents of emails sent and
received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with
relevant legislation and the Council’s policies and procedures. All such
monitoring will take place in accordance with relevant legislation
including privacy and data protection legislation. For details of how
Buckinghamshire Council uses personal information please see the Council’s
website.

Buckinghamshire Council has scanned this email and attachments for viruses
but does not accept any responsibilities for viruses once this email has
been transmitted. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus
checks before opening any documents.

References

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Dear Buckinghamshire Council,
Can you please respond to my request to release the information asked for?
If you are still unwilling to release the information please confirm the request is now the subject of an internal review?
Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Joseph Walsh

Buckinghamshire Council

Good afternoon

 

Internal review FOI 24786.

Thank you for your email. I can confirm we have logged your request
received on 07 June 2021 as an internal review.

 

We are currently considering your request for this financial information
regarding a further breakdown of the Chiltern & South Bucks Draft Local
Plan Costs, but I must advise we will need more time to process this
review and accordingly I have extend by a further 20 days. Please accept
my apologies. 

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference number provided in the subject line of
this email in any future communications.

 

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 can contact us at [1][Buckinghamshire Council request email] or by
writing to us at Information Management, Buckinghamshire Council, The
Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.

 

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the internal review
procedure provided by Buckinghamshire Council.  You can contact the ICO
via their website [2]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ or by writing
to them at Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  Alternatively, you can phone them on 0303
123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

A Roscoe

Freedom of Information Manager

[3][Buckinghamshire Council request email]

 

 

[4]A Little Longer

DISCLAIMER FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL

Any views expressed in this email are those of the individual sender and
are not necessarily those of Buckinghamshire Council unless explicitly
stated.

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or privileged
information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity
to whom it is addressed. Any confidential, sensitive or protectively
marked material must be handled accordingly.

If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute,
copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in the email or
attachments, and all copies must be deleted immediately. If you do receive
this email in error please notify the sender immediately and note that
confidentiality or privilege is not waived or lost. 

Buckinghamshire Council may monitor the contents of emails sent and
received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with
relevant legislation and the Council’s policies and procedures. All such
monitoring will take place in accordance with relevant legislation
including privacy and data protection legislation. For details of how
Buckinghamshire Council uses personal information please see the Council’s
website.

Buckinghamshire Council has scanned this email and attachments for viruses
but does not accept any responsibilities for viruses once this email has
been transmitted. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus
checks before opening any documents.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Buckinghamshire Council request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
3. mailto:[Buckinghamshire Council request email]

Buckinghamshire Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Joseph Walsh

 

Outcome of Internal Review

Further to your email dated 07 June 2021, an internal review has been
carried out. Please find the decision response attached.

 

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Griffin

Head of Information Management

[1][Buckinghamshire Council request email]   

[2]Thank you

DISCLAIMER FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL

Any views expressed in this email are those of the individual sender and
are not necessarily those of Buckinghamshire Council unless explicitly
stated.

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or privileged
information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity
to whom it is addressed. Any confidential, sensitive or protectively
marked material must be handled accordingly.

If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute,
copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in the email or
attachments, and all copies must be deleted immediately. If you do receive
this email in error please notify the sender immediately and note that
confidentiality or privilege is not waived or lost. 

Buckinghamshire Council may monitor the contents of emails sent and
received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with
relevant legislation and the Council’s policies and procedures. All such
monitoring will take place in accordance with relevant legislation
including privacy and data protection legislation. For details of how
Buckinghamshire Council uses personal information please see the Council’s
website.

Buckinghamshire Council has scanned this email and attachments for viruses
but does not accept any responsibilities for viruses once this email has
been transmitted. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus
checks before opening any documents.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Buckinghamshire Council request email]

FOI Mailbox, Buckinghamshire Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Walsh

 

Please see our attached response following your complaint to the ICO
regarding our response to your information request concerning the Chiltern
& South Bucks Draft Local Plan Costs.

 

Many thanks

Amy

 

Amy Roscoe

Freedom of Information Manager

Deputy Chief Executive Directorate

Buckinghamshire Council

 

01296 382394

[1][Buckinghamshire Council request email]

 

 

[2]Shop Local

DISCLAIMER FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL

Any views expressed in this email are those of the individual sender and
are not necessarily those of Buckinghamshire Council unless explicitly
stated.

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or privileged
information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity
to whom it is addressed. Any confidential, sensitive or protectively
marked material must be handled accordingly.

If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute,
copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in the email or
attachments, and all copies must be deleted immediately. If you do receive
this email in error please notify the sender immediately and note that
confidentiality or privilege is not waived or lost. 

Buckinghamshire Council may monitor the contents of emails sent and
received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with
relevant legislation and the Council’s policies and procedures. All such
monitoring will take place in accordance with relevant legislation
including privacy and data protection legislation. For details of how
Buckinghamshire Council uses personal information please see the Council’s
website.

Buckinghamshire Council has scanned this email and attachments for viruses
but does not accept any responsibilities for viruses once this email has
been transmitted. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus
checks before opening any documents.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Buckinghamshire Council request email]