Costs of Penallta House

[Name Removed] (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Caerphilly County Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Caerphilly County Borough Council.

[Name Removed] (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Caerphilly Council,

Per the below Rules of Procedure document.

1. Please confirm the final build and full costs of making good defects of Penallta House and update the amounts and figures shown in the replies to all the numbered points in the document.

2. Please confirm the annual running costs of the building since completion of construction for repairs, maintenance, housekeeping, insurance, cleaning and utilities.

3. Please confirm the separate annual costs of IT and telephony operating within the premises, including the purchase, tariff costs and number of business mobile telephones provided to management and staff.

4. Please confirm how much income the building has generated, per annum since becoming occupied to current date, from the Registry service and any other ancillary services.

Per general Council policy.

5. Please confirm what the 'Computer, email and internet acceptable use policy' stipulates in terms of access to social media and surfing websites during business hours.

6. Please confirm how many breaches of any Computer use policy have been reported and addressed since the building became occupied.

7. Please confirm what services and facilities are provided to all staff at subsidised rates or at no cost on a per annum basis to current date since the building became occupied, including salary sacrifice bike, car or travel loans or use of Council-owned vehicles.

S [name removed]

-----------------------------------------------------------
AGENDA ITEM NO. 7
COUNCIL - 6TH OCTOBER 2009
SUBJECT: ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS RECEIVED UNDER RULES OF
PROCEDURE 10(2)
1. COSTS RELATED TO PENALLTA HOUSE - TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR FINANCE,
RESOURCES AND SUSTAINABILITY FROM COUNCILLOR G.D SIMMONDS
1. Given the statement made by Labour’s shadow member for Policy and Resources, at Council
30th June 2009 regarding the cost of Penallta House, and his claim, the project cost £20.8
million. What is the actual, final cost of this project?
2. A to date figure is given for the cost of Penallta House in the Corporate Office Accommodation
Committee reports dated 14th March 2007, 15th February 2008, and 11th November 2008,
will you please be kind enough to make that figure available to council?
3. In the 14th March 2007 report a figure is shown as the sale price received for Ystrad Fawr of
£2.0 million, the value of the land and building at Ystrad Fawr is considerably more expensive,
and is given in the Outline Business Case for the new hospital at £3.9 million. Please be kind
enough to explain why this valuation was not achieved? Did Caerphilly maximise the return on
the sale of this asset, in line with section 123 of the LGA?
4. Since the ending of the Corporate Office Accommodation Committee, certain problems/
defects have come to light, the latest report 21st April 2009 (exempt information and as such I
am not allowed to state the nature of the defects/problems in an open question). Please
without referring to the problems/ defects list the potential cost implications per annum for the
next 25 years of those defects/problems to ratepayers?
5. Has the known problems/defects had any effect on the efficient operation of the air
conditioning/ heating systems?
6. Are the ground source heat pumps operating at or near their maximum efficiency?
7. Is the claimed heat gain being achieved?
8. Please give the cost of the blinds to the front of the building and any additional costs related to
the building, since 11th November 2008?
9. Please list final cost of all alterations to the education building at Ystrad Mynach, to enable
conversion to a rugby club?
10. Please give a figure for the total spent by Caerphilly on the entire project from start to
completion?
11. As the Labour cabinet member for policy and resources 2004-08, was also a member of the
corporate office accommodation committee, and should have been aware of the cost
implications. Would the present cabinet member for policy and resources agree with me, the
error made by his Labour shadow in the cost of the project of many millions, plus any
additional costs from 11th November 2008? Shows a failure by Labour to understand the
importance of controlling costs, and explains why all Labour administrations leave office with
larger debts than when they started?
RESPONSE FROM THE CABINET MEMBER FOR FINANCE, RESOURCES AND
SUSTAINABILITY - COUNCILLOR C.P. MANN
1
.
The Council is still holding retentions on the Ty
Penallta contract, but the final project cost on
the building itself will be within the original construction tender sum of £20.85 million.
2. Whilst tentative costings of circa £20m were set out in early 2005 the first firm costing and
budget was set out in the report to Council on 20 March 2006. At this time a total budget of
£28.4 million was approved by the Council relating to all aspects of the corporate offices
accommodation changes and this included contracts at Ty
Tredomen, Ty Dyffryn and
Tiryberth.
3. The initial view by Property Services on the valuation of the Ystrad Fawr site was over £3m.
However, the Health Trust argued that this was not a fair valuation for a variety of reasons
including the potential flood consequences. As a result the Council agreed a compromise
figure of £2m. The details were set out in a report to Policy and Resources Scrutiny
Committee in May 2007.
4. There has been an ongoing dialogue with the contractor in respect of certain defects identified
with Penallta House and there has been a programme of rectification to address the defects.
Once all the defects have been satisfactorily completed there will no additional long term cost
implications for the Council.
5. Some modifications have been carried out to the heat pumps to ensure the cooling
requirements for the building can be met and this continues to be monitored. Commissioning
of the system is continuing to demonstrate full compliance with the Employer’s Requirements.
6/7. The ground heat source heat is being used to support both the heating and cooling of the
building. The temperature differential of the flow and return to the borehole array is within the
expected limits. Monitoring of the temperature differentials will be instigated to prove the long-
term performance.
8. Some additional works have been undertaken since practical completion that did not form part
of the original contract of around £104,000. There was a contingency within the budget
approved by the Council of £150,000 to meet the cost of any additional works. Included within
this was the cost of £12,500 for the blinds at the front of the building.
9. The cost of the conversion of the education building at Ystrad Mynach was £1,028,498. This
relates to works in respect of the changing facilities as well as the requirements of the rugby
club. It is difficult to accurately split all the costs between the relevant uses but to date an
arbitrary split of 60:40 between the rugby club and the changing facilities has been used. The
cost of the changing facilities was met by health as part of a S106 agreement.
10. As at the end of August 2009 the total expenditure against the corporate offices project
budget is £27.2 million.
11. I believe that there is some
confusion between the cost of Ty Penallta itself and the overall
cost of the whole accommodation project, which includes modifications to other Council
property, such as the ICT work in Tredomen. The Shadow Labour member for Finance and
Resources may wish to comment on his involvement in the project outside this meeting.
2. ICELANDIC BANK COLLAPSE - TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR FINANCE,
RESOURCES AND SUSTAINABILITY FROM COUNCILLOR G.D SIMMONDS
A
recent report by the Communities and Local Authority Financial Committee on local
authority investment practices 11th June 2009, has concluded:
S
tronger standards of oversight must be applied by local authorities to their treasury
management frameworks and to scrutinise every day decisions by significant officials, say
MPs in a hard-hitting report of their recent inquiry into local authority investment practices.
Launching the report, Dr. Phyllis Starkey MP, Chair of the Communities and Local
Government Select Committee, said:
"While few predicted the events that shook the financial system last year, their exceptional
nature provides no excuse for the substantial failures that occurred in local authority financial
arrangements.
"Our inquiry has exposed a significant level of misunderstanding, misinformation and
complacency - not just within local authorities, but also amongst those who provide them with
specialist investment advice.
"These failures put taxpayers’ money at unnecessary risk. Tougher regulation of treasury
management advisers and tighter scrutiny around local authority investment decision making
are needed to ensure that the emphasis is on security first, while also providing sufficient
liquidity and profit."
In 'Local Authority Investments', the Committee endorses the Audit Commission’s censure of
rudimentary mistakes made by seven local authorities. However, the Committee argues that
investment practice problems identified in that investigation extend far more widely across
many other local authorities. It also criticises the Audit Commission’s failure to issue
sufficiently rigorous auditing guidelines for the prevailing financial climate.
Setting out their key findings the cross-party committee:
o
rejects any notion of restricting where local authorities may invest taxpayers’ money, but
recommends that better information and advice are given to local authorities to help them
decide the best place to invest their money;
o
Criticises the degree to which the effectiveness of treasury management services vary
widely across local authorities, in some cases because these organisations do not follow
the guidance provided by the government but also because many local authorities do not
retain sufficient expertise;
o
Criticises as ‘misleading’ the claims of some professional treasury management advisers
that they give information only, not advice, on investment counterparty creditworthiness to
local authorities;
o
Criticises the Audit Commission for failing to realise that local authority treasury
management had become increasingly risky and for issuing inadequate guidance within
the increasingly volatile economic context after the Icelandic banking collapse. Had the
Commission placed greater emphasis upon the auditing of local authority treasury
management within its procedures, the Committee suggests, less public money would
now be at risk.
o
Endorses the government’s approach to helping local authorities with funds in risk in failed
Icelandic banks, finding it an appropriate way to protect the council tax payer whilst
avoiding the "moral hazard" of an unconditional, open-ended guarantee for local authority
investment.
o
All local authorities to ensure that financial officers have sufficient training and expertise
and to establish an audit committee with specific responsibility to scrutinise the treasury
management function and require rigorous reporting of all decisions taken under it by
officials;
o
Government, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the
Local Government Association (LGA) to work in partnership to ensure that the treasury
management system is kept under review and to identify ways for local authorities,
particularly smaller ones, to share expertise or information and pool their treasury
management resources;
o
the Audit Commission to review the priority it places on treasury management when
d
eciding which areas of local authority activity to audit;
o
CIPFA to revise its guidance Codes relating to treasury management to ensure local
authorities are better informed about the scope of their annual investment strategy, and
how to use professional advisers more effectively while avoiding over-reliance on such
services;
o
The Audit Commission, CIPFA and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to re-examine
the role and reliability of treasury management advisers and the manner in which they
discharge their duty of care to local authorities in their treasury management;
o
A
full investigation by the FSA of the services and potential conflicts of interests of local
authority treasury management advisers;
o
The Audit Commission to review the priority it places on treasury management when
deciding which areas of local authority activity to audit;
o
The Government and CIPFA to revise their guidance on credit ratings, highlighting the risk
of over-reliance on them and the need to view them within the context of wider financial
economic information and advice.
Dr Phyllis Starkey, who chaired the committee.
"Our inquiry has exposed a significant level of misunderstanding, misinformation and
complacency - not just within local authorities, but also among those who provide them with
specialist investment advice."
Last month the government revealed that 125 councils in England were exposed to the tune
of £923.2 million pounds in Icelandic banks by the end of last year.
Powys Council recently published a draft report by the treasury management scrutiny
review group, on 13 April 2009
POWYS County Council has been accused of "complacency" after it invested £1 million into
an Icelandic bank just one month before its collapse.
During the summer of 2008 in Britain, several large high street institutions were known to be
floundering. Northern Rock had been nationalised in February. Several large North American
Banks had already required government intervention.
However members of Powys Council's treasury management team decided to invest £1
million into Landsbanki on
September 5, 2008
.
The Icelandic bank collapsed 30 days later.
A
draft report by the treasury management scrutiny review group, made up of seven internal
councillors and two officers, says "the enormity of the spreading financial crisis was common
knowledge to ordinary members of the public" and "the council had become complacent after
many years of apparently risk free investment."
The review group's panel met seven times prior to the draft report being published. On one of
those occasions (November 18, 2008) they admitted that "investments made in September
2008 to Landsbanki should have been avoided."
As a result of a period of significant financial upheaval Powys County Council may suffer
potential losses of £4m plus associated interest of £200,000 due to the collapse of the
Icelandic banking system. The council's Treasury Management Team invested in two of
those institutions – Landsbanki and Glitnir.
Glitnir was the first of the two relevant banks to go under. In April 2008 it had the highest
possible credit rating but by May 13, 2008, along with Kaupthing (another Icelandic bank), its
rating began to fall and it was removed from Powys Council's approved matrix before it
eventually became a failed bank in October 2008. At that stage, the council still had £2 million
invested in it.
T
he report states: "There were some discussions between senior management and Sector
(an agency which Powys Council paid £12,597 for banking advice in 2008) about concerns
over the economic climate on July 10, 2008, and the Treasury Management Review had
demonstrated some understanding of the economic problems. However, a further investment
of £1 million was nevertheless made with Landsbanki on September 5.
"It appears there was no warning given to the council by its advisors and as a result there was
no reaction to the developing crisis, no enquires made about withdrawing Icelandic deposits
and no evaluation of what early withdrawal penalties there might be.
"In fact, in September 2008 Landsbanki still appeared on the Council's matrix as suitable for
investment."
The group says its members are "bemused" at the lack of any significant warning from Sector,
especially as it is known that many other authorities had avoided or withdrawn investing
inments from Iceland in the months leading up to the final banking collapse. The financial
advisors to Dyfed-Powys Police, for example, warned in May 2008 of turmoil in Iceland's
economy and advised that no further investments should be placed there.
Glyn Davies, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in Montgomeryshire, has welcomed the
report, saying: "I congratulate the Scrutiny Committee on the 'openness and bluntness' of its
report. Because of this openness and honesty with the taxpayers of Powys, I feel content to
accept its recommendation that no action should be taken against any individual.
"It is clear to me that the councillors who have conducted this inquiry have produced a
balanced report. While I fully understand the anger that some will feel when this report is
read, I'm content that failings have been properly understood, and as a consequence I feel
confident that lessons will have been learned for the future."
A
spokesperson for Powys County Council said: "The council's Corporate Governance Policy
and Scrutiny Committee discussed a draft report by the Treasury Management Scrutiny
Review Group.
"It was resolved by the committee that the Treasury Management Scrutiny Review Group
meet again to further discuss the suggested amendments."
At present the council's prospects for recovery of all or any of its Icelandic investments are
unclear.
In view of the two reports above I should like to ask.
1. As stronger oversight of treasury management is recommended by the Communities and
Local Authority Financial Committee, how many corporate officers were CIPFA qualified prior
to 1st September 2008?
2. How many officers within the corporate finance department were CIPFA qualified prior to 1st
September 2008?
3. What additional scrutiny has/will Caerphilly put in place, of investment policy in view of, the
Audit Commission demand for councillors to play a more robust role in the scrutiny process.
The Audit Commission report said that councils should “train those elected members of
authorities who have accountability for the stewardship of public money so they are able to
scrutinise effectively and be accountable for the treasury management function”?
4. Can we expect greater accountability, of those who will have stewardship of the public money
in Caerphilly?
5. The CLAFC report identifies “a significant level of misunderstanding, misinformation and
complacency - not just within local authorities, but also amongst those who provide them with
specialist investment advice”. “These failures put taxpayers’ money at unnecessary risk.
Tougher regulation of treasury management advisers and tighter scrutiny around local
authority investment decision making are needed to ensure that the emphasis is on security
first, while also providing sufficient liquidity and profit." Caerphilly has not conducted an inquiry
it seems, certainly no public report has been published, Freedom of Information requests have
been refused. Can the public have confidence the recommendations of the Communities and
Local Authority Financial Committee will be implemented by Caerphilly?
6. If Caerphilly subscribes to the concept of openness and transparency in its dealings, will
scrutiny be fully involved and informed of the political instructions issued to financial officers
by cabinet regarding investment policy?
7. A recommendation has been put forward by the Audit Commission, which is telling councils
that elected members need to think seriously about investment strategy, ensuring that
councillors on key committees understand enough about the subject to guide their authorities
towards sound investment strategies, is Caerphilly taking heed of this recommendation?
8. Caerphilly invested in Iceland a mere twelve working days before the cut-off date for censure
by the Audit Commission, will Caerphilly now release all investment advice passed to
Caerphilly by SECTOR?
9. Landsbanki was made the subject of a “negative rating watch” on April 1st 2008 a warning of
potential problems ahead. Did Caerphilly react to information available to it, which could have
been indicative of potential problems?
10. Did Caerphilly pay Sector for investment advice?
11. Or did Caerphilly pay Sector for informed advice?
12. Or did Caerphilly pay Sector to act as a passer of information?
13. Are the new guidelines issued by CIPFA on treasury management in place, an interim advice
document made it clear its guidance needs “tightening up”. Has Caerphilly implemented
these guidelines?
RESPONSE FROM THE CABINET MEMBER FOR FINANCE, RESOURCES AND
SUSTAINABILITY - COUNCILLOR C.P. MANN
Before I answer the questions, with regards to comment made ‘
A
draft report by the treasury
management scrutiny review group, made up of seven internal councillors and two officers,
says "the enormity of the spreading financial crisis was common knowledge to ordinary
members of the public" and "the council had become complacent after many years of
apparently risk free investment."
I
would point out that the quote above
"the enormity of the
spreading financial crisis was common knowledge to ordinary members of the public"
is
referred to in the final report by Powys County Council. The exact wording in para 6.2 of the
report is
"the spreading financial crisis was common knowledge to ordinary members of the
public",
but this sentence alone could be taken out of context if the rest of the paragraph is not
included. The rest of the paragraph following on from this sentence reads as follows.
"The
panel considers therefore that professionals (i.e. Sector) operating in the financial and credit
rating sectors should surely have been on high alert as to other areas where the risks were
becoming unsustainable
.
Despite this, the panel has seen no evidence that the Treasury
m
anagement Team reacted or were warned by Sector about Iceland (or indeed about any
other particular risk areas) or that the Council's investment strategy was fundamentally
reviewed at that time”.
I
would point out that Caerphilly CBC reviewed its Treasury Management Strategy prior to
February 2008 where it adopted a four way approach instead of a two way approach in
respect of Treasury Management which strengthens the matrix and potentially reduces risk as
a
consequence of the worsening economic
climate at that time. Referring to that Council
Report dated 28
th
February 2008, the following paragraph referred to this point:-
Appendix 3 – a) Credit Policy “However, in order to strengthen the risk management aspect of
Treasury Management, especially bearing in mind the volatility of the Market throughout
2007/2008 it was deemed prudent to review the method employed when determining the
institutions and periods for future investment”.
The final quote "
the council had become complacent after many years of apparently risk free
investment” is
not included in the final report although I do note that you refer to a draft report.
The sentence reads
"the panel believes the Council had been lulled into a false sense of
security after many years of satisfactory investment".
There is also a comment made in relation to Powys County Council. The Authority is unable
to find the paragraph detailed in the final report from Powys County Council.
With regards to the questions
1. Firstly I assume you are referring to qualified accountants who are Members of the CCAB
(Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies). The Authority has five qualified
Accountants working within the Corporate Accountancy Section.
2. Thirteen qualified Accountants work within Corporate Finance across the Authority.
3. Treasury management seminars have already been held for Members prior to the banking
crisis. Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee already has responsibility for overseeing TM
activities. Richard Bason Regional Director of Sector also attended Council to brief Members
on 27
th
January 2009. For many years Members have received quarterly reports monitoring
TM performance and, with effect from the 2009/10 Annual Investment Strategy, these have
been extended to include a review of the effectiveness of the approved strategy. I believe that
it is worthy of note that over the many years that these reports were given to Policy and
Resources Scrutiny Committee I can recall only one real debate, instigated by myself, which
resulted in a seminar (in early 2007) for all members of Policy and Resources Scrutiny
Committee, concentrating on Treasury Management and practice. All of these are issues
referred to in CIPFA's current consultation on changes to its TM Code of Practice, and
associated Guidance Notes, where Caerphilly is already 'ahead of the game'. This doesn't
mean that more can't be done. We will need to consider what additionally can be arranged to
respond to CIPFA's proposals on Member training, especially Portfolio holders.
4. Please refer to above comments in respect of the reporting arrangements. It is worth noting in
the final Powys Scrutiny Review report on Treasury Management following on from the public
enquiry that:- Para 3.1 “Although the Panel makes recommendations as to future conduct of
treasury management, it is unanimously agreed by the Panel that no blame is attached to any
Member of the Treasury Management Team in respect of the potential losses in Iceland. The
Panel does not doubt that the staff in question acted in good faith and within the parameters
and information given them”.
Para 3.2 “It is acknowledged that historically the Treasury Management Team have operated
successfully and have generated significant income for the Council by means of appropriate
investment. The Council has relied to an extent on this income as part of its budgeting
strategy”
5. Contractual confidentiality restrictions prevent documentation from Sector being disclosed
publicly, although Members are invited to view the Sector information provided to the Authority
i
n
their role as Councillors. Please see attached as an appendix copy of contract Terms and
Conditions with Sector and a copy of e-mail from Dave Whelan Managing Director of Sector,
refusing permission to release information provided by Sector to the public under an FOI.
Extract of email from Sector

Advice provided by Sector to this Council is private and confidential and should not be
disclosed to any third parties. This remains our position’.
I
understand that two elected members have been given access to the relevant papers
subject to the condition that this information is not taken outside the authority but to date the
members have not taken up this offer.
6. Council approves the Annual Investment Strategy, which provides the framework within which
officer’s work. Quarterly reports are then made to P+R Scrutiny, which include a review of the
effectiveness of the strategy. There is no other 'political' involvement in the decision making
process, especially as regards individual investments. CIPFA proposals include an enhanced
role for the Portfolio holder in the Scrutiny process. As the relevant portfolio holder I have
attended the last two meetings with Sector held on the following dates, 26th November 2008
and 17th September 2009. This has enabled me to have an overview of advice given by
Sector at a particular point in time and does give the opportunity to ask direct questions of the
Council's advisers. At the same time I should point out that Sector are in contact with staff
within the finance department on a very regular basis.
7. Please see earlier comments in respect of Member training and presentations plus the
portfolio holder's involvement in meetings held with Sector. I do support the opportunity for all
elected members to receive further training and development as appropriate.
8. Please see earlier comments in respect of the FOI and the fact that Sector refused to release
information publicly, albeit that this information is available to Members. Referring to the
Powys County Council Scrutiny Review I quote the following from the final report:-
Para 7.4 “A further investment of £1m was made with Landsbanki on 5th September. It
appears there was no warning given to the Council by its Advisors and as a result there was
no reaction to the developing crisis, no enquiries made about withdrawing Icelandic deposits
and no evaluation of what early withdrawing penalties might be".
Para 7.7 quote "At the beginning of September 2008 Landsbanki was still rated as suitable for
investment by the Credit Rating Agencies on which the Council relied, despite a subsidiary
having failed and the major crisis ongoing with other major institutions”.
The public enquiry in Powys County Council confirmed that officers in Powys received no
warning from Sector prior to the 30
th
September in respect of Icelandic Banks. Could I also
point out that CCBC invested £4m in Iceland in September 2008, not the £15m that Councillor
Simmonds alleged in a recent letter to the press. It is important to put the correct facts on
record.
9. Sector update 299a received 02/04/08 highlighted the fact that Glitnir, Kaupthing and
Landsbanki were placed on Rating Watch Negative.
However, Fitch finished the report with the following:
'Nevertheless, Fitch notes that the business fundamentals of the
three banks currently remain
sound. Liquidity appears
comfortable
and the banks are currently able to operate without
recourse to the capital markets for some months to come. Capitalisation is also good and has
been strengthened by
recent efforts, such as share and convertible bond issuance.
Furthermore, the banks have made
significant progress in diversifying their funding bases,
both by funding type and geographical location in recent years, whilst lending has also
become more diversified with the geographical expansion of the banks.
Within Fitch's
definitions is the following:
Rating Watch:
'Ratings are placed on Ratings Watch to notify investors that there is a reasonable probability
of a rating change and the likely direction of such change...... Rating Watch is typically
resolved over a relatively short period.'
R
ating Outlook:
'An outlook indicates the direction a rating is likely to move over a one to two-year
p
eriod'
Sector Update 315 dated 13/05/08 affirmed all Landsbanki ratings
Long Term Rating ‘A’ affirmed, Negative Outlook assigned
Short Term Rating ‘F1’ affirmed
Individual Rating ‘B/C’ affirmed
Support Rating ‘2’ affirmed
Sector Colour ‘Green’
These ratings did not change until 01/10/08. No additional pertinent updates were received in
the interim.
The Powys County Council Scrutiny review reported the following in respect of the above:-
Para 7.9 “The Group has learned that often banks and other institutions are placed by the
ratings agencies on "negative watch" This means that there is some unusual activity in
relation to that bank and does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem or increased
risk associated with it. Many of Britain's major high street banks have been periodically
placed on negative watch. It can mean little more than that there is a current merger with
another institution or some other change in strategy".
10/11/12
In response to the 3 questions please see a copy of the Treasury Consultancy Service
Specification and Sector's Schedule of Services.
13. Consultation on the proposals by CIPFA closed on 18 September 2009. A final document is
likely to be issued in due course, once CIPFA has had the opportunity to consider the
consultation responses. The draft proposals were reported to P+R Scrutiny on 29 September.
Salient elements listed below:
The proposed key changes to the Code are as follows:
Enhancement of the role of scrutiny of treasury management strategies and procedures.
It will be a public body’s responsibility to identify an appropriate body or individual to have
responsibility for the scrutiny function which may be a committee such as a finance
scrutiny committee or audit committee. This reflects the increased prevalence of Audit
Committees and Scrutiny functions across the public services.
Currently, the Treasury Management Strategy must be approved by full board or council
and this is typically done as part of the approval of the budget. The revised Code will
allow approval from a relevant committee. Where approval is not by full board or council,
the decisions made must be reported to full council. This reflects the evolving political
structures within Local Government and ensures that public bodies consider treasury
management away from the focus of the budget.
The requirement for ensuring that staff are appropriately qualified and trained is already
contained within the existing Code. The revised Code will require training to be available
for relevant board / Council members with responsibility for treasury management. This is
to ensure that all those responsible for treasury management are made aware of their
responsibilities and have access to suitable training. I have already pointed out that I fully
support this proposal.
The existing Code requires the Treasury Management Strategy to be approved prior to the
start of the financial year and a report presented after the end of the financial year
detailing operational activity throughout the year. The revised code will also require an
interim or mid-year operational report.
The key changes to the cross-sectoral guidance notes are as follows:
The emphasis that organisations should not solely rely on credit ratings when choosing a
counterparty, but should use all available market information. This will include the Credit
Default Swap market which appeared to be overlooked by the majority of advisers prior to
the financial crisis of 2008.
That a sound diversification policy will include country, sector and group limits.
Clarification that officers involved in treasury management must follow the treasury
management policies and procedures.

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disclosure. Both the Freedom of Information Act and
the Environmental Information Regulations allow
this timescale to be extended in certain
circumstances.  If your request is affected by a
timescale extension we will explain this to you.
Third Party If the information you request contains reference
Information to a third party they may be consulted prior to a
decision being taken on whether we disclose the
information to you.  We will tell you if this is
the case.
Format of Information We will try to respond in the format that you have
provided requested.  If this is not possible we will let you
know.  If you require alternative formats, e.g.
language, audio, braille, large print, etc. then
please let us know.
Exemptions The Freedom of Information Act and the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 define a
number of exemptions, which may prevent release of
the information you have requested.  Before we
provide the information we will consider whether it
is proper to release it.  If any of the exemption
categories do apply then the information will not
be released.  We will tell you if this is the case,
and you will have a right of appeal.
Fees You may have to pay a fee for this information
under the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limits and Fees
Regulations) 2004.  We will consider this and let
you know.  If so you will have to pay the fee
before we process and release the information.  The
20 working day time limit for responding will not
resume until we receive your payment.
You have the right to If you wish to If you are unhappy with that
appeal against our appeal please set decision you have the right to
decision. out in writing your appeal to:
grounds of appeal
  and send to: Information Commissioner’s
Office – Wales
Freedom of Information Information Unit 2nd Floor
Act 2000 / Caerphilly county Churchill House
Environmental borough council, Churchill Way
Information Penallta House Cardiff
Regulations 2004 Tredomen Park CF10 2HH
Hengoed. CF82 7PG
 
Appeals will be
determined by Mr. Tel: 029 2067 8400
Stuart Rosser – Fax: 029 2067 8399
Interim Chief Email: [2][email address]
Executive
Website: [3]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Dear S [name removed]

 

INFORMATION REQUEST

 

Thank you for your request for information, which we received on 27^th May
2014.  

 

We apologise for the delay in responding to your request.  It is currently
being processed and your response will be issued shortly.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gareth Griffiths
Corporate Information Governance Assistant

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Dear S [name removed]

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST

 

Thank you for your request for information received on the 27^th May
2014.  We apologise for the delay in our response.  We have considered
your request and enclose the following information:

 

Per the below Rules of Procedure document.

 

1. Please confirm the final build and full costs of making good defects of
Penallta House and update the amounts and figures shown in the replies to
all the numbered points in the document.

 

The original tender for the construction of Penallta House was
£20,858,546. This was 17% below the pre tender cost plan estimate. The
final cost was £20,715,405. All outstanding matters were the subject of a
settlement agreement in March 2010.

 

In reference to your attached document regarding the Council Meeting of
6^th October 2009, we can update the following financial figures –

 

a) The Council is not holding any retentions and the final contract sum
for Penallta House was within the original tender sum.

b) The final cost across all the contracts was £28.5m very close to the
approved budget of £28.4m.

c) The defects noted at the time of practical completion were addressed
and the retentions released. Where there have been subsequent problems
attributable to the construction the contractor has carried out
rectification at their cost.

d) The final out turn cost was £28.5m

 

2. Please confirm the annual running costs of the building since
completion of construction for repairs, maintenance, housekeeping,
insurance, cleaning and utilities.

 

2008/2009     £1,289,087

2009/2010     £1,489,399

2010/2011     £1,332,267 (reduced due to revaluation of National Non
Domestic Rates)

2011/2012     £1,201,241 (reduced due to revaluation of National Non
Domestic Rates)

2012/2013     £1,355,124

2013/2014     £1,370,338

2014/2015     £1,381,671 (estimate)

 

3. Please confirm the separate annual costs of IT and telephony operating
within the premises, including the purchase, tariff costs and number of
business mobile telephones provided to management and staff.

 

We can confirm that the Council holds information falling within the
description specified in your request, but we are refusing to supply this
information under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We
estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed the
appropriate limit of £450 for local government, which is specified in the
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limits and Fees)
Regulations 2004.  Therefore we are refusing to supply this information
under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In order to
determine whether your request exceeds this limit, we must multiply an
estimate of the time we expected to take to in comply with your request by
£25 per hour.  If the cost of complying with your request would exceed the
appropriate limit of £450 (more than 18 hrs), we can refuse your request. 
In making this calculation we are able to include the time taken to
determine whether we hold the information and time taken to locate,
retrieve and extract the information.  The hourly rate of £25 per hour is
set by the Fees Regulations and is not dependent on the seniority of the
officer who carries out the work. If you are able to re-focus your
request, so that the cost of complying with it falls below the appropriate
limit  of £450, we may be able to supply the information to you.  If you
would like our assistance in re-focusing the request please do not
hesitate to contact us.

 

4. Please confirm how much income the building has generated, per annum
since becoming occupied to current date, from the Registry service and any
other ancillary services.

The only external income generated by the building was £1,618 in 2008/09
from room hire.

 

Per general Council policy.

 

5. Please confirm what the 'Computer, email and internet acceptable use
policy' stipulates in terms of access to social media and surfing websites
during business hours.

 

Caerphilly county borough council’s Information Security Policy, states
“The primary purpose for a user to have access to Internet facilities is
to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of that user’s work for the
Council. Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Internet facilities must only
be used for legitimate business purposes, personal use is prohibited. The
Council and The Trade Unions have agreed that the Internet system may be
used for communication between an individual and his or her trade union,
or vice versa, for matters relating to the individual’s employment with
the Authority. This will not be classed as personal use.” A small number
of computers are provided for staff member’s personal use, but these must
be accessed in the staff member’s own time e.g. during the lunch break.

 

6. Please confirm how many breaches of any Computer use policy have been
reported and addressed since the building became occupied

5 Cases since 2012

 

7. Please confirm what services and facilities are provided to all staff
at subsidised rates or at no cost on a per annum basis to current date
since the building became occupied, including salary sacrifice bike, car
or travel loans or use of Council-owned vehicles.

Child Care Vouchers – cost borne by employee

Bikes via a Salary Sacrifice Scheme – cost borne by employee

Cars via a Salary Sacrifice Scheme – cost borne by employee

Reduced rate on Leisure Centre membership

Pool Bikes – a limited number of free bicycles for employee use

Personal use computers – free use for employees during their own time

 

We supply this information based on your original request.  If this is not
what you wanted or if you feel we have not fully understood your request
please do not hesitate to contact me to clarify your exact requirements.

 

If you have any queries or concerns or are in any way dissatisfied with
the handling of your request please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

GARETH GRIFFITHS

Corporate Information Governance Assistant

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations
2004

 

You have the right to appeal against our decision.
If you wish to appeal please set If you are unhappy with that decision you
out in writing your grounds of have the right to appeal to:
appeal and send to:
 
Corporate Information Governance
Unit Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales
Caerphilly county borough 2nd Floor, Churchill House
council, Churchill Way
Penallta House Cardiff CF10 2HH
Tredomen Park
Hengoed. CF82 7PG  

  Tel: 029 2067 8400
Fax: 029 2067 8399
Appeals will be determined by Mr Email: [1][email address]
Stuart Rosser – Interim Chief
Executive Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Re-use of information without permission may infringe the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988. Re-use can include, but is not limited to,
making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies of the information
to a wider audience. If you would like to re-use copyright material owned
by Caerphilly County Borough Council, please contact us. Authorisation to
re-use copyright material not owned by this Authority should be sought
directly from the copyright owner.

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir