Haringey Development Vehicle Project Documents

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Haringey Borough Council.

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

Please can you supply me with the following documents pertaining to the Haringey Development Vehicle

1. The risk assessment. This maybe called something else but is the document which has been undertaken that assessed the risk of this project.

2. The financial projections. Or any documents which show how much the project aims to make each year.

3. The legal advice. Or any documents which has been written by someone with legal qualification in relation to this project.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Simpson

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Simpson

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
Reference LBH/5967317

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 24 January 2017.

 

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 21 February 2017.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sirkku Pietikäinen

Information Governance Officer

Shared Service Centre | Central Team

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2552

[1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Hawthorn Dan, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Simpson,

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/5967317

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 24 January 2017, in
which you asked for the following information:

 

I write in response to your request for information relating to the
Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), which has been passed to me for
response.  You asked for:

 

“1. The risk assessment. This maybe called something else but is the
document which has been undertaken that assessed the risk of this project.

 

2. The financial projections. Or any documents which show how much the
project aims to make each year.

 

3. The legal advice. Or any documents which has been written by someone
with legal qualification in relation to this project.”

 

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA). This letter is a notice of the refusal of your request, as
required under section 17 FOIA.

 

It may be helpful at the outset if I point out other publicly available
information on the issues to which your request relates.

 

Much of the background to the HDV, including issues relating to risk,
finance and legal questions, is set out in the report approved by the
Council’s Cabinet in November 2015:

 

[1]http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/ieLis...

 

On Monday 6 February, papers for the 14 February Cabinet meeting were
published, which include two further items on the HDV which set out both
the progress of the project and the Council’s position on issues relating
to risk and other matters:

 

[2]http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/ieLis...

 

The case for establishing the HDV, which also includes some description of
the Council’s approach to finance and risk, was set out more recently in
an article by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Claire Kober, also on the
Council’s website at:

 

[3]http://www.haringey.gov.uk/news/article-...

 

This and other key information on the HDV proposal is brought together on
a dedicated page on the Council’s website at:

 

[4]http://www.haringey.gov.uk/hdv

 

I now turn to the three parts of your request.

 

1.       The risk assessment

 

I understand you to be seeking the contents of a specific document which
sets out the Council’s risk assessment for the HDV project. There is no
such document. There is no single document which fits the description of
‘risk assessment’ for the HDV. There are elements of risk analysis and
proposals for mitigating those risks contained in other documentation
(including other information within the scope of your request): for
example, some of the draft legal documents which are being negotiated with
the bidders to be our partner in the HDV contain elements of risk
assessment. As explained below, however, such information is exempt under
sections 42(1) and/or 43(2) FOIA.

 

The answer to the first part of your request is therefore that the Council
does not hold the information you have described. To the extent that it
holds information approximating the information you have described, that
information is exempt under sections 42(1) and/or 43(2) FOIA.

 

I should add that the final documentation proposed for approval will be
presented to Cabinet when it considers whether or not to establish the
HDV.  We expect that decision to arise for consideration in summer 2017.
The starting presumption is that relevant legal documentation – which is
likely to include elements of risk assessment – will be published as part
of the public cabinet papers ahead of that meeting, unless any element is
considered not for publication on the grounds that it contains information
classified as exempt under Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
 In any case, the published papers will include an account of the risks to
the Council and the actions taken to mitigate those risks.  Therefore, it
is likely that some of the information you seek in part 1 of your request
will be published later in 2017.

 

2.       The financial projections

 

There are two sets of information that fit the description of ‘financial
projections’.  The first is the financial appraisal which underpinned the
business case for the HDV approved by Cabinet in November 2015 (see the
link above).  However, this appraisal (Appendix 5 to the cabinet paper)
was in the exempt section of the Cabinet papers because its publication
would have created a substantial risk of prejudice to the procurement
process.  

 

The second set of information is the information submitted by the bidders
setting out their own financial projections.  This information is highly
commercially sensitive given the ongoing live procurement process.

 

Again, however, we expect those elements of the financial projections not
still considered commercially sensitive to be published with the cabinet
papers ahead of the Cabinet decision to establish the HDV, expected in
summer 2017.

 

As matters stand, information held by the Council within part 2 of your
request is exempt under section 43(2) FOIA, which provides as follows:

 

(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any
person (including the public authority holding it).

 

The information falling within part 2 of your request relates to an
ongoing procurement process conducted with external service providers in a
competitive environment. Although the Council has now identified its
preferred bidder in relation to the proposal, the information requested
remains commercially sensitive as the process of coming to a commercial
agreement continues.  Release of information in scope of the requests
could prejudice the financial outcome for the Council, not least because
bargaining positions may become public prior to negotiations being
concluded. Such publicity would impede the give-and-take process of
negotiation and prejudice the Council’s ability to secure the best
possible terms.

 

Disclosure is also likely to damage the interests of commercial partners,
who would also be hampered in their ability to negotiate the best possible
terms. Furthermore, disclosure would provide competitors with unfair
insights into bidders’ commercial negotiations and plans.

 

This is a qualified exception and is therefore subject to the public
interest test.

 

The public interest arguments in favour of releasing this information
include the following:

o Disclosure would further understanding of or participation in a
significant initiative that impacts on businesses and residents in
Haringey;
o Disclosure would encourage transparency in the Council’s decision
making processes;

o Disclosure would allow transparency of decisions on how public funds
are spent

 

The public interest arguments for withholding the information include the
following:

o The public disclosure of this information would be likely to prejudice
the commercial interest of both the Council and the bidder (see
above);

o The Council’s position in negotiations with the preferred bidder would
be jeopardised if this information is released, with the Council
losing some of its bargaining power;
o The Council’s position in future procurement negotiations in later
phases of the project may be jeopardised if this information is
released (i.e. the prejudicial consequences would be likely to be felt
not only in the immediate phase, but in other phases also);

o This would have a detrimental impact on the Council’s ability to
maximise its commercial objectives on behalf of the public as part of
this initiative.
o In the longer term, contractors with whom the Council comes to
negotiate on similar matters will be able to use this information to
strengthen their bargaining position and obtain unfair insights into
the Council’s strategic thinking and financial assessments. This could
prejudice the Council’s ability to obtain the most favourable
commercial terms in such transactions.

 

Having carefully weighed the public interest arguments, the Council has
concluded that the public interest in withholding the information
outweighs the public interest in releasing it.

 

I confirm that this analysis applies to the information the Council holds
within part 2 of your request, and also to the information which I have
indicated could arguably fall within part 1 of your request.

 

I reiterate that the Council acknowledges that disclosure would to some
extent enhance the public’s understanding of how the Council is
approaching this joint development. As explained above, however, the
Council has already published a great deal of the background information
about the HDV and will continue to publish as much information as possible
once the procurement process passes certain critical milestones.

 

3.       The legal advice

 

The communications between the Council and its legal advisers, including
any legal advice given, are subject to legal professional privilege. They
are therefore exempt under section 42(1) FOIA.

 

Again, this is a qualified exemption. It is well established that, where
legal professional privilege applies, there must be a very strong public
interest in disclosure to offset the strong public interest in
safeguarding openness in communications between lawyers and their clients
so as to ensure full and frank legal advice. Those concerns are heightened
in the present case, as the legal advice is recent and live in the context
of the HDV project.

 

The Council accepts that arguments in favour of disclosure include the
number of people potentially impacted by the initiative, and the amount
money involved, but the Council considers that such arguments do not
suffice to equal or outweigh the public interest in maintaining the
confidentiality of legally privileged information.

 

I confirm that this analysis applies to the information the Council holds
within part 3 of your request, and also to the information which I have
indicated could arguably fall within part 1 of your request.

 

This letter is therefore a refusal notice as required under section 17
FOIA.

 

If you have any further queries, or are unhappy with how we have dealt
with your request and wish to make a complaint, please contact the
Feedback and Information Team as below. (Please note you should do this
within two months of receiving this response.)

 

Feedback and Information Team

River Park House

225 High Road

N22 8HQ

Telephone: 020 8489 2550

Email: [email address]

 

You may also complain to the Information Commissioner’s office, who may be
able to help you.  However they would normally expect the local authority
to have undertaken a complaint investigation or Internal Review of the
request before they will accept the referral.  You can contact the
Commissioner at:

 

Postal address: Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF
Phone help line: 0845 6306060, or 01625 545745
Fax: 01625 545510

Email: : [5][email address]

Website: [6]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dan Hawthorn

 

Assistant Director for Regeneration

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 8HQ

T. 020 8489 2247

E. [7][email address]

[8]www.haringey.gov.uk

@haringeycouncil

facebook.com/haringeycouncil

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

From: Pietikainen Sirkku On Behalf Of FOI
Sent: 24 January 2017 13:45
To: '[FOI #383928 email]'
Subject: FOI Request - Lbh/5967317 Simpson

 

Dear Mr Simpson

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
Reference LBH/5967317

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 24 January 2017.

 

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 21 February 2017.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sirkku Pietikäinen

Information Governance Officer

Shared Service Centre | Central Team

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2552

[9][email address]

 

[10]www.haringey.gov.uk

[11]twitter@haringeycouncil

[12]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir