Housing Options Transfer on Medical/Disability Grounds - Application Assessment and Decision Data

Yn disgwyl am adolygiad mewnol gan Westminster City Council o'u triniaeth o'r cais hwn.

Dear Westminster City Council,

Please provide the following information under the freedom of information act. Please commence with data in 3 month segments and work back in 3 month increments until the restrictions of a s12 are reached or to a maximum of 12 months

The information relates specifically to Housing Options transfer applications on disability and or medical grounds

It is understood that the information exists in relation to effectiveness and efficiency monitoring of 3rd party contractors as well as the process being intrinsically linked to Adult Social Care and Disability requirements in the housing sector.

Please define the period of data being supplied in which should be reflected as the same in all questions

1. The number of applications to move under medical and or disability grounds

2. The number of medical assessments made relating to applications to move on medical and or disability grounds

3. The number of Housing Needs "V4" summary reports raised and the breakdown of accommodation requirement types stipulated in those forms from Mobility or "Mob" 1 to 4

4. The number of Housing Option decisions sent to applicants in which the mobility assessments have remained the same as the V4, changed to a lesser category (eg Mob 2 to Mob 3) or higher category (eg Mob 3 to 2)

If you require clarification, please revert.

Yours faithfully,

M Doyle

Westminster City Council

Information request
Our reference: 9541365

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for contacting Westminster City Council's Information Management
Team. 

Your query will be allocated for response, and someone will contact you
within 5 working days to confirm the details of your request. 

Please see the Council's website for further information on the Freedom of
Information Act
- [1]http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/c...

Kind regards, 
 
Information Management Team
Westminster City Council
64 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QP
[Westminster City Council request email]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.
 

References

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Westminster City Council

Information request
Our reference: 9541365

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Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 3 April
2019.
 
Request summary
 
Please provide the following information under the freedom of information
act. Please commence with data in 3 month segments and work back in 3
month increments until the restrictions of a s12 are reached or to a
maximum of 12 months

The information relates specifically to Housing Options transfer
applications on disability and or medical grounds

It is understood that the information exists in relation to effectiveness
and efficiency monitoring of 3rd party contractors as well as the process
being intrinsically linked to Adult Social Care and Disability
requirements in the housing sector.
Please define the period of data being supplied in which should be
reflected as the same in all questions
1. The number of applications to move under medical and or disability
grounds
2. The number of medical assessments made relating to applications to move
on medical and or disability grounds
3. The number of Housing Needs "V4" summary reports raised and the
breakdown of accommodation requirement types stipulated in those forms
from Mobility or "Mob" 1 to 4
4. The number of Housing Option decisions sent to applicants in which the
mobility assessments have remained the same as the V4, changed to a lesser
category (eg [mobile number] to [mobile number]) or higher category (eg [mobile number] to 2)
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and we aim to send a response by 3 May 2019.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review and
to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
Yours faithfully
 
 
Westminster City Council
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]
Web: [1]www.westminster.gov.uk
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.
 

References

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Dear Westminster City Council,

Information request
Reference: 9541365

Please note that this FOI request is now past due. Please advise on when the information will be provided by return. The FOIA does not provide a mechanism for any in rendering delay past the 20 day working day deadline in relation to such requests.

Therefor I ask that you either respond information within the next 2 working days or provide legitimate and substantive reasons for withholding the information or refer the matter for Internal Review.

Yours sincerely,

M Doyle

Westminster City Council

1 Atodiad

Information request
Our reference: 9541365

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 3 April 2019.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.

If you are dissatisfied with your response please send your Internal
Review request to the email address below

[1][email address]

 
Yours faithfully
 
 
Westminster City Council

Web: [2]www.westminster.gov.uk
 
NOTE: Please do not reply to this email.
 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. file:///tmp/www.westminster.gov.uk

Dear Westminster City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Housing Options Transfer on Medical/Disability Grounds - Application Assessment and Decision Data'.

The original request stated

Please provide the following information under the freedom of information act. Please commence with data in 3 month segments and work back in 3 month increments until the restrictions of a s12 are reached or to a maximum of 12 months.

The information relates specifically to Housing Options transfer applications on disability and or medical grounds

It is understood that the information exists in relation to effectiveness and efficiency monitoring of 3rd party contractors as well as the process being intrinsically linked to Adult Social Care and Disability requirements in the housing sector.

Please define the period of data being supplied in which should be reflected as the same in all questions.

Furthermore I did clearly state in the request "If you require clarification, please revert." to stop the clock requires clarification to be requested within the 20 day period in which to respond and only when clarification is made does the clock restart from the point it stopped.

1. The number of applications to move under medical and or disability grounds

Your response was

"For Q1, our system is unable to report on the number of applications to move under medical and or disability grounds. To provide this information would require checking all applications for housing which would significantly exceed the cost threshold under the Act. As an indication of the work involved, there are currently a total of 4,012 households registered on the waiting list.

"We could provide the number of applicants that had been accepted for re-housing under the Category A medical Priority group at any given point in time e.g. 1st April 2019. Please advise if this would be helpful."

For the date, that can now be reset to the 1st of May as no information in line with the request was in fact rendered. Therefore I repeat that it should be provided in 3 month segments on all 4 questions working backward as opposed from the date of the original request.

I will lay out the reasons why all information should be supplied in the summary response to what is in fact a refusal to supply

2. The number of medical assessments made relating to applications to move on medical and or disability grounds.

Your response was

"For Q2, we do not have a field which records the date of any medical assessment. Such information is likely to be found in a free text field. To provide this information would therefore require checking all applications for housing which would significantly exceed the cost threshold under the Act. "

This is intrinsically misleading by the officers/contractor holding the information. If the provider cannot give a date in which the medical assessment took place then such an assessment did not take place and any decision made on the basis of such an assessment is void and a breach of duty under the law. Again I will address this matter further in the summary response to the refusal

3. The number of Housing Needs "V4" summary reports raised and the breakdown of accommodation requirement types stipulated in those forms from Mobility or "Mob" 1 to 4

Your response was

"For Q3, please advise what you mean by a "Housing Needs "V4" summary report". I can at this stage advise that we are able to provide the number of applications registered for re-housing by mobility category 1-4 at any given date."

As previously mentioned the reset date is 1st May and that the information should be provided in 3 monthly segments working backward until the S12 kicked in on all 4 questions. The original operative date of the request should have been taken as the the point to work backward. Again I will address this matter further in the summary response to the refusal to provide within the deadline of the act.

4. The number of Housing Option decisions sent to applicants in which the mobility assessments have remained the same as the V4, changed to a lesser category (eg Mob 2 to Mob 3) or higher category (eg Mob 3 to 2)

Your response was

"For Q4, again, please advise what you mean by a "Housing Needs "V4" summary report".

The "Housing Needs "V4" summary report" is a report raised by the contractor Able-2 in conjunction the contractor Effectable who are both contractors with the council. The Able-2 contract is covered by the Adult Social Care Directorate while Effectable comes under Housing. These reports will be in primary possession of Adult Social Care but they will be shared with Housing. Needless to say the Council are proprietary owners of the reports in relation to on site assessments by Occupational Therapists and Surveyor's to assess the property and tenant's needs under the categories defined in the Housing Allocation Scheme. This assessment is ordered and paid for through the Council. It is clear from correspondence and enquiries I have made with the council that both WCC and RMG are aware of this type of report, the origin, internal distribution and use.

And you added as a summary a refusal to supply which was not in fact complete and or reasonable grounds in the context of the FOIA

"In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for the information above. If the suggested information mentioned above would be helpful, please let me know."

My grounds for internal review

That the reasons given to refuse are not justifiable and in fact unreasonable under the FOIA commencing with a breach of S10 by not complying with S1 of the Act as the response doubles as both refusal and seeks clarification which took place after the deadline to supply passed.

Furthermore under the council's own scrutiny procedures and reports in relation to housing needs and allocations and moreover requirements under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, the council not only requires the information to complied such reports, it has a duty to report on an annual basis and in which the criteria of the request is not only reasonable. It is a legal requirement that the information should exist and part of the council's duty to have that information as stated under Section 2 paragraph (4) of the Act

"The information a public authority publishes in compliance with paragraph (1) must include, in particular, information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are

(a)its employees;
(b)other persons affected by its policies and practices."

Paragraph 1 states

"Each public authority listed in either Schedule to these Regulations must publish information to demonstrate its compliance with the duty imposed by section 149(1) of the Act."

This information in relation to section 149 and aforementioned regulations are displayed on the councils website as a primary duty, the URL is

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/equality-...

As the reporting of such data is e legal duty under the Regulations that must be carried out on an annual basis. Therefore the reason for refusal is rejected in relation to this request as the singular reason given for refusal is an unclear S12 in which the in the absence of any other legislation, the information within the minimum scope can and should have be provided. As the law stipulates that it the information should exist to be compliant with the Equality Act 2010 and that such information should exist to 2011.

In relation to S12, the probability that the information requires collating to the exclusion of a defined and stipulated duty under the law is unreasonable. This is in part due to the base figure of 4,012 households being used in arbitrary manner and out of context in relation to the periods of 3 monthly segments for the information requested. It is known that most of the applicants may have been on the waiting list from anything between a year and a decade as to use this as a base figure is significantly misleading to present a false premise of refusal in relation to a S12

The refusal for S12 falls short of the requirements of S17 and that it does not constitute a public Interest refusal. Furthermore that the release of the information surpasses the public interest threshold because of the preexisting legal duty to report under Equality Act 2010 and that such information should exist from 2011.

I trust that under the grounds I have laid out you should not only proceed with an internal review, the information should be rendered forthwith to avoid pursuance through the ICO.

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

Yours faithfully,

M Doyle

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