LATC

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Dorset County Council,

I have followed the link in your recent newspaper to the information on your web site about the proposed LATC, this included its business case. On the business case, please could you provide me with answers or information highlighted in the following points:
1. The business case is at Draft level and hence of limited reliability and appears not to have had a robust audit or verification. What level of verification has taken place on the financial information presented and assumptions made?
2. Likewise what confidence level does DCC have in the contractor that produced the draft given the importance of decisions it will inform?
3. There are general statements in the case that new income is key to the success of the business, however the amounts projected in the case are trivial compared to the likely uncertainties in the block contract, which itself dwarfs the additional income by over two orders of magnitude. Likewise the extent of new business will be limited by Law. Therefore, please could you provide more information about why new business is so critical to the success of the LATC when it appears otherwise?
4. Would the additional income claimed in the case and included in the 5 year projections be available to the service even it wasn’t separated into a new company?
5. Does the statement that the additional income can be achieved utilising spare capacity and without additional cost say more about the council’s management of its current resources than the advantages of separation of the service?
6. The case indicates that ‘effective working savings’ is the most significant impact quantified in the case and the dominant positive contributor in the trading account reducing net staff costs. Please explain who this can be correct when there appears to be a claim that there will be no reduction in staff numbers?
7. Do returns to the council in terms of providing services to LATC appear to be invalid as there doesn’t appear to be an equivalent amount in the financial case from internal trading if the service remained within the council? Please could you confirm if this interpretation is correct, and if not why not?
8. Likewise does the block contract income to the new company actually increases compared to that of the in-house service?
9. Why are set-up and implementation costs for the new company missing from the case?
10. The pension deficit issue is left to the Council to cover, but this is not quantified and accounted for in the financial case. Please confirm if this is correct and how will it be accounted for in the long term?
11. There appears to be an assumption that staff unshackled from Council bureaucracy will become innovative and commercial. Notwithstanding the care risks to the vulnerable, and the employment and pension risks to carers if this isn’t realised, what evidence do you have to substantiate the assumption?
12. It is noted in the case that there is a benefit to flip at will between company profits or block contract cuts at DCC’s discretion. Do DCC believe this is satisfactory way to manage a Limited Company within the financial responsibilities of Limited status?

Yours faithfully,

D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let
you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email] .
                    

 

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain
information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be
handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to
receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it
to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard
the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be
aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation."

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

Dear Mr Neet,

Unfortunately the information you requested is taking longer to retrieve than expected. Therefore we will not be able to meet our
target response date of the 2nd of January. We will be able to send your reply by the 9th of January at the latest.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you are not completely satisfied with my response, please contact me again, or write to the complaints officer at: Dorset County Council, County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XJ. Or you can follow the complaints procedure that can be found on our website www.dorsetforyou.com at http://212.104.140.176/index.jsp?article... If your appeal is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedom of Information,

Is the information ready?

Yours sincerely,

D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let
you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email] .
                    

 

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain
information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be
handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to
receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it
to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard
the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be
aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation."

Dear Dorset County Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County Council's handling of my FOI request 'LATC.

You have not supplied the information requested within required timescales or your own delayed timescale.

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

Yours faithfully,

D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

Dear Mr Neet,

Apologies for our delay in responding to your FOI request and any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please see our response below.

1 The business case is at Draft level and hence of limited reliability and appears not to have had a robust audit or verification. What level of verification has taken place on the financial information presented and assumptions made?

A full business case was presented to Cabinet in October 2014. The full business case was validated by Director of Corporate Resources, Head of Financial Services, Chief Accountant and Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

2 Likewise what confidence level does DCC have in the contractor that produced the draft given the importance of decisions it will inform?

Care and Health Solutions have been involved in the development and acceptance of the Business Cases for 7 Councils which subsequently led to their engagement in the implementations for 5 councils; Aberdeen, Essex, Northamptonshire, Wokingham and Buckinghamshire. 2 councils went on to self-implement their recommendations; Barnet and Oldham.

3 There are general statements in the case that new income is key to the success of the business, however the amounts projected in the case are trivial compared to the likely uncertainties in the block contract, which itself dwarfs the additional income by over two orders of magnitude. Likewise the extent of new business will be limited by Law. Therefore, please could you provide more information about why new business is so critical to the success of the LATC when it appears otherwise?

The ability to trade is one feature and benefit of the LATC. Additional income is divided into two phases. Phase 1 is focussed on selling existing services primarily to private paying customers. Second phases income generation is focused on development that expands the range of services that can be purchased, as well as effectively cording the way the LATC delivers to customers.

The projections in the business case reflect this phased approach.

The ability to trade is absolutely essential given the government’s intention to rapidly expand personalisation through Direct Payments to service users in lieu of services.

4 Would the additional income claimed in the case and included in the 5 year projections be available to the service even it wasn’t separated into a new company?

No

5 Does the statement that the additional income can be achieved utilising spare capacity and without additional cost say more about the council’s management of its current resources than the advantages of separation of the service?

No. Local authorities are traditionally not designed to trade as an independent commercial entity or develop and expand its activities for the health and social care market. This means that the culture and ethos of a council is not appropriate in a competitive trading environment.

6 The case indicates that ‘effective working savings’ is the most significant impact quantified in the case and the dominant positive contributor in the trading account reducing net staff costs. Please explain who this can be correct when there appears to be a claim that there will be no reduction in staff numbers?

The detailed business case provides details on how working savings will be made; increase in efficiency of staff deployment, minimise staff downtime by more effective management of rosters and maximise the aims and objectives of the services , of services, e.g. with reablement, reduce the amount of staff contact time that has to be devoted to “post reablement” cases, i.e. those cases that are unnecessarily being supported by reablement staff beyond the 6-week period.

Such details are contained within the detailed business case which was presented to Cabinet on 22nd October (page 42)

7 Do returns to the council in terms of providing services to LATC appear to be invalid as there doesn’t appear to be an equivalent amount in the financial case from internal trading if the service remained within the council? Please could you confirm if this interpretation is correct, and if not why not?

We believe the answer to Question 8 answers to answers your question

8 Likewise does the block contract income to the new company actually increases compared to that of the in-house service?

A Value for Money comparison is included within the detailed business case which was presented to Cabinet in October 2014. A calculation was undertaken which measures the financial benefit by comparing the cost of the services if nothing changed over the next five years with the net cost the Council would pay to the LATC for providing these same services.

9 Why are set-up and implementation costs for the new company missing from the case?

The 22nd October Cabinet report states that implementation costs to engage with consultants to provide specialist Project Management Support is around £116,000.

10 The pension deficit issue is left to the Council to cover, but this is not quantified and accounted for in the financial case. Please confirm if this is correct and how will it be accounted for in the long term?

The 22nd October Cabinet report identifies how pensions will be treated as follows

Within the Business Case it is presumed that staff will transfer with their pensions fully funded and that Dorset County Council will pick up the deficit on the staff that transfer to the LATC. However, this leaves DCC with an issue since it currently recovers this deficit over 25 years through an addition to the employer contribution rate (20.4% in total with around 8% deficit recovery and 12.4% as the ongoing rate) The council will no longer have the 800 ftes on its books to do so.
Therefore it is proposed that to overcome this we would deduct the 8% deficit recovery amount from the provider services budgets prior to transferring to the LATC and pay this directly to the pension fund each year or into a reserve for this purpose. The LATC would only pay the ongoing rate of 12.4% for its staff.

11 There appears to be an assumption that staff unshackled from Council bureaucracy will become innovative and commercial. Notwithstanding the care risks to the vulnerable, and the employment and pension risks to carers if this isn’t realised, what evidence do you have to substantiate the assumption?

The detailed business case provides examples from Essex Cares and Sandwell Community Caring Trust which addresses that assumption.

The business case states the following:

Our experience in implementing and managing transferred services in other Authorities evidences a cultural change in the new organisation that leads to an improved “team environment” and a sense of individual responsibility towards colleagues, service users and the organisation as a whole. This is linked to:
• A sense of a new beginning with concomitant improvement in morale
• A smaller organisation with closer links and influence to the top of the
Organisation
• The removal of restrictions of a large corporate local authority body and
an assertive commercial focus
• The ability to develop the business and expand rather than continually
look for further savings, leading to attrition of services and jobs, provides a significant morale boost

12 It is noted in the case that there is a benefit to flip at will between company profits or block contract cuts at DCC’s discretion. Do DCC believe this is satisfactory way to manage a Limited Company within the financial responsibilities of Limited status?

Yes.

We will continue to conduct the internal review into this request and will provide you with our conclusions within 20 working days of it being made.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedom of Information,
Thank you for your reply to my request. Most of your replies do not fully answer my questions. I have annotated these deficiencies in UPPER CASE below. Please could you respond to these points:

1 The business case is at Draft level and hence of limited reliability and appears not to have had a robust audit or verification. What level of verification has taken place on the financial information presented and assumptions made?

A full business case was presented to Cabinet in October 2014. The full business case was validated by Director of Corporate Resources, Head of Financial Services, Chief Accountant and Head of Legal and Democratic Services.
THIS STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE, THE BC IS A DRAFT AND THIS IS WRITTEN ON EVERY ONE OF ITS PAGES; PLEASE CHECK THE COPY AVAILABLE ON YOUR WEB SITE AND PRESENTED TO CABINET.
PLEASE COULD YOU PROVIDE ME WITH DOCUMENTS THAT DEMONSTRATE THAT THE OFFICERS MENTIONED IN YOUR REPLY HAVE SIGNED OFF THE DRAFT BUSINESS CASE PRESENTED TO CABINET.
ALSO, HAS THERE BEEN AN INDEPENDENT AUDIT OF THE BC AND COULD I SEE ITS FINDINGS PLEASE. PARTICULARLY ANY AUDIT COMMENTS ON THE VALUE FOR MONEY COMPARISON IN THE BC.

2 Likewise what confidence level does DCC have in the contractor that produced the draft given the importance of decisions it will inform?

Care and Health Solutions have been involved in the development and acceptance of the Business Cases for 7 Councils which subsequently led to their engagement in the implementations for 5 councils; Aberdeen, Essex, Northamptonshire, Wokingham and Buckinghamshire. 2 councils went on to self-implement their recommendations; Barnet and Oldham.
THESE FACTS ARE WELL PRESENTED BY C&HS BUT IT IS NOT THE QUESTION I ASKED. I ASKED WHAT CONFIDENCE LEVEL DOES DCC HAVE IN THE CONTRACTOR AND THEIR WORK. PLEASE COULD YOU ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

3 There are general statements in the case that new income is key to the success of the business, however the amounts projected in the case are trivial compared to the likely uncertainties in the block contract, which itself dwarfs the additional income by over two orders of magnitude. Likewise the extent of new business will be limited by Law. Therefore, please could you provide more information about why new business is so critical to the success of the LATC when it appears otherwise?

The ability to trade is one feature and benefit of the LATC. Additional income is divided into two phases. Phase 1 is focussed on selling existing services primarily to private paying customers. Second phases income generation is focused on development that expands the range of services that can be purchased, as well as effectively cording the way the LATC delivers to customers.

The projections in the business case reflect this phased approach.

The ability to trade is absolutely essential given the government’s intention to rapidly expand personalisation through Direct Payments to service users in lieu of services.
THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF THE ABILITY TO TRADE IS QUANTIFIED IN THE BC AND IS INSIGNIFICANT. THE LATC’S FINANCIAL VIABILITY IS DOMINATED BY THE BLOCK CONTRACT FROM DCC AND WE CAN ALL GUESS WHICH WAY THIS WILL BE GOING IN THE FUTURE DUE TO REDUCTIONS IN FUNDING EXPECTED. WHY HAS THIS RISK BEEN OMITTED FROM THE CASE WHEREAS THE ABILITY TO TRADE IS SO PROMINENT?

4 Would the additional income claimed in the case and included in the 5 year projections be available to the service even it wasn’t separated into a new company?

No
THIS REPLY IS NOT TRUE, THE ADDITIONAL INCOME QUANTIFIED IN THE CASE IS INCOME THAT DCC IS ALREADY RECEIVING. AM I NOT CORRECT?

5 Does the statement that the additional income can be achieved utilising spare capacity and without additional cost say more about the council’s management of its current resources than the advantages of separation of the service?

No. Local authorities are traditionally not designed to trade as an independent commercial entity or develop and expand its activities for the health and social care market. This means that the culture and ethos of a council is not appropriate in a competitive trading environment.
WHAT YOU SAY IS CORRECT BUT IT DOES NOT ADDRESS THE QUESTION I ASKED. I.E. WHY, WHEN YOU ARE FACING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, DOES DCC HAVE EXISTING SPARE CAPACITY THAT CAN BE UTILIZE WITHOUT EXTRA COST?

6 The case indicates that ‘effective working savings’ is the most significant impact quantified in the case and the dominant positive contributor in the trading account reducing net staff costs. Please explain who this can be correct when there appears to be a claim that there will be no reduction in staff numbers?

The detailed business case provides details on how working savings will be made; increase in efficiency of staff deployment, minimise staff downtime by more effective management of rosters and maximise the aims and objectives of the services, of services, e.g. with reablement, reduce the amount of staff contact time that has to be devoted to “post reablement” cases, i.e. those cases that are unnecessarily being supported by reablement staff beyond the 6-week period.

Such details are contained within the detailed business case which was presented to Cabinet on 22nd October (page 42)
YES ALL THESE THINGS LISTED IN YOUR ANSWER CAN BE DONE AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE EXISTING OR NEW SERVICE TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY. HOWEVER YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED MY QUESTION, THE GROSS STAFF COST HIGHLIGHTED IN THE CASE SHOWS NO REDUCTION EVEN AFTER ALL THESE EFFICIENCIES, AND THE TEXT OF THE BUSINESS CASE INDICATES STAFF NUMBERS WILL NOT BE REDUCED. THEREFORE THE EFFECTIVE WORKING SAVINGS CAN ONLY BE OBTAINED BY REDUCING STAFF FTES BASED ON THE NUMBERS PRESENTED IN THE BC. IS THIS CORRECT? IF NOT CORRECT PLEASE PROVIDE AND EXPLANATION WHY IT ISN’T.

7 Do returns to the council in terms of providing services to LATC appear to be invalid as there doesn’t appear to be an equivalent amount in the financial case from internal trading if the service remained within the council? Please could you confirm if this interpretation is correct, and if not why not?

We believe the answer to Question 8 answers to answers your question.
UNFORTUNATELY IT DOES NOT. YOU DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE COMPARED LIKE WITH LIKE IN YOUR VALUE FOR MONEY COMPARISON IN THE BC. FOR EXAMPLE, WHERE IS THE APPARENT INTERNAL INCOME (OR COST DEPENDING ON YOUR POINT OF VIEW) FROM THE EXISTING IN-HOUSE SERVICE ACCOUNTED FOR FROM BOTH ‘RENT’ AND ‘SUPPORT SERVICES’? SOME COSTS YOU HAVE INCLUDED AS INCOME TO DCC WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY STILL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PROVISION OF THE SERVICE, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THEY ARE TRADED BETWEEN LATC AND DCC.
I BELIEVE YOUR VALUE FOR MONEY CALCULATION IS GROSSLY INCORRECT AND SHOULD BE AUDITED. PLEASE COULD YOU COMMENT ON THIS POINT.

8 Likewise does the block contract income to the new company actually increases compared to that of the in-house service?

A Value for Money comparison is included within the detailed business case which was presented to Cabinet in October 2014. A calculation was undertaken which measures the financial benefit by comparing the cost of the services if nothing changed over the next five years with the net cost the Council would pay to the LATC for providing these same services.

9 Why are set-up and implementation costs for the new company missing from the case?

The 22nd October Cabinet report states that implementation costs to engage with consultants to provide specialist Project Management Support is around £116,000.
THIS IS JUST ONE ITEM IN THE VERY LONG LIST OF LIKELY AND NECESSARY SET-UP AND IMPLEMENTATION COSTS. HAVE ALL THESE COSTS BEEN QUANTIFIED ANYWHERE? PLEASE COULD I SEE THEM AND COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHY THEY HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BC OR IN THE VALUE FOR MONEY COMPARISON AS ONE WOULD EXPECT THEM TO BE SIGNIFICANT.

10 The pension deficit issue is left to the Council to cover, but this is not quantified and accounted for in the financial case. Please confirm if this is correct and how will it be accounted for in the long term?

The 22nd October Cabinet report identifies how pensions will be treated as follows

Within the Business Case it is presumed that staff will transfer with their pensions fully funded and that Dorset County Council will pick up the deficit on the staff that transfer to the LATC. However, this leaves DCC with an issue since it currently recovers this deficit over 25 years through an addition to the employer contribution rate (20.4% in total with around 8% deficit recovery and 12.4% as the ongoing rate) The council will no longer have the 800 ftes on its books to do so.
Therefore it is proposed that to overcome this we would deduct the 8% deficit recovery amount from the provider services budgets prior to transferring to the LATC and pay this directly to the pension fund each year or into a reserve for this purpose. The LATC would only pay the ongoing rate of 12.4% for its staff.
IT WOULD APPEAR FROM YOUR REPLY THAT DCC WILL BE SUBSIDISING THE LATC IN THE FORM OF REDUCING PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE NEW EMPLOYER FOR THE TRANSFERRED STAFF. HAS THE LEGALITY OF THIS STRATEGY BEEN CHECKED AS IT APPEARS TO BREACH STATE AID AND COMPETITION REGULATIONS?

11 There appears to be an assumption that staff unshackled from Council bureaucracy will become innovative and commercial. Notwithstanding the care risks to the vulnerable, and the employment and pension risks to carers if this isn’t realised, what evidence do you have to substantiate the assumption?

The detailed business case provides examples from Essex Cares and Sandwell Community Caring Trust which addresses that assumption.

The business case states the following:

Our experience in implementing and managing transferred services in other Authorities evidences a cultural change in the new organisation that leads to an improved “team environment” and a sense of individual responsibility towards colleagues, service users and the organisation as a whole. This is linked to:
• A sense of a new beginning with concomitant improvement in morale
• A smaller organisation with closer links and influence to the top of the
Organisation
• The removal of restrictions of a large corporate local authority body and
an assertive commercial focus
• The ability to develop the business and expand rather than continually
look for further savings, leading to attrition of services and jobs, provides a significant morale boost

THANKS FOR THIS BUT THESE ARE STATEMENTS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHORS OF THE DRAFT BC. MY QUESTION WAS TO YOU (DCC) RATHER THAN THEM ABOUT THIS ASSUMPTION. PLEASE COULD YOU INDICATE WHAT EVIDENCE YOU HAVE, PARTICULARLY FOR YOUR STAFF’S ABILITY TO ACHIEVE THIS ASSUMPTION.

12 It is noted in the case that there is a benefit to flip at will between company profits or block contract cuts at DCC’s discretion. Do DCC believe this is satisfactory way to manage a Limited Company within the financial responsibilities of Limited status?

Yes.
I THINK YOU SHOULD GET SOME LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT THIS REPLY AS THE LATC WILL BE AN INDEPENDENT COMMERCIAL GOING CONCERN (ALBEIT OWNED BY DCC), WITH ITS OWN DIRECTORS WITH THEIR OWN ASSOCIATED RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIREMENTS. PLEASE PROVIDE ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS.

Yours sincerely,

D. Neet

Dear Freedom of Information,

Please could you provide me with a full reply to my last email or let me have a reply saying when you will be able to respond in full.

Yours sincerely,

D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let
you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email] .
                    

 

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain
information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be
handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to
receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it
to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard
the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be
aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation."

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

Dear Mr Neet,

Thank you for your FOI request, I apologise for our delay in responding and any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Outlined below is the information held by DCC asked for in your FOI request.

This comprises of:

-Documents that demonstrate officers have signed off the draft business case presented to cabinet.

The Business Case was signed off by Cabinet on 22nd October. The Cabinet report states in 4.3 "The Business Case has been validated and signed off by Dorset County Council’s
Director for Corporate Resources, Head of Financial Services, Chief Accountant, and Head of Legal and Democratic Services". The Business Case which was presented to Cabinet was the final version, http://www1.dorsetforyou.com/COUNCIL/com...

- A copy of the independent audit of the Business case findings.

The South West Audit Partnership was appointed to present a position statement on the proposals. This was made publically available for the Cabinet report on 22nd October. It is contained from p118 of the main committee paper.
http://www1.dorsetforyou.com/COUNCIL/com...

-A copy of the implementation costs

Implementation costs for Care and Health Solutions were contained in the October 22nd Cabinet report in Section 9.7 http://www1.dorsetforyou.com/COUNCIL/com...

In response to the remainder of your request, as much of the information you are asking for is not recorded information but rather opinion or comment we are unable to provide this through Freedom of Information. However, after corresponding with the relevant Officers involved with the LATC project, they are happy to meet with you in order to discuss any further queries you have regarding the LATC.

Please let me know if this is the case and I will put you in contact so that this meeting can be arranged.

Again I apologise for the delay in our response.

If you are not completely satisfied with my response, please contact me again, or write to the complaints officer at: Dorset County Council, County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XJ. Or you can follow the complaints procedure that can be found on our website www.dorsetforyou.com at http://212.104.140.176/index.jsp?article... If your appeal is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thanks for the reply.

On signed-off of the business case by the named DCC officers. Are you saying there are no other documents (other than the statements in the draft business case itself) which provide the formal sign-off of the business case content (even for a business case at draft level) by the named officers? I would like to see these formal sign-off documents if they exist.

On the audit, the audit you quote is only a position statement and appears to consider only earlier versions of the case. Has the value for money comparison in the case been subjected to detailed audit?

On implementation costs. The Care Solutions staff costs you point me to are only a small fraction of the implementations costs. Are you saying you have not quantified the likely full implementation costs of the LATC? If you have I would like to have a copy of the estimate.

Yours sincerely,

D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

Dear Sir/Madam
Thank you for your email.

Before we respond, the Director of Adult Services has asked for your full name? This is something we should have asked for originally as the FOI Act states that a request for information must provide the 'name of the applicant and an address for correspondence'. We have been in contact with the Office of the Information Commissioner (ref: ENQ0567392) and they have confirmed that, under the legislation, a requestor must provide their full name (as well as an address) for a request to be valid. We will be unable to send you any further information until this is provided.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedom of Information,

You have my details and please use this site as the address for correspondence.

Please could you also include in the requested information, the sign-off of the LATC business case by the council's Section 151 officer.

Yours sincerely,

Mr D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let
you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email] .
                    

 

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain
information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be
handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to
receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it
to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard
the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be
aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation."

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

Dear Mr Neet
Thank you for your email.

We do have an appropriate address to respond to, but we do not have your full name as advised. Please supply it in accordance with the advice from the Information Commissioner's Office as stated below.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Neet
Thank you for your email.

We do have an appropriate address to respond to, but we do not have your full name as advised. Please supply it in accordance with the advice from the Information Commissioner's Office as stated below and in the attached guidance.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Dorset County Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County Council's handling of my FOI request 'LATC'.

My details meet the requirements of para 25 of the guidance provided by you, and also the address for correspondence.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr D. Neet

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

Dear Mr Neet
I am writing further to your email below requesting an internal review into the handling of your FOI request regarding the Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) project.

My starting point in reviewing your request is the general right of access to information held by public authorities as set out in section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The County Council is a public authority and you have a general right of access to information that we hold unless one of a number of exemptions contained in the FOIA is found to apply. I have determined that the FOIA is the correct legislation for dealing with your request rather than the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) as no environmental information is being requested.

Your original request under the FOIA was made in a submission from the ‘Whatdotheyknow’ website dated 1st of December 2014. This consisted of 12 questions regarding the LATC project.

On the 22nd of December 2014 we replied apologising for the delay in our response and stating that we would communicate the information to you by the 9th of January 2015. Unfortunately we were unable to provide the information by this deadline and thus failed to comply with Section 10 of the FOIA. Because of this failure on our part you requested an initial internal review on the 27th of January 2015.

On the 6th of February 2015 we provided a response to your original request providing full answers to each of your 12 questions. We also commented that we would continue with the internal review into your request.

On the 8th of February 2015 you emailed a response which comprised partially of a request for further information (outlined below) and also asking for various comment on points that had been made.

The request for further information consisted of:

- Documents that demonstrate officers have signed off the draft business case presented to cabinet.
- A copy of the independent audit of the Business case findings.
- A copy of implementation costs.

As dialogue had resumed regarding your original request, we made the decision not to continue with your original request (27th January 2015) for an internal review.

On the 18th of March 2015 you sent an email asking for a full reply to your email of the 8th of February, or an indication of when we would be able to reply in full.

On the 31st of March we sent a response to your request. As FOI legislation does not provide for comment and opinion, but rather access to information 'held', we declined to address some of your points. We did however offer to set up a meeting with the relevant officers involved in the LATC project to discuss the comments you had brought up. You have not taken up this offer to date.

Regarding the further information outlined above we provided you with responses for each. This information was again outside of the statutory guidelines of 20 working days, and we therefore failed to comply with section 10 of the FOIA.

On the 31st of March 2015 you responded to our email asking for:

- Formal sign off documents for the business case if they existed.

- Whether the ‘Value for money comparison in the case has been subjected to detailed audit?’

- A copy of the estimate of the full implementation costs of the LATC.

We responded on the 9th of April asking for your full name prior to any further responses being made on our part. Previously this had not been a concern for us. However, due to a significant number of requests about the LATC being made from the 'Whatdotheyknow' website under a variety of names and possible pseudonyms, we felt it was acceptable to seek confirmation of your identity, i.e. your full name. This decision was made following previous consultation with the ICO regarding repeated requests and anonymity and they agreed that a full name must be provided (ICO ref: ENQ0567392).

On the 13th of April you replied stating that we held your details and asking for the: ‘sign off of the LATC business case.’

We responded on the 15th of April confirming that we had an address to contact you, but still would require a full name to continue with the processing of your request. We included a link to guidance from the ICO regarding Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act.

On the 15th of April you responded requesting an internal review into the handling of your FOI request. You also highlighted that your details met the requirements of paragraph 25 of the guidance provided in our previous email.

In assessing your request for information we conclude that we have failed under section 10 of the FOIA to provide you with timely responses to each of your requests. It is apparent that we should have been more prompt with our responses and also kept you more informed as to why the information was delayed and when you would receive a substantive response.

However, in relation to our refusal to continue with the processing of your request until a full name is given, I have determined that we were correct to do so. I have read the guidance from the ICO and taken into account the advice received when we contacted the ICO's office direct. You have met the guidance requirements for providing a contact address, but not your full name. It is our belief that this is one of a number of requests coming from a singular individual or campaign. We have not received requests about the LATC from any other source. Therefore we believe it to be relevant to know your true (full) name/identity in order to process the request according to the standards set out in the FOIA regarding the aggregation of requests.

Alternatively the disclosure of your identity may make it obvious that your requests are unrelated to the others we are receiving and are not part of a campaign. In this case we would be able to resume our handling of your FOI request.

In conclusion, I have upheld the decision made.

Yours sincerely

Richard Kirby
Records & Information Manager
Dorset County Council

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