Dear Durham County Council,
I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Please confirm who your local authority has appointed as external auditor for the financial year 2016/17.
Please provide a list of all accounting firms which have advised or continue to advise the local authority on each of its PFI contracts. I am interested in companies which have provided legal, financial, governance and audit advice at any stage of the PFI project from initiation through procurement to operation.
Please provide documents showing the local authority’s current protocols around determining and declaring conflicts of interest in relation to its external auditors.
Have there been any incidences of potential or actual conflict of interest in relation to the local authority’s external auditors? If so please disclose all relevant documentation relating to this, which may include but not be restricted to emails, memos, reports and declarations of conflict of interest.
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
This letter is our acknowledgement of your request received 02-JUN-2017.
Please note the reference number in the subject line of this email and
refer to it in any future correspondence. The case officer dealing with
your request is:
Christine Paciorek Tel. 03000 268036
Depending on the type of request, it will be handled under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations
(EIR). Both of these have a statutory 20 working day deadline for a
response however, in some cases, the deadline may be extended to 40
working days. The deadline for an FOIA request can be extended if an
extended public interest test is required before deciding to respond. The
deadline for an EIR request can be extended if the information requested
is too voluminous or complex to respond to fully within the 20 day
timescale. If this is the case, we will write to explain that to you.
If we hold this information, we will let you know and in most cases supply
it to you. You may request a particular format for receiving the
information and we will do our best to accommodate. In most cases, we will
respond by email or letter in 12 point Arial font. If you have a
particular need to receive the material in a different format, please let
In some cases, the information you request will be exempt from disclosure.
What this means is that the legislation allows the Council to refuse to
provide the information. Where this occurs, we will tell you the reasons
why and we will explain how to appeal that decision.
If your requests refers to a third party, then they may be consulted about
disclosing the information before we decide whether to release the
information to you. For example, if someone asks about a contract with a
supplier, we will contact the supplier to consider their views about
disclosing the information.
NB: There may be a charge for environmental information. Please contact us
if you have any questions about that charge.
In some cases, we may require a payment to cover photocopying, postage, or
other production costs on requests that require large amounts of
photocopying. However, we will discuss this with you and look for ways to
provide the information in electronic formats if possible. If a payment
is required, it must be provided before we can send you the information.
If a payment is required, the 20 working day time limit for responses is
suspended until the payment is received.
We may also need to contact you to clarify your request. We are obliged to
do this under s.16 of the Act, which refers to the duty to provide advice
and assistance to applicants. When we ask to clarify your request, the 20
working day countdown stops until we hear back from you. If you have not
contacted us about the request within 30 days, we will close it.
Please note that your request and our response will be put on the
Council’s disclosure log. What this means is that we keep a log of all
the requests and responses if anyone wants to look at them. When we put
the request and response on the log, we remove the applicant’s name and
any personal references. In any case, where personal information remains,
it will be done in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA).
If you have any questions or need further information, then please
The Information Management Team
Durham County Council
Assistant Chief Executive’s Office
Tel. 03000 268038
Email: [Durham County Council request email]
Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510
Email: [email address]
The Information Management Team
Dear Ms Ingles
Freedom of Information Act 2000 –Response to request for information
Thank you for your request for information. Please see our response
Christine Paciorek BA(Hons) PC foi and dp
Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer
Transformation and Partnerships
Durham County Council
Telephone 03000 268036
Switchboard 03000 26 0000
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