Reports and documentation about LDL provided to Ernst & Young in June 2010

Katie M. made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Liverpool City Council.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

Regarding the Ernst & Young review of the LDL contract on which the decision to refresh the contract was based, the executive summary of this report, entitled draft “independent review of LDL contract refresh proposals” dated 27 June 2011, contained the following statement by Ernst & Young, under the heading “Scope of our work”:

“As outlined in our engagement agreement, our work was based primarily on our review and comparison of the BT Refresh Proposal document and the March 2010 City Treasurer Review (Report to Cabinet), alongside meetings with key LCC personnel.”

Would you please confirm that no other reports were provided to the Ernst & Young team, and specifically, that they were not provided with copies of the 2008 IdEA report or of the report by Messrs Dolan and Cosgrove into LDL dated June 2010.
Could I also please have a list of any other documentation provided and a list of the key LCC personnel who met with the E&Y team.

Cordially,

Catherine Byrne

Dear Liverpool City Council,

There is a mistake in the year in the title of this request. It should be 2011. Equally, although Ernst & Young mention a 2010 report, this was another typing error, as the report in question was a Cabinet Report dated March 2011, not 2010.
Please confirm that you have received this correction, or if I need to withdraw this request and submit a corrected version.

Cordially

Catherine Byrne

Hellon, Karen, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Byrne,

Thank you for your email of 21st May 2012. I have now amended your
request and confirm that there is no need to submit a corrected version.

Yours sincerely

Karen Hellon I Legal Assistant
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 2303 I F: 0151 225 2392 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Karen Hellon, Liverpool City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Byrne,

Please find attached our acknowledgement letter for your request for
information.

Yours sincerely

Karen Hellon I Legal Assistant
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 2303 I F: 0151 225 2392 I E: [1][email address]
Online: [2]www.liverpool.gov.uk 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/
http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/

Dear Ms Hellon,

The response to this request was due on 20 June, two days ago. Could you please let me know when I will receive a response?

Kind regards,

Catherine Byrne

Dear Ms Hellon,

As I reminded you last week, I should have received a response to this request on 20 June.
Would you please let me know when I can expect a response?

Catherine Byrne

Hellon, Karen, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Byrne,

Apologies for the delay in responding to your request. Due to the nature of the information you requested and how this data is stored it will take an additional amount of time to enable us to respond to your request. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we endeavour to keep you updated with the case progress as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Karen Hellon I Legal Assistant I Information Team
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 2303 I F: 0151 225 2392 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Liverpool City Council,

This request, submitted on 21 May, is now considerably overdue. Ms Hellon of your office informed me on 28 June that the nature of the information itself, and how it was stored, meant that it would take additional time to retrieve it. Since then I have heard nothing further.
Please provide this information without further delay. May I again point out that I am not asking for release of the actual information provided to Ernst & Young, which I appreciate may well be confidential. For this reason the question merely requested a list of the documents provided and a further list of the council officers with whom the E&Y team spoke.

Cordially,

Catherine Byrne

Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Byrne

Please accept my apologies for not replying sooner.

Unfortunately I am waiting for a member of staff to return to work who has been on leave. Until this employee returns I will be unable to complete my response.

Please accept my assurances that I am actively chasing the information in the meantime in case any other members of staff are able to assist. As yet I have not been able to do so.

The officer is back from leave early next week and I have scheduled a meeting with them on their return. I will hopefully provide our response then.

I hope this information is of assistance

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Symm,

This request was submitted over 10 weeks ago.
You informed me a week ago that the member of staff dealing with this would be back early this week, and that in the meantime you were also attempting to obtain the information from other members of staff.
I have asked for basic information - a list of documentation provided to Ernst & Young and a list of the LCC officers who briefed Ernst & Young.

This information is not confidential - and it is hardly complex. There is absolutely no reason for withholding it, and no justification for all this procrastination. Unless the information has not been retained, as it most certainly should have been.

By law, under all circumstances, you should have provided a proper answer to this request.
Please provide the information requested forthwith.

Cordially,

Catherine Byrne

Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Byrne

I am not withholding any information. As I stated in my email of the 25 July I am not in possession of the information you have requested.

I have already been in touch with the relevant officer and asked for the information, which I will do so again.

Once I have the information I will provide to you as soon as I can

Please accept my apologies for the delay and inconvenience it may cause you

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Symm,

Apologies if I implied that you, personally, are withholding information. That was not my intention.
My comment referred to LCC, its information system and information governance.

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Byrne

Kevin Symm, Liverpool City Council

1 Atodiad

Please find attached response
Please accept my apologies for the delay
Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [1][email address]
Online: [2]www.liverpool.gov.uk 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/
http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/

Dear Mr Symm,

Thank you for this response.

Unfortunately, my attempt to correct what I assumed was a typing error in the Ernst & Young summary, has caused confusion.
Regarding the documentation I asked about, I wanted to know two things:
1) whether or not E&Y had been provided with a copy of the report by Dolan and Cosgrove dated June 2010. I am well aware that there is no report by these officers dated June 2011 - apart from anything else, they had both left the employment of LCC by the end of summer 2010.
2) the second thing I sought was confirmation that E&Y had only been provided with the document they specifically mentioned, namely the review by the City Treasurer (report to cabinet). This was the document that appeared to have been quoted with the wrong date. E&Y mentioned a City Treasurer Review dated 2011, which, after research, appeared to refer to a report presented by the City Treasurer in March 2010.

So would you please clarify the following:
1) Did E&Y receive a copy of the Dolan and Cosgrove report. It appears to be dated June 2010, but even if this is not correct, since the report itself is now in the public domain, that is surely sufficient to unequivocally identify the document I am referring to?2) what is the "report produced by Consultants in 2010"?
3) You state that E&Y were provided with a "copy of the LDL Contract" - could you please specify what document this refers to i.e. the Service Level Agreement, the Joint Venture Agreement, the various Schedules, etc.
4) Would you confirm that E&Y were provided with a copy of the City Treasurer Review they mention. Please also would you be so kind as to clarify the exact name, reference number (if applicable) and date of this document, since I would like to submit a separate request for a suitably redacted copy.

Cordially,

Catherine Byrne

Gadawodd Katie M. anodiad ()

The reply I received is reproduced below.

"Regarding the Ernst & Young review of the LDL contract on which the decision to refresh the contract was based, the executive summary of this report, entitled draft ‘independent review of LDL contract refresh proposals’ dated 27 June 2011, contained the following statement by Ernst & Young, under the heading ‘Scope of our work’:

“As outlined in our engagement agreement, our work was based primarily on our review and comparison of the BT Refresh Proposal document and the March 2011 City Treasurer Review (Report to Cabinet), alongside meetings with key LCC personnel.”

1. Would you please confirm that no other reports were provided to the Ernst & Young team, and specifically, that they were not provided with copies of the 2008 IdEA report or of the report by Messrs Dolan and Cosgrove into LDL dated June 2011?

2. Could I also please have a list of any other documentation provided and a list of the key LCC personnel who met with the E&Y team?

Response:

The City Council holds information relevant to the terms of your request and can confirm the following:

1. Liverpool City Council is not aware of any report by Messrs Doan and Cosgrove in June 2011. Ernst & Young were not provided with a copy of the 2008 IdEA report. Ernst & Young were provided with a report produced by Consultants in 2010.

2. Ernst & Young were also provided with a copy of the LDL Contract. The City Council can confirm that the following officers met with representatives of Ernst and Young in the course of Ernst and Young’s review

LCC Client Officer for ICT Services
LCC Client Officer for Revenues and Benefits Services
LCC Client Officer for Human Resources
LCC Client Officer for Customer Contact
Ged Fitzgerald - Liverpool City Council Chief Executive
Susan Curran – at the time Interim City Treasurer (currently Assistant Director Finance & Resources)
Jeanette McLoughlin – at the time assistant City Solicitor (currently the City Solicitor)

I trust this information satisfies your enquiry."

Gadawodd Jenny Griffin anodiad ()

Catherine,

This is an outrageous piece of filibustering. The Council is a long way past their statutory deadline, and then they gtive a response which claims not to have understood the perfectly comprehensible clarification you provided.

Surely the ICO should see this

Gadawodd Katie M. anodiad ()

Jenny - thanks for the support. You're right, this is a rather transparent attempt to avoid answering. I'm sorry for the FOI people having to forward this rubbish.
As you know, the ICO are investigating several complaints about the responses of LCC to questions about LDL. This is yet another response that supports the contention that these answers are misleading/confusing/contradictory/untruthful. By design. And as I've said before, the wheels of the ICO grind slowly, but they do grind - eventually. So ultimately we will have clarity, although it is taking a long time.

This question was designed to confirm what the E&Y report seems to imply - that the information that LCC provided did not represent the full picture, but was designed to obtain the result it did. This was already pretty clear from the E&Y report itself. The lack of independent legal advice is further evidence of this. So this question is just to nail it down. They're auditors, the ultimate nit-pickers. So they repeatedly stated that their report was not a proper audit, was based only on the material they were given, did not constitute a guarantee, etc etc. They would have surely mentioned any serious evidence of poor governance, etc., that they were given. They didn't.

Finally, the response to my question states that E&Y were given a copy of the LDL Contract. And mentions a report by unnamed "Consultants" in 2010. They may be referring to the "City Treasurer Review" (and if they are, this is an odd way of referring to it), or to some other report that has not been mentioned so far. It could even be the Dolan/Cosgrove report, although that seems unlikely.
So I have asked them to clarify what exactly was provided, because if they were given copies of everything, you would expect them to have asked if all the governance arrangements specified were in place. This is a standard question. And as we all know, the governance is rubbish, and they appear to express concerns about it which indicate they are not aware of the details.
So either they didn't get all the documentation (no JVA ecc), and so didn't ask the question. Or they were given it, did ask, and were not told the truth.

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Byrne

In answer to your email below I can confirm the following:

There is no report of which LCC is aware which is written by Dolan and Cosgrove. The report of June 2010 which you refer to as being in the public domain is the report of Consultants as referred to in our response to you. That consultants report was provided to Ernst and Young.

Ernst and Young were provided with a full set of contract documents including the Joint Venture Agreement, the Services Provision Agreement and the Articles of Association

Ernst and Young were provided with a copy of the report to Cabinet of March 2011.The Report was numbered L/28 and was an exempt report and is therefore not for publication. However, an Executive Summary of that Report was made available and a copy of that is attached for ease of reference

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Symm,

Thank you for your prompt response.
Forgive me for being obtuse, but are you saying that the consultants' report dated June 2010 which was given to Ernst & Young was in fact the report referred to in the media as the Cosgrove report, or the report by Dolan and Cosgrove, compiled with the assistance of external consultants, which was leaked to the Liverpool Echo last summer?
Also, the report by the City Solicitor mentioned in the documentation you provided refers to a VFM report. Could you please give details of the authors of this report - if it was prepared by external consultants, or the job titles of the people who undertook the review, if it was prepared internally.

Cordially,

Catherine Byrne

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Byrne

I gathered and provided the information supplied on the 7 August 2012 outside of the parameters of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in order to be of assistance and to negate the requirement of logging a formal request.

However, as you have come back and asked for further information I have no choice but to treat this as a request for information

In order that any potential confusion is avoided could you be as specific as possible in terms of what information you require from the City Council.

I will then progress your request accordingly

I hope this doesn't cause you too much inconvenience

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 225 3132 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Symm,

While I of course appreciate the information you provided in your email of 7 August, I would point out that this is exactly the kind of help and assistance that the FOIA expects public bodies to provide. I am grateful, but would reiterate that you (LCC) have not actually provided a clear and unequivocal answer to my question.
After quoting the working of the E&Y summary, which referred to a specific Cabinet Report by the City Treasurer, I asked:
"Would you please confirm that no other reports were provided to the Ernst & Young team, and specifically, that they were not provided with copies of the 2008 IdEA report or of the report by Messrs Dolan and Cosgrove into LDL dated June 2010.
Could I also please have a list of any other documentation provided and a list of the key LCC personnel who met with the E&Y team."

My last email was an attempt to clarify the information that had been provided. To treat this as a further request for information is ridiculous, and I will complain to the ICO immediately if you should decide to do so.

Cordially,

Catherine Byrne