Third party revenue

Jenny Griffin 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.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

In a separate response to an FOI question http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/in... you make the following statement, in respect of third party work undertaken by LDL :

"The information you have requested is not held by Liverpool City Council. The City Council does not hold third party information as any transactions will be conducted between Liverpool Direct Limited and the relevant customer. The customer will conduct business with Liverpool Direct Limited and not the City Council. As a result we are unable to provide the information you have requested as we do not hold it."

Q1 - How does the Council monitor third party contracts undertaken by LDL? As LCC is a shareholder of LDL, at the very least the directors have a legal responsibility to monitor LDL's activities in order to verify that the accounts are accurate. More pertinently, given that third party work is intended to benefit LCC through revenue sharing - this is at the heart of the Joint Venture established with BT - how does LCC know how much revenue it should expect to earn?

In the same response you reference 300 jobs which have been created by LDL :

Q2 : Which organisation pays the wages of these 300 staff?

Q3 : Which organisation carries the pension liability for these 300 staff?

Q4 : What is the total gross revenue earned from third party contracts by LDL since the joint venture began?

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Griffin

Angela Lewis, Liverpool City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Jenny Griffin ,

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

Regards 

Angela Lewis
Information Team
Legal Services
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street,
Liverpool
L2 2DH
Tel: 0151 225 3132
Email: [1][email address].uk 
Website: [2]www.liverpool.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email. Thank you.  

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References

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Kevin Symm, Liverpool City Council

1 Atodiad

Please find attached response
Regards,

Kevin Symm
Senior Information Officer
Legal Services
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
Liverpool
L2 2DH
TEL: 0151 225 3132
[1][email address]

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Dear Liverpool City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Liverpool City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Third party revenue'.

Your response was as follows :

"Thank you for your recent request received 28 October 2011. Your request was actioned under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in which you requested the following information:

1. How does the Council monitor third party contracts undertaken by LDL? As LCC is a shareholder of LDL, at the very least the directors have a legal responsibility to monitor LDL's activities in order to verify that the accounts are accurate. More pertinently, given that third party work is intended to benefit LCC through revenue sharing - this is at the heart of the Joint Venture established with BT - how does LCC know how much revenue it should expect to earn?

In the same response you reference 300 jobs which have been created by LDL:

2. Which organisation pays the wages of these 300 staff?

3. Which organisation carries the pension liability for these 300 staff?

4. What is the total gross revenue earned from third party contracts by LDL since the joint venture began?

Response:

1. This work is carried out by the board of Liverpool Direct Limited

2. Liverpool Direct Limited

3. Liverpool Direct Limited and British Telecom Local Government Services

4. The information you have requested is not held by Liverpool City Council. The City Council does not hold third party information as any transactions will be conducted between Liverpool Direct Limited and the relevant customer. The customer will conduct business with Liverpool Direct Limited and not the City Council. As a result we are unable to provide the information you have requested as we do not hold it.

I trust this information satisfies your enquiry"

Q1 - You say that "This work is carried out by the board of Liverpool Direct Limited", which is perfectly reasonable, yet in other responses - and in this one - you claim to have no knowledge of such contracts. As the LDL Board includes representatives of LCC, and as LDL is a Joint Venture between LCC and BT, LCC has a legal responsibility to hold this information. It seems odd that a member of the public should have to highlight this, but LCC has a clear legal obligation, as a shareholder in a company, to know what is going on. I accept your response as accurate - that the scrutiny is undertaken by LDL's Board - but LCC is part of that Board, and therefore DOES hold information.

Therefore your response to Q4 is not valid.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Griffin

Gadawodd Katie M. anodiad ()

It is hard to see how the Board of LDL can carry out this monitoring work (question 1) with only verbal updates on the accounts (all they receive, according to the answer to another recent FOIA request).
And it is not true that Liverpool Direct Limited pay these staff (question 2) - they do not pay anyone, they have no employees.
Equally, LDL do not have any pension liabilities in their accounts, so the answer to question 3 is not accurate either.

Dear Kevin Symm,

This internal review is well overdue. Please respond.

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Griffin

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

I am currently out of the office until the 6 February 2012

If your email is urgent, or you are submitting a request for information
under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Data Protection Act
1998 please forward it to: [email address]

Please note, the request will only be considered received when it is sent
to the information requests email address

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Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Griffin

Please accept my apologies for not replying sooner but I have been away
from work.

I have conducted a search of our case management system and can confirm
that we have not received your original internal review request for case
ref: 171620. All relevant email accounts have been checked and there is
no trace of the review request.

I will commence the review process as soon as possible and get our
response to you as quickly as I can.

Please accept my apologies for the delay.

In the meantime, could you let me know if you received an
acknowledgement email in answer to the original review request and which
date it was sent?

Regards,

Kevin Symm
Senior Information Officer
Legal Services
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
Liverpool
L2 2DH
TEL: 0151 225 3132
[email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Liverpool City Council,

This email is in response to Kevin Symm's recent email requesting details of an FOI request for which I have requested an internal review. The review is significantly overdue.

The original request and all subsequent correspondence can be found at the following web address :

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/th...

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Griffin

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms Griffin

As I confirmed earlier we have been unable to locate your email
requesting an internal review.

After viewing the What do they know website I have noted that the review
email was not acknowledged by any member of my team, which would suggest
we did not receive it.

I have also checked the audit trail of your case and can confirm that,
other than our response being sent out to you, the case was not looked
at on the day your review email was sent

I will contact out IT services department and ask if there was an issue
with our Outlook on the 22 November.

I have already re-opened the request and advanced it to the stage of
internal review. As soon as this process is complete I will ensure the
response is sent to you.

Again, please accept my apologies for this issue.

Regards,

Kevin Symm
Senior Information Officer
Legal Services
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
Liverpool
L2 2DH
TEL: 0151 225 3132
[email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Andrea Glanville, Liverpool City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Grffin
Please find attached our response to your request for an internal review.
Regards
A Glanville
Information Manager

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Dear Ms Glanville,

Thank you for your response. I copy the main content below for the benefit of visitors to this site :

"In your request for a review you have made the following comment:

You say that "This work is carried out by the board of Liverpool Direct Limited", which is perfectly reasonable, yet in other responses - and in this one - you claim to have no knowledge of such contracts. As the LDL Board includes representatives of LCC, and as LDL is a Joint Venture between LCC and BT, LCC has a legal responsibility to hold this information. It seems odd that a member of the public should have to highlight this, but LCC has a clear legal obligation, as a shareholder in a company, to know what is going on. I accept your response as accurate - that the scrutiny is undertaken by LDL's Board - but LCC is part of that Board, and therefore DOES hold information.

Therefore your response to Q4 is not valid.

Therefore for the purposes of the review I will only be considering our response to point 4.
I can confirm the Council holds some but not all of the information you have requested
For some 3rd party work the Council invoices the customers directly however this is not to be considered a complete list of all the 3rd party work undertaken by LDL. I list below details of revenue billed by the Council:

Financial Year Amount billed
£
2006/07 59,868.22
2007/08 55,399.82
2008/09 562,602.02
2009/10 392,821.96
2010/11 745,0169.69
2011/12 556,871.74

I have only been able to provide the information from 1 April 2006 as information prior to this date has either been archived or destroyed in line with the Council’s retention policy. As this work would take in excess of the 18 hours identified in the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 we are refusing this element of your request as this would require a disproportionate effort by the authority.

However, in accordance with Section 16 of Freedom of Information Act 2000, which places a duty on public authorities to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it, we can provide the following data relating to your request.

The value of 3rd party income from LDL to LCC from 21 July 2001 to 31 December 2011 is circa £1.27m.

This concludes our response to internal review. The review has identified that some information was held in relation to 3rd party revenue, however I must stress that the Council only bills for some 3rd party work undertaken by LDL and we can only provide the information that we hold. The LDL Board do approve 3rd party work and the Council is party to that decision making process but there is no separate information held by the Council other than were the Council bills the 3rd parties directly."

Some comments on this response :

1. Your previous response was inaccurate. To 'lose' or conceal information with a value of £1.27 million in unacceptable

2. In a previous FOI response you have said that the estimated value of 3rd party income would come to £1 million over the 16 year lifecycle of the contract, although no evidence was provided to back up this claim. This level of vagueness is not acceptable in a public body which spends hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money every year

3. If the LDL Board approved 3rd party work, WHY is no information held by the Council? You have previously responded by saying that Board members aren't permitted to take notes and that written agendas are not provided in advance of these meetings. I think that you will find that Companies House would not regard these meetings as being legally constituted. Certainly, such an approach would not satisfy Companies House in respect of the annual general meeting which is required by law.

4. The whole purpose of the joint venture was to enable the council to benefit from shared revenues from 3rd party work. It is clear from this response that BT have pulled a fast one. As a council officer of many years, with a good reputation, how do you feel about protecting BT through such carefully-worded responses? Don't you sometimes just yearn to spill the beans on behalf of fellow officers and the taxpayer?

5. Is the taxpayer subsiding BT through this arrangement?

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Griffin