Trust's response to FoI 2011-456

Richard Hamilton made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Southern Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Southern Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland),

On 24 February 2012 Southern HSC Trust received the following request via the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

“In the absence of an archive of Freedom of Information responses I would ask that you treat this communication as my request for a copy of the Trusts responses to FoI 2011-456”

A few days later on 6 March 2012 the Trust again via the WhatDoTheyKnow website forwarded a redacted copy of FoI 2011-456 to the requester.

Details disclosed on the WhatDoTheyKnow website suggest that the Trust received a number of Late Payment Claims on 24/06/2011, 11/10/2011, 18/10/2011 and 26/10/2011. The information disclosed also makes it clear that on the instruction of the Trust’s Director of Finance the claim received on 24/06/2011 was forwarded to the Directorate of Legal Services on 27/06/2011 and the claims received during October 2011 were similarly forwarded on 22/11/2011.

For my information please confirm the date/dates the claims referred to in the Trust’s responses to FoI 2011-456 were eventually paid/settled?

If for any reason there was a delay, of 6 months or more, between the date of receipt to the date of settlement of the claims please provide copies, if any, of all (i) letters, (ii) emails,(iii) memos either received or sent during the "period of delay" where a communication relevant to the settlement of the Supplier(s) Claim(s) was received from or sent to:
(a) any elected representative (ie MEP, MP and/or MLA)?
(b) any other public authority including the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the Department of Justice (DoJNI)?

For the record and the avoidance of delay I have no interest in knowing either the name(s) of the supplier(s) or the value(s) of the late payment claims.

Finally I would ask that you acknowledge receipt of this Freedom of Information request.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Hamilton

Team, Foi, Southern Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

Information Governance Team

By email: whatdotheyknow.com

23rd November 2015 Our Ref: 2015/587

Dear Mr Hamilton

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – INFORMATION REQUEST

I acknowledge your request which was received on 22nd November 2015 requesting information held by the Trust.

Your request is currently being addressed and if approved you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent release of the information you have requested. If any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the case, including your right of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the information to you. You will also be informed if this is the case.

There may be a fee payable for the information you have requested. In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and the 20 working day time limit for responses will be suspended until receipt of the payment. If a fee is required I will write to you again to advise of this.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact Mrs Claire Graham at:

Head of Information Governance
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
Ferndale
Bannvale Site
10 Moyallen Road
Gilford
BT63 5JX

Email: [email address]
Tel: 028 38 833250

Yours sincerely

Karen Harrison
Information Governance Officer

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Team, Foi,

My request of 22 November 2015 refers.

From my reading of the Freedom of Information legislation it appears that by failing to reply to my request by the 21 December 2015 Southern HSC Trust has breached its obligations under the
legislation.

Can I invite you to check your records and confirm by return what the Trust intends doing to remedy this breach and when a response can be expected.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Hamilton

Team, Foi, Southern Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

Dear Mr Hamilton

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately the response co-ordinator is on annual leave until 29th December and I am hoping to receive the response then.
Apologies for the delay.

Kind regards

Karen Harrison
Information Governance Officer
Southern Health & Social Care Trust

‘You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter’

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Team, Foi,

Your explanation of the Trust's excuses for the late response to my Freedom of Information request are noted.

The Trust's explanation that the response will be delay until the response co-ordinators return from Christmas leave is entirely unacceptable considering the legislation states:

"Authorities must respond to requests promptly, and by the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of the request."

Quite clearly if this FoI request had been dealt with promptly, following its receipt on 22 November 2015, the information requested would have already been disclosed and the file closed all well before the response co-ordinator started his/her Christmas leave.

In light of this I would ask that the Trust reviews its stated position and considers having the response signed off by a more senior official and one who has not yet gone on Christmas leave.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Hamilton

Dear Team, Foi,

In her response of 22 December 2015 the Trust's Information Governance Officer confirmed that the Response Co-ordinator was on annual leave until 29th December.

Can I now ask you to provide the Trust's reply to this overdue request.

For the record I would wish to express my concerns at the Trust's inability to deal with this request in line with the requirements of the Freedom of Information. The Trust's handling of this request will, further down the line, almost certainly be the subject of formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Hamilton

Team, Foi, Southern Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

Dear Mr Hamilton,

A response was received from the Finance department yesterday and is currently with the Chief Executive's office for approval and signature. The response will be forwarded to you as soon as we receive it.

Apologies for the delay.

Regards

Information Governance Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Team, Foi,

Thank you for your update.

You have advised the response is with the Chief Executive's office for approval and signature. I take it from your update that the response requires both the approval and signature of the Chief Executive before it can be released.

On the basis that, unlike the Marie Celeste, the Chief Executive "chair" is unlikely to be left un-manned I will expect to receive a response to my FoI request at some point before close of business for the year 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Hamilton

Team, Foi, Southern Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hamilton,

Please find attached response to your FOI request.

Regards

Information Governance Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir