Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywMark Hawkins mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Use of Independent Investigators.

Mark Hawkins made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to East Devon District Council

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Dear East Devon District Council,

I refer you to the attached investigation from 2013: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Could you please provide updated details for two of the questions plus provide answers to the remainder.

1.How many times has East Devon employed the same investigator Mr Tim Darsley between the previous request and the present day? With dates if possible.

2.How many times has East Devon employed any other independent investigators?

I note that Mr Darsley appears to have no Linkedin profile, or publicly available CV. This makes it very difficult to establish the true extent of his independence from any authority and any party to potential investigations.

3.Could East Devon please ask Mr Darsley for permission to publish his full professional CV, or better still to do so himself?

4.Could East Devon please establish and publish the dates and circumstances of when Mr Darsley first met or made the acquaintance of any senior officers or councillors from East Devon, for example through South West Councils and Wiltshire reorganisation 2008/9, and any prior contact or relationship?

5.Could you please advise how many investigations by Mr Darsley or any other person have led to allegations of unfairness in them being carried out?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Hawkins

East Devon District Council

Thank you for submitting a request for information. We will respond to
your request as quickly as possible, within the 20 working day statutory
deadline under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For updates on this case, please quote your unique reference number
101000983375 .

---------------------------------------
Customer Service Centre
East Devon District Council
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FOI EDDC, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Hawkins,

 

Thank you for your request for information. Please find the response to
your query below.

 

I refer you to the attached investigation from 2013:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Could you please provide updated details for two of the questions plus
provide answers to the remainder.

 

1.How many times has East Devon employed the same investigator Mr Tim
Darsley between the previous request and the present day? With dates if
possible.

 

2013 – 1 x referred to Tim Darsley November 2013

2015 – 1 x referred to Tim Darsley May 2015

2016 – 1 x referred to Tim Darsley January 2016

2020 – 4 x referred to Tim Darsley March 2020

2020 – 8 x referred to Tim Darsley July 2020

If you would like more information regarding these complaints, please
contact the Monitoring Officer through [email address]
who will happily discuss the matter with you.

 

2.How many times has East Devon employed any other independent
investigators? – None

 

I note that Mr Darsley appears to have no Linkedin profile, or publicly
available CV. This makes it very difficult to establish the true extent of
his independence from any authority and any party to potential
investigations.

 

3.Could East Devon please ask Mr Darsley for permission to publish his
full professional CV, or better still to do so himself? – This is outside
the scope of FOI

 

4.Could East Devon please establish and publish the dates and
circumstances of when Mr Darsley first met or made the acquaintance of any
senior officers or councillors from East Devon, for example through South
West Councils and Wiltshire reorganisation 2008/9, and any prior contact
or relationship? – Information not held

 

5.Could you please advise how many investigations by Mr Darsley or any
other person have led to allegations of unfairness in them being carried
out? – Case files are only kept for 6 years. If you are happy to receive
an answer only for the last 6 years, please can you confirm and also
clarify what you mean by ‘allegations of unfairness’.

 

 

I hope this information is helpful but, if you feel dissatisfied with the
way we have responded to your request, please contact our Monitoring
Officer, Mr Henry Gordon Lennox, to request an internal review
[email address]

 

You may also approach the Information Commissioner for advice at
www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sara

 

Ms S Harvey

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

[1][email address]

01395 571659

[2]www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

 

 

Follow us on [3]Facebook and [4]Twitter

[5]Subscribe to your East Devon Update for regular news and information
about what’s happening at East Devon District Council. Choose which topics
you’re interested in to get a personalised update.

[6]Email disclaimer

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/
3. http://www.facebook.com/eastdevon
4. http://twitter.com/eastdevon
5. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/...
6. http://eastdevon.gov.uk/help/email-discl...

Dear FOI EDDC,
Dear Sara,
thanks for your timely and informative partial reply.
Please note that I will not be emailing Henry Gordon Lennox as this is a facility to provide public transparency.
Could you please advise me of the following, linked to my original questions:

1. Did the MO follow all correct procedures in making these appointments?
Please clarify all steps taken to ensure due diligence in terms of qualifications, competence, independence and value for money.
In respect of the July appointments and other matters which the MO and the chair of standards are aware of, did the MO consult with any other person before continuing with these appointments?
What are the council’s procedures for protecting against unconscious bias or even the perception of unconscious bias? For example in 2012 Cllr Wragg gave truthful evidence to Mr Darsley but was disbelieved by him. Within a short time she was the subject of two investigations using him. What possible confidence could she have had of subsequent fairness from him? Her protestations are a matter of public record. Surely those those responsible at EDDC have learned from this.
Please state the cost or terms of these investigations, and whether other investigators were invited to quote.
Please advise how many councillors and how many officers have been complained against, and have any been the subject of multiple complaints? If you could clarify any patterns that would be helpful, particularly where that might lead to a situation where there is a possibility of a perception of unconscious bias.

3&4. EDDC should hold this information in order to demonstrate that it has performed due diligence regarding independence and the prevention of a perception of unconscious bias.

5. Please give the legal basis for the 6 year period. Act and clauses so that my barrister can make a simple check. My understanding is that a 15 year period is required.
Most organisations providing or purchasing a service from an outside provider give feedback forms to monitor performance and satisfaction. Do neither Mr Darsley or EDDC do this?
I refer to formal representations regarding the fairness or competence of findings. There are numerous examples in the public record.
There is at least one case with significant subsequent correspondence never replied to by Mr Darsley or the former MO.
I am happy to receive anything you have readily available but would request you proactively add any more which comes to light.
Please treat this as a request for a public response.
Any internal review would need to be carried out independently of the monitoring officer or anyone influenced by him because this concerns his performance of his duties.
Also it would be inappropriate for the chief executive or anyone influenced by him to be involved as he is a subject of the other matters referred to above.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hawkins

FOI EDDC, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Hawkins,

 

Thank you for your email. It is noted that you have requested an internal
review but you have not identified what it is about the information given
that does not answer the questions you asked and what you therefore want
reviewed. Please can you provide this detail.

 

You are also now asking further questions that go beyond the scope of your
original request. You will need to submit a new request for this
information. That said, it should be noted that you are in part asking for
explanation or clarification which falls outside of the scope of the
Freedom of Information Act which only relates to information held by the
authority. Given the questions you are asking, it really is best if you
liaise with the Monitoring Officer who will be happy to help deal with
your queries. He has confirmed that he would have no issue with you
publishing that correspondence in the public domain if you so wished.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sara

 

Ms S Harvey

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

[1][email address]

01395 571659

[2]www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

 

From: Mark Hawkins [mailto:[FOI #676531 email]]
Sent: 12 August 2020 11:36
To: FOI EDDC <[East Devon District Council request email]>
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Use of
Independent Investigators.

 

Dear FOI EDDC,
Dear Sara,
thanks for your timely and informative partial reply.
Please note that I will not be emailing Henry Gordon Lennox as this is a
facility to provide public transparency.
Could you please advise me of the following, linked to my original
questions:

1. Did the MO follow all correct procedures in making these appointments?
Please clarify all steps taken to ensure due diligence in terms of
qualifications, competence, independence and value for money.
In respect of the July appointments and other matters which the MO and the
chair of standards are aware of, did the MO consult with any other person
before continuing with these appointments?
What are the council’s procedures for protecting against unconscious bias
or even the perception of unconscious bias? For example in 2012 Cllr Wragg
gave truthful evidence to Mr Darsley but was disbelieved by him. Within a
short time she was the subject of two investigations using him. What
possible confidence could she have had of subsequent fairness from him?
Her protestations are a matter of public record. Surely those those
responsible at EDDC have learned from this.
Please state the cost or terms of these investigations, and whether other
investigators were invited to quote.
Please advise how many councillors and how many officers have been
complained against, and have any been the subject of multiple complaints?
If you could clarify any patterns that would be helpful, particularly
where that might lead to a situation where there is a possibility of a
perception of unconscious bias.

3&4. EDDC should hold this information in order to demonstrate that it has
performed due diligence regarding independence and the prevention of a
perception of unconscious bias.

5. Please give the legal basis for the 6 year period. Act and clauses so
that my barrister can make a simple check. My understanding is that a 15
year period is required.
Most organisations providing or purchasing a service from an outside
provider give feedback forms to monitor performance and satisfaction. Do
neither Mr Darsley or EDDC do this?
I refer to formal representations regarding the fairness or competence of
findings. There are numerous examples in the public record.
There is at least one case with significant subsequent correspondence
never replied to by Mr Darsley or the former MO.
I am happy to receive anything you have readily available but would
request you proactively add any more which comes to light.
Please treat this as a request for a public response.
Any internal review would need to be carried out independently of the
monitoring officer or anyone influenced by him because this concerns his
performance of his duties.
Also it would be inappropriate for the chief executive or anyone
influenced by him to be involved as he is a subject of the other matters
referred to above.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hawkins

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI EDDC,
Dear Sara,
thanks for this. I wasn’t actually requesting an internal review just making a point in case you decided it was necessary.
Clarification is all I was seeking.
So I will try to restrict myself to matters where you should have information related to the initial request.
Please clarify the cost of the current (2020) investigations.
Please clarify any steps taken to ensure value for money for these services.
Please clarify any other due diligence undertaken before making these appointments.
Please thank also Mr Gordon-Lennox for his advance permission to publish our correspondence. Since I have been waiting over a month for his response to the other matter and particularly with regard to clarifications requested before further appointment of Mr Darsley I am not overly optimistic of a prompt conclusion.
However I accept his offer in good faith and with an open mind.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hawkins

FOI EDDC, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Hawkins,

 

Thank you for your email. I will have to log a new FOI request as you are
requesting new information. You have asked for clarification and as we
have already advised clarification falls outside of the scope of FOI.

 

The below will need to reworded for example: ‘Please provide the cost of
the current (2020) investigations which have been referred to Independent
Investigation.’

 

Please clarify the cost of the current (2020) investigations.
Please clarify any steps taken to ensure value for money for these
services.
Please clarify any other due diligence undertaken before making these
appointments.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sara

 

Ms S Harvey

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

[1][email address]

01395 571659

[2]www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

 

From: Mark Hawkins [mailto:[FOI #676531 email]]
Sent: 13 August 2020 09:48
To: FOI EDDC <[East Devon District Council request email]>
Subject: Re: EDDC Response to your Internal review of Freedom of
Information request - Use of Independent Investigators.

 

Dear FOI EDDC,
Dear Sara,
thanks for this. I wasn’t actually requesting an internal review just
making a point in case you decided it was necessary.
Clarification is all I was seeking.
So I will try to restrict myself to matters where you should have
information related to the initial request.
Please clarify the cost of the current (2020) investigations.
Please clarify any steps taken to ensure value for money for these
services.
Please clarify any other due diligence undertaken before making these
appointments.
Please thank also Mr Gordon-Lennox for his advance permission to publish
our correspondence. Since I have been waiting over a month for his
response to the other matter and particularly with regard to
clarifications requested before further appointment of Mr Darsley I am not
overly optimistic of a prompt conclusion.
However I accept his offer in good faith and with an open mind.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hawkins

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywMark Hawkins mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.