Usman Roohani barrister

Deb Williams made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Maidstone Borough Council

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Mae'r ymateb i'r cais hwn yn hwyr iawn. Yn ôl y gyfraith, ym mhob amgylchiad, dylai Maidstone Borough Council fod wedi ymateb erbyn hyn. (manylion). Gallwch gwyno drwy yn gofyn am adolygiad mewnol.

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

On how many occasions has Maidstone Borough Council instructed Usman Roohani a barrister from Hardwicke Chambers.

Has Maidstone Borough Council instructed him either directly or indirectly on 23 December 2019 to carry out any work on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council.

Has Maidstone Borough Council been invoiced for any work carried out by this barrister, please provide the amount and date on the invoice and the type of work.

If you have instructed any other barristers from Hardwicke Chambers or any other barrister to attend any hearings on your behalf on 11 February 2021, provide their details.

If any have been instructed indirectly, please confirm who receives the client care letter from the barrister the Council or your agent.

Please confirm if you have either directly or indirectly instructed and/or paid either J E Baring & Co partnership solicitors firm or their company J E Baring Limited to attend a hearing on the 11 February 2021 or instructed them to instruct counsel on your behalf.

Yours faithfully,

Deb Williams

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Deb Williams

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Ref: FOI 3761

Thank you for your request for information. We will endeavour to provide our response within statutory timescales. However, please be aware that the Council is currently facing increased pressures due to COVID-19. The Information Commissioner has released guidance to help us through this difficult time which can be found here. It allows for a more measured approach in handling FOI requests, should it be needed.

After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

FOI Team
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602640 w www.maidstone.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

This FOIA request is due by tomorrow do you have an answer?

Yours sincerely,

Deb Williams

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Date: 02/03/2021

Ref: FOI/3761

 

 

Dear Deb Williams

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

To access our digital services please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/service
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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Are Maidstone Borough Council in the habit of giving out false information?

1.How is it possible that Maidstone Borough Council do not hold this information when you have previously stated on 23.8.2019 that you have never instructed any barristers from Hardwicke Chambers to represent Maidstone Borough Council and stated on 12.11.2019 that you have never instructed and paid any of the partners from the solicitor partnership firm that Maidstone Borough Council has a £40,000 contract with, on any of the following dates 12 February 2019, 22 March 2019, 4 June 2019, 17 October 2019?

2.How is it possible that Maidstone Borough Council does not know that barristers from Hardwicke Chambers have attended these previous hearing dates on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council and carried out work for Maidstone Borough Council on 23 December 2019 ?

3.Was this work carried out on behalf of the Council on these previous dates by these barristers through your external solicitors company J E Baring Ltd or through their partnership firm?

4.What precise date did Maidstone a Borough Council instruct your external solicitors, for the hearing on 11 February 2021 and which of their legal entities did you instruct these solicitors through the partnership or their company J E Baring Ltd ?

5.Did your external solicitors instruct Sarah Clarke barrister at Hardwicke Chambers for the 11 February 2021 hearing and was she instructed through their company J E Baring Ltd or their partnership?

Yours sincerely,

Deb Williams

Gadawodd Deb Williams anodiad ()

Why would Maidstone Borough Council want to conceal which legal entities they have instructed their external solicitors through, either the partnership or the company J E BARING LTD?

And that barristers from Hardwicke Chambers have attended previous hearings and carried out work on Maidstone Borough Council's behalf?

Is it because they have previously stated in the negative as to this solicitors partnership acting in pre-hearings and later instructed them for the actual hearing on 11 February 2021 through their company ?

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Maidstone Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Usman Roohani barrister'.

Please treat the reply to your answers both sent 2 March 2021 as a request for an internal review and prior to this FOIR being forwarded onto the ICO. Maidstone Borough Council are required to know who is acting and carrying out work on their behalf and are supposed to provide transparent services.

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

Yours faithfully,

Deb Williams

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 04/03/2021
Ref: FOI/3761
 
 
Dear Deb Williams
 
Thank you for your request for an internal review. I have passed this on
to Mid Kent Legal Services to review your request and the response. You
will receive a response within 20 working days.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. [1]https://ico.org.uk/
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [2][email address] w [3]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Deb Williams
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST
 
Ref: FOI/4037
 
Thank you for your request for information, this is being dealt with as a
new FOI request. We will endeavour to provide our response within
statutory timescales. However, please be aware that the Council is
currently facing increased pressures due to COVID-19.  The Information
Commissioner has released guidance to help us through this difficult time
which can be found [1]here.  It allows for a more measured approach in
handling FOI requests, should it be needed.
 
After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the
information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For
details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s
website:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
FOI Team
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
w [3]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gary Rowland,

Dear Deb Williams

 

Review of FOI #3761 – Usman Roohani Barrister

 

I have considered your request for review, dated 2 March 2021, of your
original request dated 2 February 2021.

 

Your request for review stated:

 

Are Maidstone Borough Council in the habit of giving out false
information?

 

1.How is it possible that Maidstone Borough Council do not hold this
information when you have previously stated on 23.8.2019 that you have
never instructed any barristers from Hardwicke Chambers to represent
Maidstone Borough Council and stated on 12.11.2019 that you have never
instructed and paid any of the partners from the  solicitor partnership
firm that Maidstone Borough Council has a £40,000 contract with, on any of
the following dates 12 February 2019, 22 March 2019, 4 June 2019, 17
October 2019?

 

2.How is it possible that Maidstone Borough Council does not know that
barristers from Hardwicke Chambers have attended these previous hearing
dates on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council and carried out work for
Maidstone Borough Council on 23 December 2019?

 

3.Was this work carried out on behalf of the Council on these previous
dates by these barristers through your external solicitors company J E
Baring Ltd or through their partnership firm?

 

4.What precise date did Maidstone a Borough Council instruct your external
solicitors, for the hearing on 11 February 2021 and which of their legal
entities did you instruct  these solicitors through the partnership  or
their company J E Baring Ltd?

 

5.Did your external solicitors instruct Sarah Clarke barrister at
Hardwicke Chambers  for the 11 February 2021 hearing and was she 
instructed through their company J E Baring Ltd or their partnership?

 

Your initial request asked for the following information:

 

On how many occasions has Maidstone Borough Council instructed Usman
Roohani a barrister from Hardwicke Chambers.

 

Has Maidstone Borough Council instructed him either directly or indirectly
on 23 December 2019 to carry out any work on behalf of Maidstone Borough
Council.

 

Has Maidstone Borough Council been invoiced for any work carried out by
this barrister, please provide the amount and date on the invoice and the
type of work.

 

If you have instructed any other barristers from Hardwicke Chambers or any
other barrister to attend any hearings on your behalf on 11 February 2021,
provide their details.

 

If any have been instructed indirectly, please confirm who receives the
client care letter from the barrister the Council or your agent.

 

Please confirm if you have either directly or indirectly instructed and/or
paid either J E Baring & Co partnership solicitors firm or their company J
E Baring Limited to attend a hearing on the 11 February 2021 or instructed
them to instruct  counsel on your behalf.

 

The Council issued the following response:

 

On how many occasions has Maidstone Borough Council instructed Usman
Roohani a barrister from Hardwicke Chambers.

We do not hold this information.

Has Maidstone Borough Council instructed him either directly or indirectly
on 23 December 2019 to carry out any work on behalf of Maidstone Borough
Council.

We do not hold this information.

Has Maidstone Borough Council been invoiced for any work carried out by
this barrister, please provide the amount and date on the invoice and the
type of work.

We do not hold this information.

If you have instructed any other barristers from Hardwicke Chambers or any
other barrister to attend any hearings on your behalf on 11 February 2021,
provide their details.

We do not hold this information.

If any have been instructed indirectly, please confirm who receives the
client care letter from the barrister the Council or your agent.

We do not hold this information.

Please confirm if you have either directly or indirectly instructed and/or
paid either J E Baring & Co partnership solicitors firm or their company J
E Baring Limited to attend a hearing on the 11 February 2021 or instructed
them to instruct counsel on your behalf.

Yes.

 

Response

 

I have reviewed your initial request along with the Council’s subsequent
response. Following my review, I can confirm that I uphold the Council’s
response.

 

The Council holds no information in relation to either instructing a
barrister named Usman Roohani or any other barrister from Hardwicke
Chambers. Therefore I agree with the responses provided. I also agree that
the final question was answered satisfactorily.

 

Please note that my review has been carried out in relation to your
initial request. Your request for review contains further questions which
I have passed back to the FOI team to deal with as a subsequent request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Gary Rowland

Senior Lawyer (GCILEx) - Corporate Governance

Mid Kent Legal Services | Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough
Councils

Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10
3HT

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Civic Way, Tunbridge Wells,
TN1 1RS

Tel: (01622) 602276   Email: [1][email address]

[2]www.swale.gov.uk     
[3]www.maidstone.gov.uk       [4]www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk

 

The contents of this e-mail, together with any attachments, may be
confidential or subject to legal professional privilege.  It should not be
shared with anyone without first consulting Mid Kent Legal Services. 

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References

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2. http://www.swale.gov.uk/
3. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/
4. http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/

Gadawodd Deb Williams anodiad ()

How is it possible that Maidstone Borough Council do not know or hold the information regarding who has been paid to act or carry out work on their behalf?

Wouldn't this be classed as concealment and warrant further investigation by the authorities that are supposed to hold them to account and ensure they provide transparent services, or are council's immune from nvestigation?

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Date: 30/03/2021

Ref: FOI/4037

 

 

Dear Deb Williams

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

To access our digital services please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/service
Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email https//maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

We understand the importance of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of individuals are upheld.

We are required to collect, use and hold personal data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council, our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies.

To view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection

This email is confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by email immediately.
Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council.
Unless a purchase order is attached this email is not a contract or an order.
It is your responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/

Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Thank you for confirming that Maidstone Borough Council does not have a contract that is required to be signed by both parties to the contract regarding £40,000 of Public Funds being paid for outsourced legal services and have previously stated Maidstone Borough Council has not requested or instructed any external service providers either solicitors or barristers for any legal services to be provided on the following dates and has previously said no barristers from Hardwicke Chambers have ever been instructed to attend or carry out any work on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council on any of these dates.

Are you saying that they were instructed to carry on work on behalf of your partnership agency Mid-Kent Services previously called Mid Kent Improvement Partnership(MKIP) on these dates, if so provide a copy of their arrangement.

12 February 2019
22 March 2019
4 June 2019
17 October 2019

Maidstone Borough Council can not conceal what legal entity you have instructed these barristers through and on which dates including 11 February 2021 and for what purpose because this would be classed as deception and concealment when you are paying out Public Funds and you must state whether this instruction was through your external outsourced solicitors partnership and/or their company.

These outsourced solicitors are believed to have been instructed through your partnership agency MID-KENT SERVICES previously MKIP, and Maidstone Borough Council must know who they have instructed to act on your behalf on these dates and are paying £40,000 of Public Funds to.

Although you claim there is no contract there must be an arrangement and you are required to be both open and transparent according to Maidstone Borough Council Commissioning & Procurement Strategy below and can not conceal which legal entities you have been paying public funds to or for what services.

Have Maidstone Borough Council been paying public funds for legal services on the above dates to an external partnership and/or a company?

'First of many MKIP joint tender exercises undertaken; MKIP forward tender plan developed.

Openness and transparency of procurement process - We will demonstrate a commitment to achieving propriety through properly documented plans, assessments and open processes involving all stakeholders. This is particularly important in an environment of growing accountability and responsibility and in our position as a receiver of PUBLIC FUNDS we have a special responsibility to operate honestly and fairly....

https://maidstone.gov.uk/__data/assets/p...

Yours sincerely,

Deb Williams