2008/9 Service Charges: Technical Services

The request was partially successful.

Dear Tower Hamlets Homes Limited,

With respect to the 2008/9 Service Charge actuals, I request the sets of actuals for all technical services. This must include dates, specifications, costs, and inspection data.

I am asking via WhatDoTheyKnow.com to save you time in future. If you supply this information to me in public, then you can point other leaseholders who request the same information to it.

Please provide tables, particularly very big ones, in an electronic format that preserves both the machine-readable and human readable information. Tables, for example, could be in XML, CSV, or Open Document spreadsheet formats. This should also take less time for you to prepare: you presumably already have the information on computers. WhatDoTheyKnow.com lets you upload files.

In the long run, I encourage you to provide this data on your website. Data.gov.uk has information for public bodies about releasing data:
http://data.gov.uk/resources

Yours faithfully,

Ian McDonald

Rupna Khanam, Tower Hamlets Homes Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

Thank you for your email.

Your request is being considered and if the information is held you will
receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20
working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to
the information not being exempt.

If the time taken to meet your request is likely to exceed 18 hours, we
will contact you and ask you amend your request to bring it below this
time limit. We will assist you with suggestions of how this might be
achieved.

I may also contact you if the request needs to be clarified; this is to
ensure that we provide you with the information you require.

Please note that some information you have requested may not be provided
to you; this will only be information that can be withheld by law. In
most cases the reasons will be explained to you along with your copy of
any information that can be released to you.

Yours faithfully,

Jane Jones

Information Governance Administrative Officer

Legal Services

6th Floor

Mulberry Place

London E14 2BG

0207 364 4736

[1][email address]

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Dear Rupna Khanam,

Mike Tighe requested clarification on this request in response to another:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/20...

As you are the only person who has formally replied at the address given in the request, you are technically the only person who has responded for THH, so I am replying to you.

Mike asked to which estate and block this request refers. It refers to all of them.

I think that asking for all estates and blocks is the most efficient and open thing to do. You already hold the data electronically. Exporting for all estates and blocks should be no more work than exporting it for one. As I said initially, you can point other leaseholders who request the same information to this response.

Please pass this on to Michael Tighe and other colleagues as needed.

Yours sincerely,

Ian McDonald

Dear Tower Hamlets Homes Limited,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Tower Hamlets Homes Limited's handling of my FOI request '2008/9 Service Charges: Technical Services'.

I was informed almost two months ago by Michael Tighe that Geoff
Payne was compiling the information for a separate FoI request.
I think Michael meant that he was compiling the information for
this request also.

Michael Tighe wrote "We endeavour to answer all FOI requests within
20 working days, however in certain cases, this may take slightly
longer." I remind you that your legal obligation is not to
endeavour to answer within 20 days, but to answer.

Naturally (and without prejudice), I would not be asking you for an
internal review if answering had taken "slightly longer". But this
request was clarified on May 1 (after being made on Feb 27), so is
long overdue.

This information would help make THH's work
more transparent to its tenants and leaseholders, so I look forward
to your answer.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/20...

Yours faithfully,

Ian McDonald

Tim Rodgers, Tower Hamlets Homes Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr McDonald,
Please find attached an aggregated response to your three requests under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I am sorry for the protracted delay in responding to your requests, and
that ultimately we will not be providing you with the information to the
detail you have requested.

Thanks,
Tim Rodgers
Information Governance Manager
Legal Services
Chief Executives Department
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Phone: 0207 364 4354
[mobile number]
Fax: 0207 364 4804
E-mail: [1][email address]
Website: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk
6th Floor, Town Hall, 5 Mulberry Place,
London E14 2BG

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Dear Tower Hamlets Homes Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews. From the response, I believe that is the corporate complaints unit.

I am writing to request an internal review of Tower Hamlets Homes Limited's handling of my FOI request '2008/9 Service Charges: Technical Services'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/20...

Assuming you reply to my address for response, as you should, then your reply will also be listed there. This will help any other member of the public interested in the same information.

The answer did not include dates, specifications, costs, or inspection data.

If LBTH are practising good record keeping, it will be trivial to provide an exported spreadsheet listing every single invoice which could be broken down by type and block. This is a fantastic chance to open up in a way that could help explain running an estate to tenants and leaseholders.

Instead, the answer merely collated every single line item and invoice into three headings. It was not even divided into communal and tenanted technical services.

Tim Rodgers cited no exemptions for this, but simply did not give the information requested.

Please contact me for clarification if you are not clear about any of my questions. If you think my request has been formulated badly, please offer help and assistance as section 17 requires. If you do claim an exemption, to keep things clearer please do not collate your response to this appeal with any others.

Please supply the information I requested.

Yours faithfully,

Ian McDonald

Corporate Complaints, Tower Hamlets Homes Limited

Dear Mr McDonald

I was sorry to hear of your concerns.

I have passed your complaint to Jill Bell in Legal Services, asking that
a full investigation takes place on my behalf under Stage 3 of the
Council's Complaints Procedure.

http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgsl/351-...
x

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Sent of Behalf of

Kevan Collins
Chief Executive

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Ruth Dowden, Tower Hamlets Homes Limited

Dear Mr McDonald

Re: FW: 2775 Stage 3 Complaint 1-48964266- FOI Mr I McDonald

I am writing to confirm that I arranged for Jill Bell Head of Legal
Services (Environment) to deal with your request made to Tower Hamlet
Homes Limited on 9^th September 2010 for an internal review of the
handling of your FOI request regarding 2008/9 Service Charges Management
Fee. As requested this response is being posted on the whatdotheyknow
website rather than sent to you direct.

The point that you made in your request is that the answer to your
question collated all the line items into three headings. You have now
confirmed that you would like dates, specifications, costs and inspection
data.

That represents a large volume of data which is held in numerous documents
To collate this would exceed the 18 hours referred to by Jane Jones in her
email of 2^nd March 2010.

As you have already mentioned, Section 16 gives us a duty to provide
advice and assistance. In the light of that I would invite you to refine
your request for example you could request details of all the items which
contributed to the figures which were collated to provide the previous
response. The addition of the specifications and inspection data are the
items which would take this over the 18 hour time limit.

Please confirm if you are content to refine your request or clarify what
information you require.

Sent on behalf of

Kevan Collins, Chief Executive

by
Ruth Dowden
Corporate Complaints Manager
Mulberry Place (AH)
5 Clove Crescent
London
E14 2 BG

020 7364 4162

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Dear Ruth Dowden,

Thank you for your assistance in refining the request.

I disagree that I "have now confirmed" what was in my original request. The original request was clear. There was no scope in law for Tim Rodgers to effectively ignore my request, answering a different question, until I request a second internal review.

But in the interests of avoiding further delay, I shall adjust my request to remove the specifications and inspection data.

Thus, I request the sets of actuals for all technical services. This should include dates, costs, location, and a meaningful description that at least says what (eg repair, replace, investigate) was done to what (eg door, window, roof) and where.

As that is the information yo would need to collate to put together the actuals, I am hoping that it is already collated and is convenient for THH to provide.

Yours sincerely,

Ian McDonald

Redouane Serroukh, Tower Hamlets Homes Limited

Dear Ian McDonald,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000_IGT_FOI_11_3628 - 2008/9 Service Charges
Management Fee

The Council has decided that your request for information dated 31th
October 2010 will not be processed on grounds of cost.

It is estimated that the cost of locating and retrieving the information
requested calculated according to the government's Freedom of Information
(Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004 would cost approximately
£875 which is in excess of the upper limit of £450 set in the
Regulations.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 this letter acts as
a Refusal Notice.

You may wish to refine and resubmit your request so that it reduces the
cost to below this upper limit. Your request is still for all the
properties and the specifics of the technical service provided to each
property. The information you have requested is not stored together in one
place and therefore still takes a considerable amount of time to collate.
You may wish to reduce your request by requesting total amounts spent or
specifying particular areas or projects.

I am sorry that your request is not being met on this occasion.

Yours sincerely,

Redouane Serroukh
Information Governance Officer

Performance, Research & Statistics
Strategy, Partnerships and Performance

Children, Schools and Families Directorate
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Mulberry Place
5 Clover Crescent
London E14 2BG

Tel: 0207 364 6570
Email: [1][email address]

You have the right to complain about this decision. Since this has already
been the topic of a complaint, which the council has already provided a
response to, if you are still unsatisfied with this response then you have
the right to appeal to the independent Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Further information about the operation of the Act is available from the
Council's website [3]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk and the information leaflet
in public reception areas in Council buildings.

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Ian McDonald left an annotation ()

Two points for ICO attention:

Firstly, Ruth Dowden said it would be within costs if I removed the inspection and specification data. So I did.

Redouane Serroukh then rejected it, saying I had included 'specifics' (in fact the bare minimum for each line item).

My second point is that THH presumably located and retrieved this information when they put service charges together. The estimate therefore seems too high - unless, of course, the service charges were not properly based on technical services actually delivered.

Tim Rodgers, Tower Hamlets Homes Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Dr McDonald,

As directed by the Information Commissioner (FS50369381), Tower
Hamlets Homes Ltd have reconsidered your request and some
additional information is attached.

Firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to
this particular decision notice. I had erroneously believed that I
had answered these when dealing with the other two Decision Notices
from the ICO.

Concerning the individual costs of repair jobs, THH wish to
maintain that the disclosure of these amounts would prejudice the
commercial interests of Tower Hamlets Homes in seeking best value
for tenants and leaseholders and, as such, regard the information
as exempt under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000. This email, therefore, constitutes a Refusal Notice under the
Act, and should you wish to appeal against this decision, please
contact the Corporate Complaints team (or alternatively, invoke the
internal review procedure through the WhatDoTheyKnow.com website).

Tim Rodgers Deputy Complaints and Information Manager London
Borough of Tower Hamlets on behalf of Tower Hamlets Homes Ltd

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