Dear Mr Reynolds

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry you are unhappy with my colleague's response to your request for information (copy attached).
<<FOI/10/0343 - CFE Response to request received 22 March>>
The purpose of an internal review is to investigate and ascertain whether the public authority, in this case KCC, has complied with Freedom of Information legislation, namely to confirm or deny that whether KCC holds the information requested, and if it does, to supply it to you within 20-working days subject to any exemptions to disclosure that may apply. Therefore, on behalf of the interim Chief Executive, I have revisited your request to see if KCC has satisfied its obligations under the Act.

As your request was received on Monday 22nd March, you should have received a reply as soon as possible but in any event, no later than 21st April. The response to your request was not emailed to you until 4th May so I accept that KCC failed to comply with statutory timescales on this occasion and I therefore uphold this element of your complaint and offer my sincere apologies on behalf of the Council.

With regard to whether KCC complied with your request, you asked for a copy or summary of the serious case review (Q1). Ms Hunt explained to you where on the KSCB website you could find the Executive Summary. I have followed the links she provided and concur with you that there is no mention of Tiffany's (alias "Brooke") Serious Case Review on the KSCB website and that web links do indeed appear to be missing or broken. However, as she provided a copy of the Serious Case Review Summary anyway, it would appear to me that this element of your request has been satisfied. Steps have been taken to ensure that the KSCB website is corrected.

You asked for a further details about the "human error" mentioned in a quote you'd provided (Q2). Ms Hunt advised you that the information to answer this is contained within the Serious Case Review Summary which it is. However, for clarity, please see the bullet points on page 7.

You queried the validity/accuracy of statements made by Rosalind Turner regarding Mr Sellman's caution (Qs 3 & 4) as they appeared to differ from other sources of information which suggested he'd previously been convicted. Again, Ms Hunt directed you to the relevant section of the Serious Case Review Summary namely section 2, third bullet point, which says :

Both Mr S and his partner accepted cautions for charges of neglect; neither parent was prosecuted on charges of physical assault following representations from Cafcass to the Crown Prosecution Service.

This explains where Ms Turner obtained her information from, and the rationale for her comments to the media which were based on this information, so again I conclude that these elements of your request have also been satisfied.

The fact that you do not believe that the information held by KCC relating to Mr Sellman's background is correct I am afraid falls outside the scope of an FOI review.

You asked for the procedure or protocol that should have been followed by the social worker had they not made a "human error" (Q5). Ms Hunt referred you to the Kent Safeguarding Children Board Procedures 2009 on the KSCB website and this document can actually be found on there quite easily (go to - click on the Policies & Procedures link on the left hand side of the page). However, for clarity, I have provided a direct link to the actual document, please see section 6, Referral and Assessment. Please note that as this manual is 474 pages, it will take quite a time to load up.

You asked for the procedure or protocol should a family member report concerns (Q6). Again, Ms Hunt referred you to the above manual. For clarity, please see  section 4.6, Referrals from Public to Agencies.

With regard to the final three elements of your request (Qs 7, 8 & 9), Ms Hunt provided a comprehensive explanation as to why details are kept confidential and referred to guidance issued by the Department for Children, Schools & Families on how to conduct a serious case reviews as well as refer to the DCSF website where it can be found. I have attached a copy now for your ease of reference.

I therefore consider that KCC has fully satisfied your request for information by providing you with answers to all nine questions using the information it holds and has supplied copies of all relevant policies and procedures where applicable. The Act does not place any obligation on KCC to create information to satisfy requests.

I trust that this explanation now satisfies your complaint. However, if you are still unhappy with the decision, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the Information Commissioner’s website or you can phone the ICO Helpline on 08456 30 60 60.

Best regards

Caroline Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Coordinator, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room B.48, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 221652 - Fax: 01622 696075 

-----Original Message-----
From: kreynolds []
Sent: 08 May 2010 00:13
To: Freedom of Information - CED
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - serious case review - Tiffany Sellman Burdge

     Dear Kent County Council,
     Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
     Information reviews.
     I am writing to request an internal review of Kent County Council's
     handling of my FOI request 'serious case review - Tiffany Sellman
     Getting down to the nitty gritty let’s go “back to basics” as our
     old PM John Major would say.
     Re my questions that is 3) which were as follows:
     In an interview conducted on BBC News found here: you claim
     “children had been removed from his care for neglect” – this is the
     first thing you say. You follow this up with “the trouble was there
     was no conviction as I say”. But all newspaper reports suggest two
     convictions one for ABH and a second being caution for child
     cruelty. Can you explain how “the trouble is there was no
     conviction as I say”? It would appear according to police records
     there is a conviction so were you still unaware of this when you
     did this interview or are you simply trying to mislead the public?
     And No.4 which was as follows: At 02:45 in this interview Ms
     Rosalind Turner again claims the
     man has no conviction. Is this statement correct? I have read
     various newspapers and claim the man has two convictions so is this
     statement not highly misleading, dishonest and fraudulent?
     I must respond to this. Ms Turner does not mention this man’s
     convictions in a news report to the BBC. I fail to see how she can
     mislead the public like this. It is quite clearly stated the
     problem is “the man has no conviction as I say”. Please watch the
     news report and get back to me with an answer. It is stated very
     clearly and in a quite robust/arrogant type fashion “that the
     trouble is the man had no conviction as I say” or words to those
     effect. The independent report to my knowledge states the man was
     not just cautioned but additionally convicted for a serious violent
     assault on a family member. So why did Rosalind Turner seek to
     cover this information up in her interview to the BBC when it is
     quite clear the man has prior convictions? That is dishonest and my
     question has not been answered or addressed. Please explain why
     Rosalind Turner Director of Kent Children services believes that
     this gentleman has “no conviction as I say?” This is a dishonest
     pack of lies.
     Question 5: In your justification of the councils conduct you use
     the term
     “human error” to explain why the concerns were not noted on the
     system or acted upon. For the purposes of clarify if the social
     worker had not made a “human error” what procedure or protocol
     would that social worker have followed in Kent?
     My Response
     This KCSB website is an absolute shambles everything you click on
     is a broken link. I asked you for the Kent County Council procedure
     not a link to a website domain. Please provide the information
     requested. I have no interest in website domains, I want to know
     what the procedure is. Answer the question!
     A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
     available on the Internet at this address:
     Yours faithfully,
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