ACPO contracts

Ganesh Sittampalam made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Sir or Madam,

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa... lists the funding given to ACPO from 2006-2009. For each of these entries, please supply a copy of any contracts or other agreements or documents detailing precisely what the funding is for. If this would breach the cost limit, please supply this for as many of the entries as you can, starting from the first one and working down.

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Sir or Madam,

I note that you have not acknowledged receipt of this request. Please could you do so immediately as I understand from the ICO that you have been claiming not to have received some emails sent in relation to my previous request on this subject.

If you have lost the original email, you can find a copy of my request, which was submitted on 21st October, at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ac...

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

CTS Public enquiry account 1, Home Office

Mr Sittampalam

We have received your enquiry and a response will be sent to you within
twenty working days.

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear CTS Public enquiry account 1,

Your response is now overdue...

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Home Office

1 Attachment

Reference : T18448/9

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 21/10/2009 7:45:40 AM

A reply is attached.

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Sir or Madam,

The word document you have sent me seems to be corrupt and I cannot read it directly. I was able to make out some of the text in it (using a text editor), and it seems that you don't consider my request as valid as it does not explicitly list what information I am requesting. If so, I disagree with this opinion and request an internal review of it.

Even if my request is not valid under the act, it is clear that you could have provided advice and assistance for refining my request by telling me how far down the list you would be able to get within the costs limit. To phrase it another way, there are 29 entries in that list, which means there are 29 possible requests I could make for the first "n" entries in that list, with n ranging from 1 to 29 inclusive. Which of those 29 requests would fall within the costs limits and which wouldn't?

I am also unhappy with the delay in your response to my request, which comes on top of the repeated delays to my original request, and I do not consider that you have provided an adequate explanation. Given the trivial nature of your response, even had it come at the end of the 20 day period, it would not have been "prompt". Why precisely did it happen and what assurances are you able to provide that it will not happen again?

Please acknowledge this internal review request immediately as I am aware that you have claimed to the ICO not to have received such requests in the past.

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

CTS Public enquiry account 1, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Sir

Apologies. Please find attached the final reply to your enquiry.

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear CTS Public enquiry account 1,

Thank you. My internal review request still stands, please acknowledge it immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Information Access, Home Office

Dear Mr Sittampalam

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 1 December in which you ask for an internal
review to be carried out into the handling of your request for information
about Home Office grants to ACPO.

 

I have been asked to carry out the review and hope to reply to you no
later than 29 January.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Steve Kirk

 

Information Access Team

Information Management Service

Financial and Commercial Group

Ground Floor (NW), Seacole Building

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Information Access,

Is 40 working days your standard target, or is there some specific reason that you expect this case to take longer than 20 working days?

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Information Access, Home Office

 

 

 

Dear Mr Sittampalam

 

Thank you for your further e-mail.

 

I can confirm that the target date I gave you for us to reply to your
request for an internal review is our standard one.

 

I hope to be able to send you a full reply by 29 January.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Steve Kirk

 

 

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Information Access, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sittampalam

 

Please see attached our reply to your recent request for an internal
review to be conducted into the handling of your request for information
about grants provided to the Association of Chief Police Officers.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Steve Kirk

 

Information Access Team

Information Management Service

Financial and Commercial Group

Ground Floor (NW), Seacole Building

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

 

I am writing regarding your FOI request regarding Home Office grants to
ACPO.

 

I regret to inform you that, due to the complexity of the request, we are
going to be unable to provide you with the relevant information by 11
February. We will extend the deadline by a week and aim to respond by 18
February 2010.

 

I apologise for any inconvenience, and thank you for your continued
interest in the Home Office.

 

Kind regards,

Mr B Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

It's now over a week after the 18th. What is happening?

If you are having this much trouble releasing a small number of contracts with one organisation, what will you do if the Conservatives win power and implement their policy to publish all public sector contracts?

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Collins Benedict, Home Office

I am on annual leave on Friday 26 February.

Please contact Brian Cox (x1948) in relation to Freedom of Information or
the Police Authority Regulations or Claire McCombie (x1942) for Police
Authority Inspection, if the matter is urgent.

Regards,
Benedict Collins

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

I am sorry about the delay in answering your request, particularly
having missed the revised deadline. I can assure you that it is still
being actively worked on and we will respond as soon as we can.

I am afraid that I cannot comment on the policies of political parties.

Kind regards,
Benedict Collins
Police Reform Unit
Policing Portfolio & Governance Team
0207 035 1896

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

Please can you provide a progress update?

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr. Sittampalam,

Certainly. The recovered documents are currently being reviewed in line
with any potential exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act
(which is not to say that any have at this stage been exempted, but it
is a process that has to be performed). Due to the cross-cutting nature
of these agreements, this is taking longer than it might normally.

Please bear with us while we go through all the necessary procedures
prior to release and publication on our website, and accept my apologies
once again for the ongoing delays.

Kind regards,
Benedict Collins
Police Reform Unit
Policing Portfolio & Governance Team
0207 035 1896

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

It's now been 4 weeks since your last communication on the subject. Please could you provide an update of what progress has been made on this release, which is already late by many months?

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr. Sittampalam,

I apologise again for the ongoing delay. I am very optimistic that we
will have a response for you within a week. I will let you know if this
timescale slips.

I can tell you that the number of documents involved is large and,
though our usual method of disclosure would be by PDF scan, this will be
too large for email (at least, it will be without sending you many
separate emails with individual attachments). If more convenient for
you, I can arrange for hard copies to be sent out by mail, though this
will not be instant of course. Alternatively, I can send them to you
incrementally by email as outlined above, or you can access the response
when it is published on the Home Office website (I can provide a link).

Please let me know what method of disclosure you would prefer.

Many thanks,
Benedict

Kind regards,
Benedict Collins
Police Reform Unit
Policing Portfolio & Governance Team
0207 035 1896

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Benedict,

Thanks for your email. Another alternative would be to use the "whatdotheyknow" file upload facility: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/upload/req... - this would require you to register with the site so I would understand if you don't wish to do this.

Otherwise a long series of emails would be my next preference, or if that also doesn't work for some reason then a link to the Home Office website would do.

Regards,

Ganesh

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr. Sittampalam,

I won't be able to use the upload facility, I'm afraid. I'll provide you
with electronic copies by email.

Kind regards,
Benedict Collins
Police Reform Unit
Policing Portfolio & Governance Team
0207 035 1896

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dennis fallon left an annotation ()

It would be good to copy and paste some of the information, when it finally is received, as a confirmatory reply on THIS site and we all could learn something from the result.

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

The emails he refers to should come to this site. I haven't given them any other email addresses for this request (and don't intend to without very good reason).

Collins Benedict, Home Office

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

 

With apologies again for the delay in responding to this request, please
find attached the covering letter and first PDF scan of the requested
information.

 

The information will be disclosed in eight parts. You previously indicated
that you would prefer electronic copies. After sending this email, I will
send on additional emails with the relevant PDFs attached. Due to email
capacity limits at my end, I am unable to send them all through at once.

 

Contrary to my previous correspondence with you, this information will not
be downloadable on our FOI website due to the size of the disclosed
information. However, it will be referenced and members of the public will
be able to request it if required.

 

Do let me know if there are any problems with the receipt of these
documents.

 

Many thanks again for your interest in the Home Office.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 2 of this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 3 of this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 4 of this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 5 of this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 6 of this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 7 of this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached part 8 of this request.

 

This is the last PDF document for disclosure. Many thanks.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict Collins

Police Reform Unit

Policing Portfolio & Governance Team

0207 035 1896

 

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

Thanks for the disclosure. I agree that the approach of not doing things in a strict order was reasonable under the circumstances.

A few glitches I spotted so far:

- The terms and conditions for the grant-in-aid funding 08/09 (combined pages 2-6) only includes odd-numbered pages

- The agreement for the disaster victims funding 08/09 (combined pages 50-60) is missing pages 8 and 9

- The criminal records project business plan (combined pages 68-104) is missing appendices 4-7

For my ease of reference I have joined the documents you sent into a single PDF and refer above to the "combined page" numbers of the relevant documents in that PDF.

I must also confess to being rather disappointed with the number of agreements you were able to locate within the time limit. As far as I can tell, they comprise:

- Grant aid (all three years)
- ACIST (the only year)
- Criminal records project (all three years)
- Operation Sycamore (both years)
- Community Tensions (just 08/09)
- Disaster victims identification (all three years)

This is a total of 13 agreements (treating each cell in the table as one agreement). In other words, given the 24 hour time limit, it took nearly two hours per agreement. Can you explain why retrieving these documents is so time consuming?

Regards,

Ganesh

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

I apologise for the omission of the pages you've highlighted below. I'll
review the documents and send out another copy as necessary.

Regarding your question about the amount of information disclosed - I am
afraid that I cannot comment on this. If you are dissatisfied with the
process then you can take advantage of your right to an independent
review, as outlined in the covering letter.

Kind regards,
Benedict Collins
Police Reform Unit
Policing Portfolio & Governance Team
0207 035 1896

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

I was hoping to get a bit more insight into the problems you have producing these documents, on a slightly less formal basis than internal review then ICO etc. In particular since it's now well over 60 working days since my original request, I could just ask for more of the documents immediately, but I'd rather try to understand the situation better first.

Perhaps you could treat the question as a formal request for "advice and assistance" on formulating future requests for documents relating to ACPO in order to minimise the burden on you and maximise the information I receive?

Regards,

Ganesh

Collins Benedict, Home Office

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

On an informal basis, I can tell you that the reasonable cost limit
takes into account the total work involved in collating the request -
this includes, for example, the administrative function of co-ordinating
the gathering of information, photocopying and scanning all of the
documents, considering which information needs to be redacted, such as
researching the grades of individuals mentioned therein (and then doing
the redactions), liaising with ACPO as the request affects them, and
obtaining ministerial clearance. There was a significant volume of
information involved in this request (well over 100 pages), and so it
took a proportionately large chunk of time to properly review.

Essentially, it is not a simple job of collecting the documents and then
sending them out to you. There is a great deal of consideration and
additional work that can go into collating an FOI response.

I hope this goes some way to answering your query. Although it probably
does not assist you in making future requests for information more
effective, I hope it helps to explain the amount of time and work that
can go into collating them.

Kind regards,
Benedict Collins
Police Reform Unit
Policing Portfolio & Governance Team
0207 035 1896

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

Thanks for the info. I was under the impression that the law was quite clear that many of those items are things you cannot account for in the cost limit - specifically the time taken for redaction, review and liaison, and perhaps also photocopying and scanning. Indeed the internal review response I received in January (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/21...) explicitly states "When calculating the cost limit, PRU should be mindful that they can include the time taken to locate and retrieve the information and also the time taken to extract any information to be released, but not the time taken to decide if any information is exempt."

I guess we're getting close to the point where I'll have to go through the formal internal review process or the ICO to take this further, but if you have any further comments on this I'd be interested to hear them.

Thanks,

Ganesh

Collins Benedict, Home Office

I am on leave on Friday afternoon (16th) and Monday 19 April. I will not
have access to email again until Tuesday.

Please contact Neil King on 0207 035 4858 (Policing Authority matters,
including inspection) or Oscar Ramudo on x4870 (policy futures) if the
matter is urgent.

Regards,
Benedict Collins

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

The ICO recorded this case as FS50281922 in February

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

Please could you pass this case on for internal review. I should note that as this request has already had one internal review, I will be asking the ICO to continue their involvement in the case, but as you have offered the internal review I will list the issues I am unhappy about in the hope that this helps in resolving the situation more quickly.

Firstly, the information that you have disclosed is missing some elements. I detailed this in an email on 16th April but still have not received the updated items.

Secondly, I question whether the costs limit has been appropriately calculated, given the small number of documents that have been released. I remind you that you may only consider the costs of determining whether you hold the information and locating, retrieving and extracting it.

Finally, I am unhappy it took nearly six months from my initial request to even an incomplete release of documents, and even after the first internal review a number of deadlines were promised and then missed. This is on top of a similar set of extreme delays in dealing with my previous request on the subject.

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Information Access, Home Office

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

Further to your request for an internal review below, I advise you to
contact the ICO quoting reference FS50281922 so they can incorporate
your comments with the existing ICO case for this request.

Regards,

Information Access Team


"Please could you pass this case on for internal review. I should
note that as this request has already had one internal review, I
will be asking the ICO to continue their involvement in the case,
but as you have offered the internal review I will list the issues
I am unhappy about in the hope that this helps in resolving the
situation more quickly.

Firstly, the information that you have disclosed is missing some
elements. I detailed this in an email on 16th April but still have
not received the updated items.

Secondly, I question whether the costs limit has been appropriately
calculated, given the small number of documents that have been
released. I remind you that you may only consider the costs of
determining whether you hold the information and locating,
retrieving and extracting it.

Finally, I am unhappy it took nearly six months from my initial
request to even an incomplete release of documents, and even after
the first internal review a number of deadlines were promised and
then missed. This is on top of a similar set of extreme delays in
dealing with my previous request on the subject.

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam"

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Collins Benedict, Home Office

3 Attachments

Mr Sittampalam,

 

Please find attached covering letter and two PDF scans of documents
relating to this request.

 

Kind regards,

Benedict

 

Benedict Collins

Police and Crime Commissioners Team

Police Reform Unit

Home Office - Crime & Policing Group

0207 035 1896

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Mr Collins,

The following item identified in my email of 16th April is still missing:

- The terms and conditions for the grant-in-aid funding 08/09 only included odd-numbered pages

Yours sincerely,

Ganesh Sittampalam

dennis fallon left an annotation ()

There is something strange going on with ACPO and the Home Office.
It CANNOT be right to redact the DATES from front page of the `agreement` and next page on 14131 pt 1.Why are they trying to conceal the dates?Cannot see any good reason for this.
Why, if the agreement is between the minister and Tom Flaherty (director of resources ACPO), have BOTH people failed to sign the agreement and DELEGATED other people to sign on their behalf.Why are they dodging their responsibilities?
There must be a police investigation into ACPO and the Home Office, haha, or further FOI requests.KEEP UP THIS BRILLIANT ENQUIRY.

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

I don't see any redacted dates - which page is this on?

dennis fallon left an annotation ()

Release 3rd Dec, additional FOI 14131 pt 1. On front page, page one,says dated (BLANK) 2008. On page two there are also blanks where the contracted dates should be.Surely a contract cannot be legally agreed if the document is incomplete in detail, so surely the dates were redacted subsequently??

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

Oh I see - I was looking at the original releases which are similarly numbered to the additional ones.

The actual signatures are dated; my guess is that the dates were actually omitted in the originals and they just tend to be a bit sloppy about the details because for them the contracts are just a formality. I can't really see much point in making a fuss, anyway, unless you see some specific value in knowing the exact dates?

Collins Benedict, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

Apologies, the attached scan should contain the missing information you
require. Please let me know if not.

Kind regards,
Benedict

Benedict Collins
Police and Crime Commissioners Team
Police Reform Unit
Home Office - Crime & Policing Group
0207 035 1896

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Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

I've cleaned the released information up a bit and published the results here: http://www.comply-promptly.org.uk/acpo/d...