Agency and Consultants Spend

Helen Lewis made this Freedom of Information request to Haringey Borough Council

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.

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

Can you please supply me with a monthly and annual breakdown of council spending on agency staff and use of consultants, freelancers and contracted staff not on the council payroll.

I specifically require (excluding use of school based staff i.e. supply teachers).

1 - Breakdown of agency costs for 2010, 2011 and so far for 2012. A monthly breakdown for each year and total annual spend.

2 - Which agencies are being used? Including spend with each agency for 2010, 2011 and so far for 2012

3 - Was the contract tendered out for each agency used in for 2010, 2011 and so far for 2012?

4 - Reasons for each agency use in 2010, 2011 and 2012, were these vacancies, increased demand etc

5 - Breakdown of length of each agency post in 2010, 2011 and 2012

6 - A breakdown of freelancers and consultants used in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

7 - Purpose of using each freelancer and consultant used in 2010, 2011 and 2012. For example to deliver training or conduct a piece of research.

8 - Length of time of each freelancer or consultant used in 2010, 2011 and 2012. If the freelancer, for example delivered 8 training days over 3 years then please state 8 days over 3 yrs contracted with breaks or if the consultant was 2 days a week for 2 years, then it is 104 days over 2 years with no break in contract.

9 - Cost of each freelancer or consultant used in 2010, 2011 and 2012. If the value of payment to a freelancer or consultant exceeded £5,000 per an annum was this tendered and how they were selected.

Please note that if the freelancer or consultant is not operating using a limited company, and their personal name will appear, please use an alas name making it clear it is to hide their personal identity but keep the alas the same for each individual freelancer or consultant so usage and costs can be collated.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Lewis

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Haringey Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Agency and Consultants Spend'.

There has not been a response or even an acknowledgement of this request, which is now overdue

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

Yours faithfully,

Helen Lewis

Shah Varsha, Haringey Borough Council

Test

 

 

 

Regards

 

Varsha

 

Varsha Shah | Feedback  Response Officer| Haringey Council | Feedback &
Information Governance Team | 020 8489 3187

 

 

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.
______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

Shah Varsha, Haringey Borough Council

 

Dear Ms Lewis

 

Thank you for your email of today.

 

Firstly please accept my sincere apologies for not responding to your
request by the deadline of 5 September 2012.  This is because  by error  I
omitted to process your request.  I have asked the investigating officer
to look into your request as a matter of urgency and I am waiting for the
officer to confirm when we can send a full response to you.

 

I will write to you again one I have been updated.

 

If you still wish for an internal review please contact me.

 

I am so sorry for this oversight.

 

Regards

 

Varsha

 

Varsha Shah | Feedback  Response Officer| Haringey Council | Feedback &
Information Governance Team | 020 8489 3187

 

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

show quoted sections

Shah Varsha, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Lewis

 

Further to my email of 6 September 2012, I have been advised by the
investigating officer she will be able to respond to you by 24 September
2012. 

 

If you still wish to apply for an internal review please let me know.

 

Once again please accept my sincere apologies for my error in  not
processing your request within the timescale.

 

Regards

 

Varsha

 

Varsha Shah | Feedback  Response Officer| Haringey Council | Feedback &
Information Governance Team | 020 8489 3187

 

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Shah Varsha
Sent: 06 September 2012 15:34
To: '[FOI #124581 email]'
Subject: FW: Lewis Freedom of information request lbh/1053412 original due
date 5 September 2012 pending response
Importance: High

 

 

Dear Ms Lewis

 

Thank you for your email of today.

 

Firstly please accept my sincere apologies for not responding to your
request by the deadline of 5 September 2012.  This is because  by error  I
omitted to process your request.  I have asked the investigating officer
to look into your request as a matter of urgency and I am waiting for the
officer to confirm when we can send a full response to you.

 

I will write to you again one I have been updated.

 

If you still wish for an internal review please contact me.

 

I am so sorry for this oversight.

 

Regards

 

Varsha

 

Varsha Shah | Feedback  Response Officer| Haringey Council | Feedback &
Information Governance Team | 020 8489 3187

 

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

show quoted sections

Shah Saila, Haringey Borough Council

2 Attachments

 

Dear Ms Lewis

 

Please see attached responses to your freedom of information request. 
Please accept our apology for delay in responding.

 

 

Regards

 

Mrs Shah

HR

London Borough of Haringey

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Shah Saila,

Thank you very much for this response.

Can I ask that you recheck the information which you have legally provided me.

Firstly, you claim Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd is the only agency the council is using, or at least the only one you have informed me about when answering this question. Yet other information available in the public domain shows transactions between the Council and other recruitment agencies. These do not match those used by schools.

Secondly, is the amounts you have provided totals, i.e. it is £13,526,250 of which £2,452,220 are fees or £13,526,250 plus £2,452,220 fees.

Thirdly, your spreadsheet of consultants is not matching other information available in the public domain. There is a greater number of regular transactions between consultants and the council than the list you provided.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Lewis

Shah Saila, Haringey Borough Council

Dear ms Lewis,

Regarding your queries below

1 All Haringey Council (excluding schools) Agency staffs are employed using Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd.

2 £13,526,250 plus £2,452,220 fees.

3 Information regarding consultants provided is what was available to us. Could you forward link, so that we can check to use and update.

Thank you,

Saila Shah ▪ HR MI Consultant London Borough of Haringey

show quoted sections

Dear Shah Saila,

On your council expenditure reports http://www.haringey.gov.uk/expenditure it is not very clear which are agencies and which are consultants. However by the information you have given and other responses to freedom requests on this site the agencies and list of consultants are not adding up.

This is a lot for me to go through but just a few examples:
* MAX SOLUTIONS ( ASSOCIATES ) LTD
* BRAY VALLEY ASSOCIATES
* DOT Y PLUS SOLUTIONS LTD
* PENNA PLC
* LIPPITT ASSOCIATES LTD
* PA CONSULTING SERVICES LTD
* A CHAWHAN LTD
* PUBLIC SELECT
* DAVID MURRAY ASSOCIATES
* LEISURE MATTERS (UK) LTD
* ATKINS LTD
* RUBICON SOCIAL WORK CONSULTANTS LTD
* JCJ LOCUMS LTD
* CRITICAL PROJECT RESOURCING LTD
* GRAYLING UK LTD
* ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS LTD
* C MILLER SOCIAL CARE CONSULTANCY LT
* FRONTLINE STAFFING LTD
* HALCROW GROUP LTD
* HYDER CONSULTING (UK) LTD
* LION HEART RECRUITMENT LTD
* METISK CONSULTING LIMITED
* WYNNE-WILLIAMS ASSOCIATES LTD
* CHEVIOT RECRUITMENT LTD
* EAMONN DILLON COACHING LTD
* PREMIER CAREWAITING LTD
* PROPERTY AND DESIGN CONSULTANCY LTD
* TERRY KNIBBS CONSULTING LTD
* GAVIN WILSON LIMITED
* CHRISTINE KENNET LTD
* BUSINESS HEALTH LIMITED
* AMDCONSULT LTD
* RECRUITMENT SPECIALIST GROUP LTD
* DREEN CONSULTANCY LTD
* MIKE TOBIN CONSULTANCY LTD

A basic check on some of these companies websites show that some are recruitment agencies and not for schools.

In addition, there is no mention in your list of freelance staff who are delivering services to the public paid for by the council. For example sports instructors.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Lewis

Alan Stanton left an annotation ()

I'm a Haringey councillor and from time to time I've asked questions about the employment of consultants.

Especially at a time of deep cuts it makes sense to review the numbers of consultants and the level of their fees. Plus other aspects of their employment including: whether or not they are employed on arrangements which enable tax avoidance; and whether it is cost effective or efficient to employ the same consultants over several years, particularly when we are sacking permanent staff.

For me, your F.o.I request raises the need for transparency of information on this issue as the Council's "default" position. It should not be necessary - especially for our residents and also for councillors - to trawl through partial information trying to piece the whole picture together.

So can I thank you for asking these questions and sharing the information through this website.

Alan Stanton, Tottenham Hale ward councillor (until May 2014).

Jean Fletcher left an annotation ()

Surely the council should be able to know how much they are spending on agency and consultants in all their departments. Not publishing this basic information raises questions about the transparency of the council.

Dear Shah Saila,

Do I appear to be "forgotten" again?

This is now becoming deeply unsatisfactory. Please can I have a response to my request

Yours sincerely,

Helen Lewis

Shah Saila, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Lewis

Response was provided as below. Please clarify what is not clear.

Thank you,

Saila Shah ▪

show quoted sections

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Haringey Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Agency and Consultants Spend'.

This has been handled shambolically from the start. I am unsatisfied completely with the tactics that appear to be deployed to deny me access to this information.

I am shocked that this information is not easily available, most councils use finance systems which categorise spending and generate reports using a couple of clicks of a mouse.

I require the information I have asked for, I am not satisfied I was given accurate information and gave your officer the opportunity to re-respond. I then supplied her information when requested and since then have been ignored.... again.

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

Yours faithfully,

Helen Lewis

Dyos Sue, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Lewis,

 

Internal Review regarding Freedom of Information request reference
LBH/1053412

 

Thank you for email received on 26 October 2012.

 

Your request for an Internal Review has been logged with the reference
LBH/1217212. Please quote this reference number on any further
correspondence.

 

We will now review the response you have been sent to the above request
and aim to let you know the outcome of our investigation by 23 November
2012. If we need longer, we will write to let you know the reason and when
you can expect a full reply.

 

If you have any questions, please let us know. 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

S Dyos

Feedback Review Team Leader

 

show quoted sections

Alan Stanton left an annotation ()

I am fairly certain Haringey Council has the information you request.

I base this statement on information I have received in the past. And also because they were asked for some of this on 9 September 2011 by the BBC Politics Show. Haringey reference 810004375. Mr Steve Davies who works in Haringey's HR Department wrote to Ms Conway of the Politics Show stating that they did have the information about consultants who worked either as self-employed or Personal Service Companies (PSCs) but that they would charge the BBC £750 to provide the information.

I don't know whether or not the BBC paid this fee.

A copy of the letter to the Politics Show was attached to an email from Kevin Crompton Haringey's former Chief Executive to Cllr Gideon Bull and sent on on 19 December 2011. It was copied to Stuart Young Assistant Chief Executive (and Mr Davies' boss) and also to Cllr Claire Kober the Council "Leader" and Cllr Joe Goldberg the "cabinet" councillor for Finance.

Mr Crompton apologised for the 3 months delay in passing on this information to Cllr Bull and added that he had asked for an updated list of consultants at the end of December. I don't know whether this or any subsequent lists were in fact provided. But the fact that Mr Crompton had requested the information be updated suggests that he and Cllrs Kober and Goldberg realised that it was important to keep tabs on this item of spend.

In March 2012 I asked an F.o.I. about Haringey's use of consultants and Personal Service Companies. I was told that:

"We are not aware of any individuals employed in their own private companies to avoid paying tax."

This appears to conflict with the information supplied to the BBC.

However, at minimum it would appear to suggest a policy of "Don't ask; don't tell". Which is hardly consistent with either Freedom of Information or fairness to council tax payers and to Haringey staff.

Consultants have for years been a significant - albeit a reducing - cost to the Council. Given the Government cuts forced on Haringey, I would expect this expenditure to have been under continuous and careful review by Cllrs Kober and Goldberg and by the most senior officers.

Alan Stanton
Tottenham Hale ward councillor

Pietikainen Sirkku, Haringey Borough Council

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Lewis,

 

Please see attached the response to your FOI complaint/ Internal Review.

 

Regards,

 

Ms Sirkku Pietikäinen | Feedback Review Officer | Haringey Council  |
Feedback & Information Governance Team | 020 8489 2552

 

show quoted sections

Alan Stanton left an annotation ()

Bravo, Helen Lewis!