Alan French (Court Enforcement Manager) and a witness statement

The request was partially successful.

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

The document below is the witness statement signed by North East Lincolnshire Council's Court Enforcement Manager, Alan French, in respect of a Council Tax liability hearing held at Grimsby Magistrates' court on 30 October 2015.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/286074656/NEL...

I would like to know who produced the document, or alternatively the position held by that person, if it was not Alan French?

Yours faithfully,

fFaudwAtch UK

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number NEL/1866/1617.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:

[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 1866_1516.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

Request: The document below is the witness statement signed by North East
Lincolnshire Council's Court Enforcement Manager, Alan French, in respect
of a Council Tax liability hearing held at Grimsby Magistrates' court on
30 October 2015.

 

[1]https://www.scribd.com/doc/286074656/NEL...

 

I would like to know who produced the document, or alternatively the
position held by that person, if it was not Alan French? 

 

Response: The document was produced by the Debt Management section of the
Local Taxation and Benefits Team in North East Lincolnshire Council. We
can confirm that it was signed by Alan French, on behalf of North East
Lincolnshire Council, as true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

 

However to further assist you with your request we can confirm that the
Court Enforcement Officers use generic templates for Witness statements.
(See Attached)

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

Resources Directorate

 

 

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Re, "Response: The document was produced by the Debt Management section of the Local Taxation and Benefits Team in North East Lincolnshire Council. We can confirm that it was signed by Alan French, on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council, as true to the best of his knowledge and belief."

Who was the officer responsible for producing content within the witness statement who knew that what was stated was untrue?

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number NEL/2095/1617.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:

[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

show quoted sections

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

There is not really a new request, the original was evaded.

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Thank you for your information request reference 2095_1617. Your request
is deemed as vexatious as it contains the statement “…who knew that what
was stated  was untrue”. In addition it has already been fully addressed
and responded to previously.

 

Based on the content of your correspondence, we determine that this
request is vexatious. Your correspondence is intended to raise unfounded
allegations against the Council, with no substance behind your
allegations, or intention to obtain information from North East
Lincolnshire Council.

 

Section 14 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act states that a public
authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if that
request is vexatious.

 

North East Lincolnshire Council will therefore not be responding to this
request.

 

I would also draw your attention to guidance issued by the Information
Commissioner regarding what you should and should not do when making an
information request. The full guidance is available on their website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

 

What you should not do when making a request

 

·         Use offensive or threatening language.

·         Level unfounded accusations at North East Lincolnshire Council
or its staff.

·         Make personal attacks against employees.

·         Use FOI to reopen grievances which have already been fully
addressed by North East Lincolnshire Council, or subjected to independent
investigation with no evidence of wrongdoing being found.

·         Make assumptions about how North East Lincolnshire Council
organises its.

·         Bury your request in amongst lengthy correspondence on other
matters or underlying complaints.

·         Use requests as a way of ‘scoring points’ against North East
Lincolnshire Council.

·         Send ‘catch-all’ requests for information (such as ‘please
provide me with everything you hold about ‘x’) when you aren’t sure what
specific documents to ask for. If in doubt, try searching on
[2]www.nelincs.gov.uk or enquiring whether any indexes and file lists are
available. Alternatively, ask for some advice and assistance in framing
your request.

·         Submit frivolous or trivial requests; remember that processing
any information request involves some cost to the public purse.

·         Disrupt North East Lincolnshire Council by the sheer weight of
requests or the volume of information requested. Whether you are acting
alone or in concert with others, this is a clear misuse of the Act and an
abuse of your ‘right to know’.

·         Deliberately ‘fish’ for information by submitting very broad or
random requests in the hope it will catch something noteworthy or
otherwise useful. Requests should be directed towards obtaining
information on a particular issue, rather than relying on pot luck to see
if anything of interest is revealed.

·         Make repeat requests unless circumstances, or the information
itself, have changed to the extent that there are justifiable grounds to
ask for the information again.

 

When making your request you should

 

·         Include your name, address and other contact details in the
request.

·         Clearly state that you are making your request under the Freedom
of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations.

·         Be as specific as possible about the information you want rather
than asking general questions. Try to include details such as dates and
names whenever you can. It may also assist in identifying the information
if you explain the purpose behind your request.

·         Re-read your request to check for any wording which is unclear
or open to interpretation.

·         Use straightforward, polite language; avoid basing your request
or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints
or comments.

·         Give ample opportunity for any previous requests to be addressed
before submitting new ones.

·         Stay focused on the line of enquiry you are pursuing. Don’t let
your attention start to drift onto issues of minor relevance.

·         Think about whether making a request is the best way of
achieving what you want. If you have an underlying complaint then it may
be better to just take your complaint to the relevant ombudsman and let
them investigate.

·         Aim to be flexible if you are advised that the full request
cannot be met on cost grounds and you are asked to narrow it down. Try to
work with us to produce a streamlined version of the request which still
covers the core information that is most important to you.

 

If your request lacks a clear or serious purpose or if it is not focused
on acquiring recorded information held by the Council, then the Freedom of
Information is probably not an appropriate means through which to pursue
your concerns. You might do better to explore whether there are other more
suitable channels through which to take up your concerns.

 

We do consider this request to be vexatious in nature with no serious
intention to obtain information held by North East Lincolnshire Council
and ask that you read and take account of the guidance above taken from
the Information Commissioners website. In particular you should note the
point as to “… whether making a request is the best way of achieving what
you want. If you have an underlying complaint then it may be better to
just take your complaint to the relevant ombudsman and let them
investigate.”

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in 
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to 
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which 
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are 
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal 
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may 
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to
request  an internal review, please contact me and I will make the
necessary  arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

I would ask that you refrain from referring to my correspondence as vexatious. Clearly in the context of of your suggestion that it constitutes unfounded allegations, you could not be more wrong. Please let me know if your opinion changes after considering the following:

GRIMSBY AND CLEETHORPES
MAGISTRATES’ COURT

(Code 1940) Application to start a prosecution
(s1 Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980)

Listed: 26 April 2016

http://tinyurl.com/z4tzzzk Statement of Evidence

http://tinyurl.com/z7femxh Exhibit 1
http://tinyurl.com/hbaeqtz Exhibit 2
http://tinyurl.com/jafq4b8 Exhibit 3
http://tinyurl.com/z96y2af Exhibit 4
http://tinyurl.com/jb4xdew Exhibit 5
http://tinyurl.com/hwhnukz Exhibit 6
http://tinyurl.com/ha82mnb Exhibit 7
http://tinyurl.com/hkhk3gw Exhibit 8
http://tinyurl.com/jg8pkbq Exhibit 9
http://tinyurl.com/j53vgd6 Exhibit 10
http://tinyurl.com/z5hprmb Exhibit 11
http://tinyurl.com/hxqrwym Exhibit 12
http://tinyurl.com/j3dc338 Exhibit 13
http://tinyurl.com/h8vl4ft Exhibit 14
http://tinyurl.com/jy8krnr Exhibit 15
http://tinyurl.com/zzrb7xc Exhibit 16
http://tinyurl.com/z8hqq6o Exhibit 17
http://tinyurl.com/zhwygsd Exhibit 18
http://tinyurl.com/zvmoo8u Exhibit 19
http://tinyurl.com/h6cpyxw Exhibit 20
http://tinyurl.com/hzcss4z Exhibit 21

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

It is on the balance of probabilities that Alan French (Court Enforcement Manager) only signed the witness statement and someone with a legal background actually produced the document.

Can it be confirmed whether or not there was any input by the council's Monitoring Officer, Tony Maione in the witness statement's production.

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your correspondence and wish to confirm that
an Internal Review of the handling of your Information Request
NEL/2095/1617 is to take place.

 

The Internal Review has been passed to the relevant department for
processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day
limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you,
we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for
receiving a response.

 

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

 

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

 

Feedback Officer

[2][North East Lincolnshire Council request email]

 

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

As you will have no doubt realised, the information I'm requesting relates to serious failing of council officers and elected members and therefore ask that the matter is dealt with promptly.

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt (aka fFaudwAtch UK)

Further to your request an Internal Review has taken place into North East
Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request NEL/2095/1617.

I have reviewed the response provided to you and the handling of your
request, and determine that this has been in accordance with the Freedom
of Information Act, and your request was correctly refused on the basis of
Section 14 (1) of the Freedom Information Act.

I trust that this Internal Review answers your queries in relation to your
request, and clarifies that your request has been handled in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act. 

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or
the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review
by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Complaint to Information Commissioner's Office for the council's mishandling of this freedom of information request.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF

15 July 2016

Dear Sir/Madam

RE: INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF FOI REQUEST NE LINC'S COUNCIL – REF NUMBER 2095-1617

I made a freedom of information request to North East Lincolnshire Council (‘NELC’). The details can be found on the “what do they know” website at the following address:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...
“Alan French (Court Enforcement Manager) and a witness statement”

BACKGROUND

North East Lincolnshire Council [redact] obtained a liability order by committing [redact]. There was no debt owing, however, the Council [redact] engineered a non-payment scenario. The Police, Local Government Ombudsman and judges are complicit because all of them have looked the other way when the matter brought to their attention.

The negligence of the organisations has enabled North East Lincolnshire Council unhindered to make further [redact] demands by appointing its [redact] bailiff firm Rossendales to enforce the liability order that was obtained by [redact] to the court about money that is not owed.

The document below is the witness statement signed by NELC’s Court Enforcement Manager, Alan French, in respect of a Council Tax liability hearing held at Grimsby Magistrates' court on 30 October 2015.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/286074656/NEL...

FOI REQUEST – 12 APRIL 2016

The Council was asked to disclose who produced the document, or alternatively the position held by that person, if it was not Alan French.

RESPONSE – 26 APRIL 2016

The Council stated that the document was produced by the Debt Management section of the Local Taxation and Benefits Team in NELC and confirmed that the witness statement was signed by Alan French, on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council, as true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

The request was referred to by two numbers NEL/1866/1617 and 1866_1516.

CLARIFICATION SOUGHT – 18 May 2016

NELC was asked to identify the officer responsible for producing content within the witness statement who knew that what was stated was untrue.

CLARIFICATION TREATED AS NEW REQUEST – 19 May 2016

NELC took the matter to be clarified as a new request and allocated a new reference number (NEL/2095/1617) for which a response could be expected within the 20 working day limit.

RESPONSE – 26 MAY 2016

The Council deemed the request to be vexatious as it contained the statement “…who knew that what was stated was untrue”, and considered it had already been fully addressed and responded to previously. It therefore refused to provide the information under section 14 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act as it considered the request intended to raise unfounded allegations against the Council, with no substance behind the allegations, or intention to obtain information from NELC.

REPLY – 26 MAY 2016

The council was asked that it refrain from referring to correspondence as vexatious as clearly in the context of its suggestion that it constituted unfounded allegations it was misconceived. The papers below (application to bring a private prosecution against Humberside police) were provided as evidence for NELC to reassess it opinion that I had made ‘unfounded allegations’.

GRIMSBY AND CLEETHORPES MAGISTRATES’ COURT

(Code 1940) Application to start a prosecution (s1 Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980)

Listed: 26 April 2016

http://tinyurl.com/z4tzzzk Statement of Evidence

http://tinyurl.com/z7femxh Exhibit 1
http://tinyurl.com/hbaeqtz Exhibit 2
http://tinyurl.com/jafq4b8 Exhibit 3
http://tinyurl.com/z96y2af Exhibit 4
http://tinyurl.com/jb4xdew Exhibit 5
http://tinyurl.com/hwhnukz Exhibit 6
http://tinyurl.com/ha82mnb Exhibit 7
http://tinyurl.com/hkhk3gw Exhibit 8
http://tinyurl.com/jg8pkbq Exhibit 9
http://tinyurl.com/j53vgd6 Exhibit 10
http://tinyurl.com/z5hprmb Exhibit 11
http://tinyurl.com/hxqrwym Exhibit 12
http://tinyurl.com/j3dc338 Exhibit 13
http://tinyurl.com/h8vl4ft Exhibit 14
http://tinyurl.com/jy8krnr Exhibit 15
http://tinyurl.com/zzrb7xc Exhibit 16
http://tinyurl.com/z8hqq6o Exhibit 17
http://tinyurl.com/zhwygsd Exhibit 18
http://tinyurl.com/zvmoo8u Exhibit 19
http://tinyurl.com/h6cpyxw Exhibit 20
http://tinyurl.com/hzcss4z Exhibit 21

CLARIFICATION SOUGHT – 23 JUNE 2016

It was put to NELC that on the balance of probabilities, Alan French (Court Enforcement Manager) only signed the witness statement and someone with a legal background actually produced the document. It was therefore asked if NELC would confirm whether or not there was any input by the council's Monitoring Officer, Tony Maione in the witness statement's production.

RESPONSE TO INTERNAL REVIEW – 14 JULY 2016

NELC took the matter to be clarified as a request for an internal review. The response and the handling of the request were determined to have been in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and the request correctly refused on the basis of Section 14 (1) of the Freedom Information Act.

Yours sincerely

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