Annual civic dinner

Waiting for an internal review by Westminster City Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Westminster City Council,

I understand that the Council are providing a civic dinner at an expected cost to the tax payer of £23,000 on March 9th at The Northumberland, in Northumberland Avenue. To try to confirm these reports I have checked the councils website expecting to find open and transparent discloser of this event, yet I could find nothing.

1)Please provide a list of the invited guests?

2)Details of how the event is funded, ie; funded from the taxpayer or other source?

3)The cost (if any) per ticket for invited guests?

4)The selection process for invited guests, such as the criteria used to invite a guest and which committee or group of people choose who is to be a guest?

Yours faithfully,

D Lockwood

Westminster City Council

Confirmation of Freedom Of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request details have now been recorded and will be passed on to the
appropriate Divisional Records Officer for action.

This Freedom Of Information Request was based on the following
information:

Name: D Lockwood
Address: See empty
Email: [FOI #28813 email]
Telephone:
Request Details:
I understand that the Council are providing a civic dinner at an
expected cost to the tax payer of £23,000 on March 9th at The
Northumberland, in Northumberland Avenue. To try to confirm these
reports I have checked the councils website expecting to find open
and transparent discloser of this event, yet I could find nothing.

1)Please provide a list of the invited guests?

2)Details of how the event is funded, ie; funded from the taxpayer
or other source?

3)The cost (if any) per ticket for invited guests?

4)The selection process for invited guests, such as the criteria
used to invite a guest and which committee or group of people
choose who is to be a guest?

FOI Reference Number: 5008
Target Completion Date: 12/03/2010

Please do not reply to this email.
This is an automatic response to your request, and replies to this message
will not be actioned.

If you need to contact Westminster City Council regarding your request,
please contact:

mailto:[Westminster City Council request email]
Tel:020 7641 3921

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Taylor, Kevin, Westminster City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lockwood
I attach a letter by way of reply to your recent FOI enquiry.

<<FOIrequest5008-l.doc>>

Kevin Taylor
PS to the LM

Kevin Taylor

Private Secretary to the Lord Mayor

The City of Westminster

The Lord Mayor's Parlour, Westminster City Hall,

Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP

Direct line - 020 7641 2239

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M Laurent left an annotation ()

I suggest you don't give them your postal address. You have a right to get the response on here. You can ask them to upload the document as a PDF.

Dear Westminster City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Annual civic dinner'.

It seems illogical and a waste of resources to post a printed document that has been created electronically, rather than upload the original document as a PDF to this website.

Please investigate why the most efficient and expedient method allowing the widest public access to the requested information has not been chosen in your answer?

For question four you seem to have provided a very obtuse reply. I feel my question was written in plain enough English to be understood by the majority of English speakers, so please explain why you have simply decided not to detail the selection process for guests or the criteria used in their selection, please be specific? For example, one known guest was a council employee by the name of Martin Low, please provide the details of his selection and every other guest which demonstrate the outstanding services to the community which have gone above and beyond their taxpayer funded council job descriptions?

Should you fail to reply to my request for an internal review in a prompt and timely manner I will have no hesitation in passing this matter on to the ICO.

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

Yours faithfully,

D Lockwood

markus campbell-savours left an annotation ()

Mr Lockwood,

They are not answering your question anyway...

You have asked who was invited, but they want to send you a list of who attended!

I am keen to see them answer your question correctly as Westminster's residents and businesses have a right to questions if all those invited really are members of "the local community who work so hard on behalf of the residents of Westminster" as stated in the reply from Lord Mayor Duncan-Sandys' Private Secretary.

If this is a real civic dinner; one that celebrates the achievements of local people, they should be proud to print the names of those invited.

Any attempts to avoid printing the names on this website will only add to the rumours that the civic dinner is merely an opportunity for aspiring conservative politicians to rub shoulders with lords, dukes and ambassadors.

Lets demand to see the list.

MCS

FOI, Westminster City Council

Dear D Lockwood,

Thank you for your email below.

I will look into your query and will aim to respond to you within 10
working days.

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Holden
Data Protection & FOI Officer
Knowledge and Information Management
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London, NW8 8EA
Tel: 0207 641 6451
Fax: 0207 641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]
[1]www.westminster.gov.uk

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Mr J Abrahams left an annotation ()

This "10 days" is what I am also promised, but now is almost 50 (fifty) days ago of my FOI (4628).

Westminster is NEVER reply when they say; they always is late.

FOI, Westminster City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lockwood,

Thank you for your email below.

Further to previous correspondence, and in response to your request, we
have been able to provide an electronic copy of the list of the people who
attended the civic dinner which I have attached here.

<<CivicDinner- Alphabetical Accept with double entries 2010.xls>>

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Holden
Data Protection & FOI Officer
Knowledge and Information Management
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London, NW8 8EA
Tel: 0207 641 6451
Fax: 0207 641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]
[1]www.westminster.gov.uk

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Barry Moss, Sr. left an annotation ()

23K for a free dinner is scandalous, what are these people supposed to have done for the citizens of Westminster to earn a freebie meal, it was probably paid for out of westminsters enormous parking fines revenue. 23k would feed a lot more of the homeless.
Barry

Dear Ms Holden,

I am very concerned that my request for an internal review seems to have been ignored.

1)Please can you provide me with an accurate and honest time when you plan to complete your internal review?

2)Please provide a date when you expect to fully and accurately answer questions 1 and 4 of the original FOI questions?

3)Please provide an accurate and honest explanation as to why you have not answered all of the original FOI questions or completed the internal review?

As a reminder these were my original four questions:

1)Please provide a list of the invited guests?

2)Details of how the event is funded, ie; funded from the taxpayer
or other source?

3)The cost (if any) per ticket for invited guests?

4)The selection process for invited guests, such as the criteria
used to invite a guest and which committee or group of people
choose who is to be a guest?

It seems I must stress that I am asking for a list of ' invited guests' not a list of guests who attended.

I would point out that the answer to question four given so far is rather sarcastic and inadequate. It is not acceptable to simply say the the host chooses which guests to invite. Please re-read question 4 and provide a more grown up answer which is less evasive.

Yours sincerely,

D Lockwood

FOI, Westminster City Council

Dear D Lockwood,

Thank you for your email below.

I will look into your query and will aim to respond within 10 working
days.

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Holden
DP & FOI Officer
Knowledge & Information Management Team

101 Orchardson Street
London
NW8 8EA
T: 0207 641 6451
F: 0207 641 2872
E: [email address]

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FOI, Westminster City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lockwood,

Thank you for your request for an Internal Review into your Freedom of
Information Request FOI 5008.

Please find our response attached.

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Holden

DP & FOI Officer

Knowledge & Information Management Team

101 Orchardson Street

London

NW8 8EA

T: 0207 641 6451

F: 0207 641 2872

E: [email address]

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D Lockwood left an annotation ()

Having been passed further documents on this, it seems as if my Internal Review into this matter was not based on truth as it is not just the host who decides who can attend this Civic Dinner. Information was known to the Council at the time of my internal review that not all the guests were invited by the ‘host’. I will put it to the ICO that the Council have wilfully obstructed the public from knowing the truth behind their Civic Dinner, and that the whole of Westminster Councils Freedom of Information service needs an urgent and proper independent investigation as to why and who is deliberately withholding information from the public.

Just one example of false and missleading information being provided under Internal Review:

In your email of the 14th March 2010, you also expressed disagreement with the answer provided in response to question 4, namely that the host decides who to invite to the Civic Dinner.

Under section 1, a public authority is required to provide information as it is held, i.e. recorded (in accordance with section 84 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000) at the time of the request. If there is no selection process / criteria recorded, therefore, then the Council is not required to create one, nor is it a requirement of the Act to make the information more acceptable, or to discuss the content of the information.

Then read this FOI answer telling us the two sponsors of the Civic Dinner also invited Westminster Council officers:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ci...