Appointment by Creditors' meeting to appoint trustee(s)

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Maidstone Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

Appointment by Creditors' meeting to appoint trustee(s)

Please provide who has been appointed as trustee(s) by resolution of a creditors' meeting for all years held.

The date(s) of all creditors' meetings held to appoint trustee(s) for the debtors of Maidstone Borough Council.

The name of the chairman or the official receiver ( name of Insolvency office) who chaired the meeting(s).

The names of the trustee(s) appointed by resolution and the date of appointment.

Whether they were appointed at the meeting as trustee(s) for a debtor's own petition or for a creditors petition brought by the council.

Yours faithfully,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Ref: FOI 7388

Thank you for your request for information. We will have a response ready for you within 20 working days of the date you made your request.

After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

FOI Team
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602640 w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 22 August 2018
Ref: FOI 7388

Dear Mr Boyce,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

You wrote to us requesting information on appointment of trustees.

Under Section 12 of the Act, I am not required to provide information if it would exceed the appropriate cost limit, which for local government is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 2.5 working days in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

J E Baring would need to look through all of their client files in order to retrieve the information, which is held manually and not electronically. This would require two partners spending a period of time retrieving and inspecting all files for all cases at a rate of £350p/hr. Therefore, your request will not be processed further.

Unfortunately even a reduced scope of this request is likely to exceed the cost limit under the Act, as it will still require two partners to search the manual records at a rate of £350p/hr. However there is a specific case that you wanted to request this information for, we will process your request and assess whether it can be complied with, within the cost limit.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to request a review of our decision, respond to this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

FOI Team
Policy and Information
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Maidstone Borough Council are required by law to hold details of all bankruptcy records and it is irrevalant that you have contracted this work out, the council is still responsible for the actions of it's contractors and for retaining your own records.

You have already confirmed that the council have appointed J E Baring Co as trustees so the council will be aware of creditors meetings and therefore will hold a record.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Mr Boyce,

As advised we do not hold the records. It is held by an external party, and the cost of retrieval of the information has been outlined below. J E Baring & Co are solicitors who act on our behalf. Once a bankruptcy order is awarded, they then appoint a trustee.

Regards,

Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Maidstone Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Appointment by Creditors' meeting to appoint trustee(s)'.

It is impossible that Maidstone Borough Council does not hold a record of this information that they are required by law to hold.

The ICO shall be asked to make a decision if the review does not comply with the FOIA.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

FOI 7442 review of 7388

Thank you for your request for an internal review. I have passed this on to Mid Kent Legal Services to review your request and the response. You will receive a response within 20 working days.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. https://ico.org.uk/

Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FOI #7442 (Review of #7388)

I have considered your request for review, dated 3 September 2018, of your original request dated 13 August 2018.

Your request for review stated:

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Maidstone Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Appointment by Creditors' meeting to appoint trustee(s)'.

It is impossible that Maidstone Borough Council does not hold a record of this information that they are required by law to hold.

The ICO shall be asked to make a decision if the review does not comply with the FOIA.

Your initial request dated 13 August 2018 asked for the following information:

Appointment by Creditors' meeting to appoint trustee(s)

Please provide who has been appointed as trustee(s) by resolution of a creditors' meeting for all years held.

The date(s) of all creditors' meetings held to appoint trustee(s) for the debtors of Maidstone Borough Council.

The name of the chairman or the official receiver ( name of Insolvency office) who chaired the meeting(s).

The names of the trustee(s) appointed by resolution and the date of appointment.

Whether they were appointed at the meeting as trustee(s) for a debtor's own petition or for a creditors petition brought by the council.

The Council responded to you on 22 August 2018 to advise that your request was being refused under the Section 12 exemption of the Freedom of Information Act. This exemption applies where responding to a request would exceed the cost limit currently set out in the Act. The cost limit for Local Government is currently £450.00.

Response

Having reviewed your request and the Council’s subsequent response, I uphold the decision that was taken to apply the Section 12 exemption. As explained in the original reply, it is J E Baring & Co who appoint a trustee once a bankruptcy order has been awarded, not the Council. We would therefore be reliant on J E Baring & Co to provide the information requested. In this instance, the cost of complying with the request outweighs the cost limit set out in the Act and it is for this reason that I uphold the Council’s response.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Kind regards

Gary Rowland
Trainee Lawyer (ACILEx) - Corporate Governance
Mid Kent Legal Services | Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils
Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3HT
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Civic Way, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Is Maidstone Borough Council stating that the law does not apply to your contractors?

The Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Endorsement Functions) Order 1996

Information
71. In relation to any function which a contractor is authorised to exercise by the authority, the contractor -
(c) shall immediately comply with any written request made by the authority for the supply of any information, including copies of any records made or held by the contractor, relating to the exercise of that function.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

Section 71 of the Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Endorsement Functions) Order 1996 refers to contractors (a party to a contract). There is no contract between Maidstone Borough Council and J E Baring & Co, therefore this does not apply.

J E Baring & Co are instructed on a case by case basis and as such they are under no obligation to comply with a request for information which exceeds the cost limit as set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Yours sincerely,

Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

How is it possible to instruct solicitors to enforce the collection of council tax, who are not employee's of the billing authority or Maidstone Borough Council, without a contract for each case expressing the terms of your arrangement and how they will be paid.

How many other case by case private arrangements are carried out under Section 71 of the Local Authorities ( Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Endorsement Functions) Order 1996 , who also do not have a contract or must they have a contract.

Are MBC also required to keep records of all arrangements/ contracts that are given to outside services or at the very least put them out for tendered, or is this done on a who you know basis "in-house" as long as it is under £20,000 per year.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

REF: FOI 7564

Thank you for your request for information. We will have a response ready for you within 20 working days of the date you made your request.

After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

FOI Team
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602640 w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Penny Cloke, Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST 7564

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, respond to this
email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

t []01622 602640 w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

 

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service
Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

We understand the importance of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of individuals are upheld.

We are required to collect, use and hold personal data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council, our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies.

To view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection

This email is confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by email immediately.
Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council.
Unless a purchase order is attached this email is not a contract or an order.
It is your responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/

Dear Penny Cloke,
Thank you for confirming that Maidstone Borough Council do not have a private arrangement when it instructs J E Baring & Co solicitors please provide a copy of your public agreement.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Penny Cloke, Maidstone Borough Council

I am away from the office until Tuesday 18 December please contact Hayley
Bourner on 602018

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

 

REF: FOI7564

 

We do not have a public agreement. A public agreement is not required for
spend under £5000.

 

Regards

 

Complaints & FOI Team

Policy & Information Team

Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ

e [1][email address] w [2]www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service
Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

We understand the importance of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of individuals are upheld.

We are required to collect, use and hold personal data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council, our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies.

To view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection

This email is confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by email immediately.
Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council.
Unless a purchase order is attached this email is not a contract or an order.
It is your responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/

Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Thank you for confirming that a public agreement is not required for under £5000

If you have neither a public or private agreement or contract what do you use ?

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

It is an instruction to a firm of solicitors, which is made on a case by case basis.

Kind regards
Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Maidstone Borough Council have never clarified what your instructions consist of, or whether they are written or verbal to J E Baring & Co a limited company called J E Baring & Co Ltd now a dormant company that was voluntarily struck off by an application on 16.12.2015 or to their current new company recently set up called J E Baring Ltd or what legal entity you have been instructing or paying in between companies.

Please provide a copy of the instruction between Maidstone Borough Council and this company that the council authorise to carry out the council's enforcement functions and who you state only receives funding below £5,000 per year without any contract or deed of assignment in place to safeguard your customers.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

2 Attachments

Date: 24/09/2019

Ref: FOI/658

 

 

Dear Ed Boyce

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

t []01622 602640 w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

 

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Thank you for providing a copy of your one page Pro-Forma but you have not confirmed which legal entity you have instructed or provided a copy of your instructions to J E Baring & Co or stated whether or not you are instructing and paying the limited company (both the previous dormant company and current company).

Please also clarify which legal entity you are sending this pro-forma to as it only states J E Baring and Co which can be construed as very misleading.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

LOCAL GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY CODE 2015
1. This Code is issued to meet the Government's desire to place more power into citizens' hands to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services.
Transparency is the foundation of the local accountability and the key that gives people tools and information they need to enable them to play a bigger role in society ...

8. Fraud can thrive where decisions are not open to scrunity and details of spending, contracts and service provision are hidden from view. Greater transparency, and the provisions in this Code, can help combat fraud.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Ed Boyce

The Pro-Forma is completed by Maidstone Borough Council and sent to J E Baring and Co (partnership) in order to instruct them to undertake bankruptcy proceedings.

Yours sincerely

Lauren Connett
Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

A Pro-Forma is not an instruction to instigate the enforcement of council tax by petitioning for a bankruptcy order neither does it authorise the right to share a natural person's private data and information under the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR, if the council believes differently please provide clarification and the precise section of the law that proves otherwise.

Please also provide clarification as to the name of the employee that completes and signs this instrument and their standing within Maidstone Borough Council that authorises a London based partnership firm of external solicitors called J E Baring & Co based on this pro-forma to instigate bankruptcy proceeding for the enforcement of council tax and in particular where a Magistrates' Court Liabilty Order has not been returned unsatisfied in whole or in part to the court and alternatively choosing to serve a statutory demand (to base a bankruptcy on instead) and petition for a bankruptcy order against an individual natural person who has not consented to being made bankrupt or agreed to the council applying for bankruptcy order on their behalf and to obtain a debtors' bankruptcy order from the county court.

An 'application for bankruptcy' as stated in your pro-forma (invoice) is made by a person who is applying for their own debtors' bankruptcy order (previously an insolvent person would have needed to petition the court but this is no longer the case and now an application is made to an Adjudicator for a debtors' bankruptcy order and not to the court because this is purely an administrative exercise and there is no need for a judicial decision ) and or they agree to the council applying to make them bankrupt.

The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 makes it clear that transparency is the foundation of local accountability and that fraud can thrive where decisions are not open to scrunity and details of spending, contracts and service provisions are hidden from view.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce