Dear Bexley Borough Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what the Bexley Borough Council Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or investment being held.

Ideally this information would be broken down into the different categories, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund holds.

2) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently invests in (this should be covered in the above question). This list should include the names of each company and
the amount invested in each company.

3) The current yields of the different investments the pension fund holds.

4) Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the Pension Fund holds.

5) I would like to receive this information in an unlocked excel sheet without protext cells (.xls). If you have to password protect the excel sheet, can you also provide the password to the excel sheet.

I would like to receive the information in electronic format if possible. If one part of the request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any
subsequent data. If you need further clarification, please contact me by email.

Many public authorities release their contracts, minutes and other information of interactions with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public's interest. The public have an interest in knowing what the Pension Fund is investing in, the terms of contracts and the minutes of meeting with public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:

* When these confidentially agreements were agreed
* All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed
* The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements.

I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. I would also point to the Information Commissioner's guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: 'Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.'(i)

Finally, within the law of confidence these is also a public interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly to charge its stakeholders.

I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive fees, and understand that under the act, I am entitled to a response within 20 working days. I
would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

Yours faithfully,

AR

(i) 'Freedom of Information Awareness Guidance 5: Commercial Interests' Office of the Information Commissioner, Page 10,
http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...

Ola Sunmonu, Bexley Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: 641164

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 17 December 2013
regarding the Bexley Borough Council Pension Fund current investment.
This request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
I am writing to ask you to provide your name as stipulated under the
Freedom of Information Act in order to make this request a valid one.

Section 8(1) of the FOIA sets out the requirements of a valid request for
information and says that a request must, amongst other things, “state the
name of the applicant and an address for correspondence”.
 
I will not be able to take this matter further without this extra
information from you. Please let me know by 30/12/2013.
 
If I do not hear from you within the timeframe provided, I shall take it
that you do not wish to pursue this request and will consider the request
closed.
 
Please remember to quote our reference number 641164, in any future
communications.
 
Regards,

Ola Sunmonu
Complaints and Freedom of Information Support Officer
Civic Offices, Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA6 7LB
Tel: 0203 045 4333
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

Dear Ola Sunmonu,

My name is Adela Ryle. Please let me know if you have cancelled the request and I will re-submit it.

Yours sincerely,

Adela Ryle

Nigel Bate, Bexley Borough Council

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 641164

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Dear ‎Sir/Madam‏
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 17 December 2013.
 
 Please find attached our response to your request.
  

Regards,

Nigel Bate
Head Of Finance (Technical)
Bexley Civic Offices 211
Tel: 020 3045 5139
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

Dear Nigel Bate,

Many thanks for your email, however the links you sent did not contain the full information I requested.

To make it clear, the kind of information I am requesting is similar to this from East Sussex County Council:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

The above link has full details of all its investments in the different types of assets, including cash, property, equities, etc.

Ideally could you provide an excel spreadsheet with the information I requested, as East Sussex County Council has done previously?

Yours sincerely,

AR

Lorraine King, Bexley Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: 641164

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 3 February 2014. I am
sorry that you are dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your request
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
We will provide you with a written response by 3 March 2014. If there are
any delays in providing you with a response we will let you know.
 
In the meantime if you have any further queries about your complaint, you
can contact me on the telephone number given above.
 
Regards,

Lorraine King
Civic Offices, Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA6 7LB
Tel: 020 3045 3167
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

Nigel Bate, Bexley Borough Council

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 641164

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
I have considered your request for an internal review in respect of the
Refusal Notice in relation to provision of information in accordance with
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
My decision is that the internal review has been successful.
 
The information requested is attached in the format you exemplified.
 
If you have any queries or concerns, then please contact me.
 
Regards,

Nigel Bate
Head Of Finance (Technical)
Bexley Civic Offices 211
Tel: 020 3045 5139
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

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