Budget expenditure

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for International Development,

Can you please provide a monthly breakdown of total DfID expenditure in this financial year to date, as well as in the previous 3 financial years?

How do current expenditure rates compare with departmental allocations and projections made in the most recent Comprehensive Spending Review and annual budget? Please explain any significant variation (+/- 10%).

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Cockburn

Department for International Development

Dear Mr Cockburn

Thank you for your request for information which we received on 3 December
2013. We are dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and will respond to you directly as soon as possible and within
20 working days.

Please note that DFID may also publish our response to FOI requests at
www.gov.uk/dfid.

Please contact me if you have any queries, quoting reference number
F2013-440.

Yours sincerely

Sandy Docherty
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team

________________________________________
UK aid is helping the world's poorest people change their lives
www.gov.uk/dfid

Dear Department for International Development,

I am following up on the requested information on DfID budget expenditure, which by law should have been provided by 3 January.

Please provide this within the coming days.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Cockburn

Department for International Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cockburn

Please find attached DFID's response to your Freedom of Information
requesta F2013-440 and F2013-441.

For ease of reference I have also included a copy of our response below.

Yours sincerely

Sandy Docherty
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team

"Dear Mr Cockburn,

Freedom of Information Request F2013-440 and F2013-441

Thank you for your Freedom of Information requests dated 2 December 2013.
These are replicated in full at Annex 1 of this letter.

We have aggregated your requests under Section 12(4) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and Regulations 4 and 5 of the Freedom of Information
and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. These
allow public authorities to aggregate two or more requests for information
from the same person which relate, to any extent, to the same or similar
information received within any period of sixty consecutive days.

DFID holds information relevant to your requests. We estimate, however,
that, complying with the requests in full would significantly exceed the
FOI cost ceiling. This is because the information requested is not all
held centrally. For example DFID has two UK headquarters and a large
network of overseas offices some of which may have provided funding
support to Adam Smith International over the past five years. We would
have to contact all departments and overseas offices individually to
identify and collate any relevant information. This cost ceiling is
currently set at £600 and represents the estimated cost of one person
spending 24 working hours establishing whether we hold the information and
then locating, retrieving and extracting it. Under Section 12 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are not obliged to comply with the
requests and we will not be processing them any further.

However, you may be interested in the monthly data returns DFID makes to
the Treasury regarding expenditure which are published in the Online
System for Central Accounting and Reporting (OSCAR) here on the Inside
Government website.

Also, DFID routinely publishes spending information, including the amount
and the names of delivery partners, on the ’Transparency Data’ section of
the Inside Government website.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me, quoting
reference number F2013-441.

If you are unhappy with the service we have provided and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, you should write to the
Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team at the address shown in the
footnote below or email [DFID request email] within two months of the date of
this letter.

If you do make a complaint and are not content with the outcome, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted DFID’s complaints procedure. You can contact the Information
Commissioner at the following address:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Sandy Docherty
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team

Annex 1

F2013-440

Can you please provide a monthly breakdown of total DfID expenditure in
this financial year to date, as well as in the previous 3 financial years?

How do current expenditure rates compare with departmental allocations and
projections made in the most recent Comprehensive Spending Review and
annual budget? Please explain any significant variation (+/- 10%).

F2013-441

Please provide a breakdown of the funding support provided to Adam Smith
International over the last five years.

Please breakdown the information by country and purpose of the funding.

Please provide any partnership agreements, or equivalent documents, that
explain the nature of support and partnership between DfID and Adam Smith
International.

________________________________________
UK aid is helping the world's poorest people change their lives
www.gov.uk/dfid

Dear Department for International Development,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for International Development's handling of two separate FoI requests that I submitted to DfID, which were refused for surpassing the limit of 24 working hours.

The two requests made were F2013-440 (Budget Expenditure) and F2013-441 (Adam Smith International).

I am appealing this decision, and requesting an internal review, on the following ground :

1. The appeals were considered together, yet they are two separate requests for two very different purposes. One was aimed at simply finding out how ‘on-track’ DfID is in spending its allocated budget, and the other was to find out how much DfID funds a major consultancy organisation that runs some of its most prestigious projects around the world. The content are not in any way related, and thus the rationale of not responding to either request because the information on Adam Smith International is dispersed should not stand.

2. It is inconceivable that a government department does not have a simple breakdown of its monthly spend vs budget that advises senior civil servants and Ministers about whether or not the department is ‘on-track’ with its spending. Even the smallest business or NGO has such a monitoring. To provide a link to datasets on the government website that provide no budget target amounts is no substitute for providing more accessible and understandable information that I know does exist for Government departments.

3. I would also suggest that little effort was made to find out what information could be found regarding Adam Smith International. In fact with my own subsequent googling I found that the Independent Commission on Aid Impact produced a report on May 2013 that highlighted that £66m was provided to Adam Smith in 2011-12, so that information must have been collected somehow. It seems unlikely that there is no central collection of data regarding support provided to DfID’s partners, especially when expenditure is of this level.

24 full working hours – 3 full working days – should be able to gather a lot more information than is suggested in the response. I therefore request an internal review of this request in order to receive the information, and contest that they should be dealt with as two separate requests.

If it is maintained that the full request for Adam Smith International remains above the 24 working-hours threshold, I would narrow my request so that it covers support over the last three years provided to Adam Smith International from central DfID HQ, as well as for programmes in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. This should include relevant partnership agreements, contracts and evaluations/impact assessments.

This should not replace any accessible information held centrally on support to Adam Smith more globally, which I imagine does exist.

I hope this helps in clarifying the requests and I look forward to a positive response. I hope it can be resolved to avoid a further appeal to the Information Commissioner.

Many thanks for your cooperation

Steve

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

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Cockburn

Department for International Development

Dear Mr Cockburn,

Thank you for your e-mail of 7 January 2014 seeking an internal review of
DFID's response to your Freedom of Information requests F2013-440 and
F2013-441.

I will carry out this internal review and write to you with the outcome as
soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Kennedy
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team
________________________________________
UK aid is helping the world's poorest people change their lives
www.gov.uk/dfid

Department for International Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cockburn,

Please see the attached response to your request for internal review of
DFID's handling of your Freedom of Information Requests F2013-440 and
F2013-441.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Kennedy
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team
________________________________________
UK aid is helping the world's poorest people change their lives
www.gov.uk/dfid

Department for International Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cockburn

Please find attached DFID's response to your Freedom of Information
request F2014-055.

Yours sincerely,

Alison Marshall
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team

Dear Mr Cockburn,

Freedom of Information Request F2014-055

As explained in the response to your request for internal review (Helen
Kennedy’s letter of 4 February 2014), DFID is processing the narrowed
request for information contained in your e-mail of 7 January 2014 as a
new request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You
asked for the following information:
“support over the last three years provided to Adam Smith International
from central DfID HQ, as well as for programmes in Sierra Leone and
Nigeria. This should include relevant partnership agreements, contracts
and evaluations/impact assessments.
This should not replace any accessible information held centrally on
support to Adam Smith more globally, which I imagine does exist.”
DFID holds information relevant to your request. Some of this information
is exempt from disclosure under Section 21 (1) (Information accessible to
the applicant by other means) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it
is already reasonably accessible to you. For ease of reference I have
provided the relevant links below.

You can find information on the value of centrally let contracts awarded
to Adam Smith International in each of the last three financial years here
on the UK Parliament website.
You can find some information on contracts awarded by DFID to Adam Smith
International in this link to the Contract Finder on the Inside Government
website. This includes information on the contract value, description and
some contract documentation.

We estimate, however, that complying with the remainder of your request in
full would significantly exceed the FOI cost ceiling. It would, for
instance, be very difficult to identify and extract the range of
documentation you have requested as, in addition to searching our central
records we would also have to contact departments and overseas offices to
ask them to find and collate any relevant information they hold. This cost
ceiling is currently set at £600 and represents the estimated cost of one
person spending 24 working hours establishing whether we hold the
information and then locating, retrieving and extracting it. Under Section
12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are not obliged to comply
with the requests and we will not be processing them any further.

If you were to make a new request for a narrower range of information, we
may be able to comply within the appropriate limit. For example, it might
help if you were to submit a new request for information relating to the
value of DFID contracts awarded to Adam Smith International in relation to
a particular country. Or if you wish to focus on documentation relating to
contracts then it might help if you were to specify a particular contract
awarded to Adam Smith International.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me, quoting
reference number F2014-055.

If you are unhappy with the service we have provided and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, you should write to the
Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team at the address shown in the
footnote below or email [DFID request email] within two months of the date of
this letter.

If you do make a complaint and are not content with the outcome, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted DFID’s complaints procedure. You can contact the Information
Commissioner at the following address:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Alison Marshall
DFID Information Rights and Public Enquiries Team

________________________________________
UK aid is helping the world's poorest people change their lives
www.gov.uk/dfid