Butlers/ ICAP invoice, payment and advisory contract details

Joel M Benjamin made this Freedom of Information request to Brent Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Brent Borough Council

Please provide the following documents:

1) All invoices and payment receipts held for Butlers/ ICAP

2) Copies of the Butlers Treasury Management Advice (TMA) contract

3) Records of brokerage commissions paid to respective broker(s), for each of the LOBO loan contracts signed and entered by Brent Council.

Yours faithfully,

Joel M Benjamin

Michael Almond,

Information request
Our reference: 6601398

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Dear Mr. Benjamin
 
Thank you for your information request. We will forward it to the
relevant department who will contact you shortly.
 
Brent Council
Brent Civic Centre
Engineers Way
Wembley HA9 0FJ
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Michael Almond,

Information request
Our reference: 6601398

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Dear Mr. Benjamin
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 30
November 2016, as follows:
Dear Brent Borough Council

Please provide the following documents:

1) All invoices and payment receipts held for Butlers/ ICAP

2) Copies of the Butlers Treasury Management Advice (TMA) contract

3) Records of brokerage commissions paid to respective broker(s), for each
of the LOBO loan contracts signed and entered by Brent Council.

Yours faithfully,

Joel M Benjamin
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and we aim to send a response by 30 December 2016.
 
In some case, a fee may be payable. If we decide a fee is payable, we will
send you a fee notice and we will require you to pay the fee before
proceeding with your request.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review and
to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Michael Almond
Graduate Trainee
Chief Finance Officer's Service
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Michael Almond,

3 Attachments

Information request
Our reference: 6601398

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Dear Mr Benjamin,

Thank you for your information request received on 30th November 2016.
Please find attached our response to your request.
Yours sincerely
 
 
Michael Almond
Graduate Trainee
Chief Finance Officer's Service
[email address]

Dear Brent Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Brent Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Butlers/ ICAP invoice, payment and advisory contract details'.

Thank you for your response to question 1) and the brokerage receipts for the loans arranged and brokered via ICAP.

However, I note Council has not been able to provide a response to questions 2) TMA contract with Butlers - which the council claims is no longer held; and 3) Records of brokerage paid for each of the LOBO loans signed - having only provided ICAP records?

This is despite the fact further information relating to Question 3 (i.e names of firms and fees paid) was referenced in a FOIA response dated 28 October 2014 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

As question 2) relates to the potential mis-selling of LOBO loans by Butlers/ ICAP to Brent Council, I suggest it is in both the councils and taxpayers interests to a) conduct a full search of the councils database for this contract; and b) where the contract cannot be found, contact CAPITA who bought out Butlers in 2011, to see if they have retained such records themselves.

Additionally, I would like to understand why information provided to Ranjan Kumaran [Brent ref: 2148864] differs so substantially from the response to this request?, and therefore request to know the format and location of the information requested, and request you provide a snapshop of the appropriate information/ records held.

Where full details of LOBO loan brokerage/ invoices/ receipts are not held by the council - you should note that the loan contract(s) typically permit for the council to request such information from the issuing bank.

As this information relates to advice the council has received for loans which have saddled council taxpayers with additional risk, interest costs and brokerage fees, there is a subtantial public interest case for full transparency in these matters, and for council to request additional information from the bank(s).

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,

Joel M Benjamin

Conrad Hall,

Information request
Our reference: 6601398

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Dear Mr. Benjamin
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 3 January 2017. I am
sorry that you are dissatisfied with the way we have handled your request
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
I can confirm that we are considering your concerns and we will aim to
provide you with a response by 31 January 2017.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Conrad Hall
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Hall, Conrad, Brent Borough Council

Dear Sir

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review.  

 

I am sending this response to your "what do they know" address, as this is
what you have requested, and of course I can continue to do so if that is
your preferred method of communication.  I must say, however, that I
suspect that a telephone conversation or a meeting would in my view be
much more likely to be of more benefit to both parties in addressing your
concerns and moving the matter forward practically. 

 

In the unlikely event that you only wish to correspond formally on the
matter then of course the Council will respect your wishes as set out in
your earlier email.  I hope, however, that you will instead contact me
directly at [1][email address] in order to arrange a hopefully
more constructive dialogue

 

Regards

 

 

Chief Finance Officer

London Borough of Brent

0208 937 6528

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Conrad Hall,

Information request
Our reference: 6601398

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Dear Mr. Benjamin
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 3 January 2017. I am
sorry that you are dissatisfied with the way we handled your request under
the under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 

I feel obliged first to state that an open dialogue on the matter would,
in my view, be far more productive than the exchange of emails, but of
course it is your right to communicate with us via the “whatdotheyknow”
site and I will continue to respect that, albeit with regret that I fear
that it is unlikely to be the most productive solution

 

I have conducted an internal review of the reply with which you were
provided.

 

You have highlighted that, having asked for a copy of the TMA contract,
you are dissatisfied with the council’s response that it no longer
possesses a copy.  Under the provisions of the FOI legislation, under
which you have chosen to request the information (as opposed simply to
writing to the council and perhaps requesting to discuss a matter that you
consider to be of very great significance) the council is obliged to
provide you with the information that it holds.  The original reply to
your FOI was correct.  Officers spent reasonable time looking for a
document that would be several years old, presumably dated some time
before 2010.  They were unable to find it, and whilst this may be
undesirable it is nonetheless the case.  It may also be relevant for me to
add that none of the senior officers who would presumably have been
involved in the transactions prior to 2010 with which your FOI is
concerned are still employed by the council.  The council does not possess
the information that you hold; therefore my decision, having conducted an
internal review, is that the council was correct not to provide this to
you in response to your original FOI request.

 

You have also highlighted what you say is a discrepancy between the
earlier FOI you cite (dated 28 October 2014) and the one provided to you
on 30 December 2016.  Specifically, you write that “further information
relating to Question 3 (i.e. names of firms and fees paid [my emphasis]
was provided in the earlier FOI response.  Having reviewed the material, I
cannot see the discrepancy to which you refer.  The October 2014 response
states that “fees for transactions arranged are standard”.  The December
2016 response, officers having spent considerable time trying to satisfy
your request by another extensive trawl for original documents, included
two copy invoices, which were sent in response to your FOI request.  These
disclose the brokerage fees paid on two specific transactions.  You have
not made it clear why you believe that this additional information is
inconsistent with a previous response that described brokerage fees in
general as “standard”.  In the absence of any clear evidence from you as
to why this is anomalous the result of my internal review must be to
uphold the response provided in the December 2016 FOI, which was in any
event also a factual answer to your FOI request.

 

You then go on to write that you would like to request to know “the format
and location of the information requested and request you provide a
snapshot of the appropriate information/records held.  I am afraid that I
do not understand this at all.  I take it that by “the information
requested” you refer to the FOI request from Ranjan Kumaran, Brent re
2148864.  Indeed, I cannot think of any other logical construction of your
additional request than this.  However, since it was you who directed me
to this earlier FOI request you must therefore be able to see, and
presumably already have seen, the format of that for yourself.  I do not
know what you mean by the “location” of this and am struggling to
understand why you would consider it relevant, as you have the information
itself.  Nor, I am afraid, do I understand what you mean by your request
that I provide a “snapshot of the appropriate information”, since in this
context the “information” means information that you already possess or
have access to.

 

Finally, you request that the council carries out further work to locate
information that we do not possess.  In my view the council has already
spent considerable time on this and I am satisfied, in carrying out my
internal review, that the response to your FOI was reasonable.

 

I therefore do not uphold your complaint.  However, I remain open to a
dialogue on the matter, and please do write directly to me at
[1][email address]

should you wish to engage in a more direct dialogue on the issues, which
in my view is far more likely to be constructive.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of this internal review, you have
the right to 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
Phone: 0303 123 1113
Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Conrad Hall
Chief Finance Officer
London Borough of Brent
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

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